We’ve all been there. We’re exhausted and want nothing more than to fall asleep, but our minds won’t stop racing. Or we wake up in the middle of the night and can’t seem to get back to sleep. So what to do when you can’t sleep and are bored?
If you find yourself with insomnia, it’s good to have a plan for how to pass the time until you drift off again.
If you find yourself staring at the ceiling late at night, here are some things that are easier to accomplish when you should be lying in bed sleeping.
What to Do When You Can’t Sleep and Are Bored ( Productive Things to Do)
You’ve tried everything, but your brain keeps buzzing with thoughts and worries. The more you try not to think about them, the more insistent they become.
Here are some things to do when you can’t sleep to help you fall asleep:
Write down your goals
You may find that writing down your goals and creating a plan of action is a great way to get your mind off of other worries.
That way, when you finally do fall asleep, your subconscious will be able to focus on achieving those goals for you.
Make a budget or write down your expenses for the past month
pIf money is on your mind, this might be the perfect time to organize it in a way that makes sense to you. You can figure out what you’re spending too much money on and set a realistic budget for yourself.
Or maybe, if you’re worried about spending too much money, it makes more sense to just stop spending altogether.
Write in a journal
You may find that writing in your journal helps clear your mind of worries and other pre-sleep distractions. Writing can help clarify your thoughts and help release pent-up emotions so you can relax and fall asleep more easily.
Finish your project
Whether that’s doing the dishes or making sure all your bills are paid, completing a task will give you a sense of accomplishment that might help you relax and make it easier to fall asleep.
Read a boring book
If there’s any time to read a book that puts you right to sleep, it’s in the middle of the night when you can’t sleep. My favorite “boring” books are usually about math and science, but anything that doesn’t get your heart racing will do.
If you’re really desperate, start organizing something in your room, like your closet or sock drawer. That’s unlikely to hold your attention for too long and might let your body relax enough to fall asleep.
Plan out your next few meals
It could be a master plan for the week, or just what you want to eat today. Planning out your meals is a great way of making sure that you’re eating healthy, and getting all the nutrients you need.
Watch an uninteresting show or movie
You don’t want to get too invested in a plot or start to care about the characters, so pick something with little dialogue and no plot twists. We like documentaries for this reason—they’re boring and informative!
Have a hot shower or bath
This is different from a cold shower, which can wake you up more than you might want at this point.
Drink a cup of hot milk
Hot milk is known to help people fall asleep faster because it contains tryptophan, an amino acid that helps the body produce serotonin and melatonin.
Listen to an audiobook
Reading is one of the best ways to fall asleep, but sometimes your eyes are just too tired from staring at screens all day. If that’s the case, then listening to an audiobook can be a good alternative. If you don’t have any audiobooks on hand, there are plenty of free options online.
Do some stretches
Whether you’re sitting down all day or running around like crazy, doing some gentle yoga stretches before bed will help your muscles relax and make you feel more comfortable in bed.
One of my favorite poses is “child pose,” which helps relieve backaches and stress by stretching your torso and hips.”
Now that you know what to do when you can’t sleep, it’s time to put those techniques into practice. Knowing the right approach is important, but actually sticking to it is a whole different story. Fortunately, though, there are things you can do to make sure your lack of sleep isn’t disrupting your life too much.