For people who sleep soundly, waking up momentarily in the middle of the night isn't a problem. Many people can easily fall back asleep, and some can not even remember waking up at all. However, there are less-fortunate people who are lighter sleepers, and once their sleep is disturbed, they can stay awake for hours afterwards, tossing and turning while sleep eludes them. If you suffer from being a light sleep and find it hard to get back to sleep after being awakened in the night, we have some tips that might help you fall back asleep so you can get the rest you deserve!

  • Calm down. Constantly mulling over how you're awake and thinking about the sleep you're losing will only stress you out and make getting to sleep even harder. If you find yourself in this situation, clear your mind, take deep, even breaths, and focus on relaxing.
  • Stay away from the electronic devices. When you wake up at night and can't get back to sleep, it's tempting to power up your smartphone, tablet, laptop or television to curb boredom and help you veg out a little. However, the light from such devices can stimulate your brain, fooling it into thinking that it's really time to be awake. Keep the lights dim and the electronics off to make it easier to fall back asleep.
  • Write it out. Once you wake up, it can be easy for your mind to wander and think about other things. Focusing on things you need to do can keep you awake and stress you out. Sometimes, you may wake up from a good dream or have an interesting idea. Letting these things occupy your mind while you're trying to sleep can keep you awake. Write down whatever you can't get out of your mind. Make a list, draw pictures, and focus on the idea of sleep while you're writing. Keep a pad of paper and a pen or pencil next to your bed so you don't have to get up and rummage around while you're trying to relax. 
  • Try to visualize it. Shut your eyes and focus on a place where you feel calm and relaxed. For some people it might be a place like the beach, or a park on a breezy day. If you have a hard time focusing on a place that makes you feel that way, visualize a person that makes you feel that way. It might be a good friend giving you a warm hug or your mother singing to you. Remember a memory that made you feel secure and relaxed and let calmness wash over you.
  • Make sure you have a supportive pillow and a good mattress. It's possible that your sleep is being disturbed because your body is uncomfortable and trying to readjust. Investing in a memory foam mattress that contours to your body for perfect support will cut back on the tossing and turning that wakes you up in the night. If your mattress isn't a problem, consider a new pillow. A good gel pillow will support your head and align your neck and spine, decreasing your discomfort and making sound sleep more likely.

It can be very frustrating to lay awake in the middle of the night. However, keep in mind that it's just a temporary situation. Don't stress out about it, but try using the techniques listed. Are you a light sleeper who has trouble getting back to sleep after you wake up in the night? What are some things that help you get back to sleep?