Falling Back to Sleep

By Advocate Contributors

Originally published on Advocate.com August 23 2011 9:00 AM ET

Blame it on the alcohol. Or a snoring partner or a honking horn or a hungry cat — all these are major culprits in rousing you out of your slumber in the middle of the night. For many people, it’s difficult to head back to dreamland after being awoken, but we have a few tips to help.

First off, it’s likely your suddenly woken mind is thinking about anything and everything—work, money, commitments, etc. Shut-eye will only come if you shut off that drone. Turn on a low light and read something really boring (e.g., an operation manual for a DVD player), suggests thesleepguide.com.

“Do not do anything that will stimulate your brain such as anything to do with work or school and do not switch the TV on,” according to the website, which adds that relaxing music (think classical or anything without lyrics) is fine to listen to.

But the timeless suggestion to count sheep actually works because your mind is focusing on something repetitive and soothing. A similar method: after closing your eyes, stare at and focus on the darkness. If you can push out those pesky thoughts about your to-do list, you’ll likely be back to sleep soon enough.