What to Do When You Can’t Sleep [Tips for Better Sleep]


Most people are aware of how essential sleep is to our overall health. When we sleep, our bodies are hard at work (among other actions) repairing damage to cells, reducing toxins, storing memories, and rejuvenating us. But lying awake for hours can be highly frustrating. We know how bad we’ll feel in the morning, not having the energy to do the things we want to do – and the vicious cycle ensues.

Knowing what to do when you can’t sleep is vital for our mental and physical health. So we’ve created this guide of advice and coping mechanisms to make your sleepless life a little easier.

What to Do When You Can’t Sleep

You first need to know that you’re not alone. Many suffer from not being able to sleep, despite how tired they may feel. And some can’t sleep because of anxiety, which makes the problem even worse. Your mind may race, worrying about not being able to sleep—even though you feel tired but can’t sleep. All this mental activity leaves you wide awake—the clock ever ticking towards the alarm. And even if you do sleep, it’s not for long, and you end up feeling even worse. The good news is that there are proactive steps you can take to help get a good night’s sleep.

Improve Your Sleep Environment

First, take a good look at your sleep environment. For example, comfort levels that include where you sleep, the temperature, the bed, and how quiet your bedroom is significantly impacts your sleep. Then, improve your sleep environment by changing a few aspects—which may also assist in how to stay asleep.

  • Declutter

Clutter in your bedroom is not conducive to a relaxing environment and causes anxiety. Adopt a minimalist mindset and remove all the clutter from your environment—thereby reducing stress and anxiety and introducing more calm into your life, which should help you sleep.

  • Light

Too much light in your bedroom is not helpful for a good night’s sleep. If there are annoying street lights, you may need to invest in blackout blinds. In addition, blue light from your smartphone and other electronic devices also interferes with your circadian rhythm. So limit time on your phone before you go to bed.

  • Pillow

When you can’t sleep, you may need to invest in a new pillow. Buy a new pillow at least every couple of years to ensure your comfort and maintain spinal alignment. A new pillow can prevent you from lying awake with neck and shoulder pain or even headaches. Look for a firm pillow that ensures a specific, comfortable sleeping position. And if you have allergies, you may find hypoallergenic covers useful.

  • Mattress

If you have an old mattress—or one that isn’t comfortable—you need a new one. There are many mattresses to choose from, such as memory foam, natural fiber, and even cooling and heating ones to ensure you stay at a comfortable temperature. Consider these top-quality organic mattresses and hybrid mattresses for great mattress ideas.

  • Sleeping Temperature

Adjusting the thermostat might be necessary if you’re having trouble sleeping. The most comfortable temperature for sleep is between 60 and 67°F. But everyone is different. You may need to fine-tune the setting to find a temperature suitable for you. In addition, your bedding, pajamas, etc., also have an effect. Perhaps you need new PJs or a thicker/thinner quilt.  Generally, anything over 75°F and below 54°F will disturb your ability to sleep. You can also consider getting a top-quality cooling pillow to help you nod off.

  • Essential Oils

Many wish to know how to make yourself tired. Calming scents and oils are excellent tools to put your mind and body into relaxation mode. Implementing essential oils can help you wind down and Young Living and DoTerra have some of the best varieties.

  • What to Avoid

Many can’t sleep after drinking because alcohol produces adenosine, initiating sleep. But this effect quickly wears off, leaving you likely to lay wide awake at night. In addition, such stimulants as caffeine and nicotine need to be avoided. Do not drink coffee at least four hours before bedtime. Caffeine can also make you sleep lightly—even if you do fall asleep, you’ll soon wake up and possibly not be able to go back to sleep.

Did you know that caffeine can remain active in your system for six hours?!

Improve Your Daily Habits

If you want to know how to fall asleep in 10 seconds, you need to consider your daily habits. You may be inadvertently doing many things that prevent you from having a good night’s sleep. Consider the following ways to improve your daily routines.

  • Consistent Sleep Schedule

Routine is key to creating and maintaining your circadian rhythm. Having regular sleep and wake times is essential, which may also help to create a pre-sleep routine. A calming and consistent bedtime routine will help your body adjust to sleep mode. For example, turning off the TV, brushing your teeth, reading a couple of chapters of a book, using your essential oil vaporizer, mindfulness meditation, turning off the bedroom lights, etc., all constitute a useful pre-sleep routine.

  • Sleep Diary

Keeping such a diary is an excellent tool to see how much sleep you’re getting. It can also help work out problems that prevent you from sleeping and disturb your sleep quality.

  • Regular Exercise

Concerning sleep, many ask about how to make yourself tired. Exercise has many beneficial effects on the body and mind. In addition, it can also make you feel far more rested after you wake up. You don’t need to start running marathons if you haven’t exercised in a long time—10 minutes of building up a sweat should be enough to help you fall asleep.

  • Healthy Diet

Some foods and drinks contain specific nutrients and antioxidants—such as well-known sleep aids, magnesium, and melatonin. Additionally, eating a lot of sugary and fatty foods can keep you awake, as well as cause you to wake up in the middle of the night.

  • Anxiety Reducing Partactises

Anxiety is one of the main reasons our minds race. Fortunately, there are many techniques to help us reduce stress, including meditative practices, listening to calming sounds, or focusing on a breathing pattern.

Did you know that going to bed 30 minutes earlier can help you regulate your sleep schedule?

Key Takeaways

Sleeping necessitates relaxation.
Relaxation includes being content in body and mind.
Changing your sleeping environment may be needed to achieve relaxation.
Find ways to reduce anxiety and stress.

When You Can’t Sleep

The next time you’re lying in bed, there are things to do when you can’t sleep that may offer much-needed relief and enable you to become drowsy enough to fall to sleep.

  • Give yourself some time. Becoming immediately annoyed upon lying down will not help you fall asleep. So lie in bed for around 15 to 20 minutes before trying anything.
  • If you can’t sleep, getting up and walking around for a while may help. Walking is considered one of the best ways to help make you feel sleepy.
  • You can utilize many excellent relaxation techniques, such as controlled breathing and mindfulness meditation. You can also try progressive muscle relaxation techniques or focus on calming visuals.


Although many struggle with sleeping problems, many practices and procedures can help one fall and stay asleep. Relaxation techniques and a great sleeping environment are essential components in getting a good night’s sleep.


What constitutes a good sleep environment?

A comfortable bed, a dark room, a comfortable temperature, and calming scents can aid in having a proper sleeping environment.

What can I do to help fall asleep?

To help you fall asleep, you can exercise, create a sleep regime, start a sleep diary, and practice relaxation techniques.

What is a great relaxation technique?

Excellent examples of what to do when you can’t sleep include meditative practices of relaxation techniques.


I've loved writing since I can remember, and back in high school, I started loving psychology as well. So I majored in it while dabbling in spirituality and yoga on the side.

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