Tricks to Regain the Deep Sleep After Nighttime Bathroom Call
We’ve all experienced waking up in the dead of night with an urgent need to go to the bathroom. Once you’ve relieved yourself, the most pressing problem is getting back to the deep sleep. Now you’re wide awake.
What do you do?
Short of using sleeping pills, which can be addictive, here are ten suggestions on what you can do naturally to get back to sleep faster:
1. Keep One Eye Closed
While you’re using the toilet during the night, keep one eye closed. Exposure to bright light on the retina tricks your brain into thinking it’s daytime. Your eyes will adjust back to the darkness of your sleeping room faster this way and you should fall back asleep faster.
2. Roll Your Neck
Roll your head to the back of your neck. This exercise relaxes the nerves in your neck which go straight down your arms, hands and feet. This maneuver tends to relax the whole body and makes sleep come faster.
3. Pull Your Ear
You’ve probably rubbed your temples at one time or another to seek relief from a headache. Gently pulling on your ear can work at relaxing the brain and thought process in order to fall back asleep after the interruption of a nighttime bathroom call.
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4. Listen to a story
Boring the brain back to sleep is an old remedy for sleep problems. Listening to a story, especially a boring one, can help your brain unwind and carry you to a calm place in your mind.
Since you don’t want someone to read to you and interrupt their sleep, listen to an audio book on tape. Before you know it, the steady drone of a voice reading a boring book will put you back to sleep.
5. Progressive muscle relaxation
When you take that midnight stroll to the bathroom, you muscles tense. In order to go back to sleep, you need to relax those muscles again.
One trick that people find effective in relaxing is “talking” to your body. Start with your feet and work your way up, silently telling each area to relax. Do this several times and you’ll find yourself drowsing off until you fall asleep.
6. Don’t Stare at the Clock
Don’t continually check the clock after you get back in bed to see how long you’ve been awake. Turn the clock face toward the wall if you have to top avoid the temptation to look.
7. Be still – and squeeze
Once you’re back in bed, try to stay very still for a few moments. Then do some muscle exercise by squeezing and relaxing your major muscle groups.
Start at the toes, then move to the feet, calves, thighs, buttocks, abdomen, back and shoulders. Clench your hands and fingers, then relax them. Before your know it, you’ll be asleep.
8. Unwind your day
Think positively about the day’s events, and relive every small detail of what you did from the moment you woke up that morning. This puts you in a better neurological state of mind to relax and fall asleep.
9. Drink a warm beverage
Remember when your mother used to tell you do drink a glass of warm milk just before bed to help you go to sleep? It turns out she was right. Milk contains an amino acid called tryptophan which helps you fall asleep. That’s the same ingredient that’s in turkey meat that makes people drowsy after a Thanksgiving dinner.
10. Counting sheep
Counting imaginary sheep jumping over a fence is probably the most common method of overcoming insomnia. And the most joked about. It doesn’t have to be sheep. It could be pigs. The point is to get your mind relaxed to the point that boredom sets in and you fall asleep.
All of these sleeping aids have one thing in common: they’re aimed at taking your mind off worrying about not being able to go back to sleep. Relaxing the mind and the body is the key to overcoming those fears.
As the body and mind relax, you can begin to slip into the peacefulness of twilight sleep. Once there, you quickly regain the deep sleep you were waken from.