If you can’t fall asleep after 20 minutes, it’s recommended to get out of bed and do a relaxing activity until you feel sleepy. Here’s how you can do it:
Choose a relaxing activity: Choose an activity that you find relaxing and enjoyable. Some examples include reading a book, listening to calming music, practicing gentle yoga, or taking a warm bath.
Avoid bright light: Make sure to avoid bright light during this time, as it can disrupt your body’s natural sleep rhythms. Dim the lights or use soft lighting.
Keep it quiet: Keep the noise level low, as loud noises can also disrupt your sleep.
Avoid electronic devices: Avoid using electronic devices during this time, as the blue light emitted by screens can suppress the production of the sleep hormone melatonin.
Return to bed when you feel sleepy: Return to bed only when you feel sleepy. If you are still unable to fall asleep after 20 minutes, repeat the process until you feel tired enough to sleep.
Remember that the goal is to associate your bed with sleep and not with wakeful activities. By getting out of bed and engaging in a relaxing activity, you can help break the association between bed and wakefulness, making it easier to fall asleep when you return to bed.
How You’ll Benefit
One of the benefits of getting out of bed and doing a relaxing activity until you feel sleepy if you can’t fall asleep after 20 minutes is that it can help break the cycle of frustration and anxiety that can occur when you’re lying in bed trying to fall asleep but can’t. Here are some additional benefits:
Reduces anxiety and stress: Getting out of bed and engaging in a relaxing activity such as reading a book or listening to soothing music can help reduce anxiety and stress, which can make it easier to fall asleep once you return to bed.
Prevents negative associations with the bed: Lying in bed for an extended period without being able to fall asleep can create a negative association with the bed, making it more difficult to fall asleep in the future. Getting out of bed can help break this association.
Improves sleep efficiency: Spending too much time in bed without sleeping can reduce sleep efficiency, which is the amount of time spent asleep compared to the amount of time spent in bed. By getting out of bed and returning when you feel sleepy, you can improve your sleep efficiency.
Promotes relaxation: Engaging in a relaxing activity such as reading or meditating can help promote relaxation and reduce tension, making it easier to fall asleep.
Encourages better sleep hygiene: Developing a habit of getting out of bed when you can’t sleep can encourage better sleep hygiene by promoting consistency in your sleep routine and reducing the likelihood of spending excessive time in bed.
It’s important to note that these benefits may not be immediate and may take time to develop as part of a consistent sleep routine.