Sleeping: It's one of the joys of life, but only when you can successfully accomplish doing it.
I remember when I would sleep in until noon, eat and then go back to bed as if that was what a normal, contributing member of society would do.
There were also the numerous times when I awoke from that damn nightmare all young adults have: You didn't turn in that final paper in college. Or in my case, you can add missing a game-winning serve in a volleyball game the same day I didn't turn in that final paper.
They're the things that will always keep you up at night.
Whether you're dealing with a recent breakup and keep waking up because you now have to sleep alone, you can't remember if you hit reply or reply all to a mass email at work or you're just an insomniac, these tips will help you get back to dreamland.
1. Accept it.
There's no need to deny the fact that you're now tossing and turning in bed after waking up from what you thought would be a full night's rest.
It's not the ideal situation, but getting mad about it will only add fuel to the fire. Accept that you woke up in the middle of the night, and then set your plan of attack.
2. Avoid the clock.
To me, one of the worst feelings ever is waking up five minutes before my alarm goes off.
A close second is looking at the clock just to realize I've been wide awake from the hours of 3:30 am to 5:30 am for no boozy brunch-worthy story reason. It's just because I can't fall asleep in my own bed by myself (insert sad emoji face to group text).
Staring at the clock makes it that much worse, so avoid looking at it during those restless nights because if you're anything like me, you start to stress out more about the lack of sleep you're getting.
No need to perpetuate the cycle by calculating how many more seconds you have until you absolutely must get out of bed.
Just don't look.
3. Stay in one position.
I find one of the most challenging things is to not flail about my bed when I can't sleep.
First, I try sleeping on my side, then my back and then sometimes even my stomach (my least favorite). I go into whatever position I think will do the trick.
If you're also guilty of this behavior, then you're obviously not alone. But now, you're creating more of a distance between you and your actual dreams.
Your body will start associate moving around in bed as being awake, instead of passed out in one position, the way it should be.
Just try to relax and keep your body calm.
Yes, it's a shitty feeling when you wake up and are convinced you will now see the sunrise before you see the insides of your eyelids, but shift your focus to your breath.
Take five deep, belly-filling, breaths. Then do that again for another 10.
You'll start to feel your body relax, and you'll be focusing on your breath instead of the email you forgot to send to your boss.
5. Try progressive relaxation.
This ties into your breathing plan. Focus on one muscle group at a time after your initial deep breaths, and release the tension there.
You can start with your back, then move to your thighs and calves. Or, you can start with smaller ones such as your hands and feet.
Release the muscles that will essentially give you some type of reprieve, and the rest of your body should follow suit.
6. Count your accomplishments, not sheep.
If all else fails, and you really don't want to count sheep (I have done that more than once), then why not count your accomplishments of that day or week?
Did you absolutely kill your huge presentation in front of senior management earlier in the week? Count it.
Or, did you just remember to take the wet clothes out of the washer and put them in the drier and actually turn it on? Count it because some days, that is our biggest accomplishment.
By acknowledging your achievements, you'll at least put yourself in a better mood and send out positive energy.
Then when you wake up after the sunrise, you can count sleeping as your first accomplishment of that day.