5 Productive Things To Do Instead Of Tossing And Turning When You Can't Sleep

by Imani Brammer

Out of all the times to not be tired, your body chose this time.

You know, just eight or so hours before you have to wake up and do something important in the morning.

It always happens that way, doesn't it?

I know it sucks, you know it sucks, but there are things you can do to calm your mind and find your way right back into that sleep-induced state.


Let's get a bit creative with this bedtime ritual, shall we?

1. Read A Book

I don't know about you, but reading is my number one way to fall asleep when I'm feeling restless.

It soothes me, transports me to another world, and before I know it, I'm fast asleep.

I guess I'm not alone since, according to research from the University of Sussex, reading can actually help reduce stress levels. The simple idea of being taken into a fictional world can be enough to ease tension in both the muscles and the heart.

2. Write In A Journal

If your mind won't stop racing when you try to put yourself to bed, this may be the best time to get mindful and reflect on your day.

Journaling has a way of opening your heart and allowing yourself to really connect with your soul. Before you know it, mentally reviewing your day will turn into an hour of debriefing your entire life.

By the time you complete your journal entry, you'll feel like you just let go of a ton of stress.

The next time something heavy is weighing you down right before bed, whip out a pen and some paper, and just let it all out.

3. Complete Those Small Tasks You Never Get Around To During The Day

You know, like finally penning your friend that letter you've been wanting to write since she moved away last year. Or even more mundane tasks, like going through the fridge and throwing out all the food that's gone bad.

It's usually at this time of the night that you remember everything that you were supposed to do that you didn't do anyway.

You might as well put your restlessness to good use.

4. Meditate

Yes, as in that thing you tend to avoid during the day because it just seems too tedious.

Now is literally the perfect time to do it, and you have no excuse at all not to. Meditation can put you in such a trance-like state, you end up falling asleep.

According to a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, mindful meditation can help improve the quality of your sleep at night.

Don't sleep on meditation (or, actually, maybe you should sleep on meditation) -- just a couple of breathe-in-breathe-outs will do you and your body a world of good.

5. Bedtime Yoga

I've made friends (in my head) with YouTube yoga guru, Yoga with Adriene, simply because she has the best yoga videos.

Her voice is beyond soothing, her videos are very easy to follow, and she provides yoga practices for every occasion, including for when it's time to lay your head down for bedtime.

With the help of Adriene's yoga sequences, it's no surprise that yoga helps to lessen the severity of insomnia. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, over 55 percent of individuals who do yoga report improvements in their sleep.

A restless night may feel like the worst thing to ever happen to you, but when all is said and done, it's really all about making the most out of that time.