DON’T WASTE ANOTHER SECOND HOPELESSLY STARING AT THE CEILING.
We’ve all been there. Whether it’s 1:00 am, 2:00 am, 3:00 am, or, in exceptionally frustrating cases, 4:00 am, unexpectedly waking up in the middle of the night is the worst. Best case, you’ll start your day a little bit groggier, a little bit crankier, and a whole lot hungrier. (The European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that folks who don’t get enough
sleep consume nearly 400 more calories than normal the following day.) And while it may be tempting to reach for the sleep-aid tablets in such situations, you should know that there are other, science-backed ways to fall asleep—naturally.
In fact, the one thing you don’t want to do is turn to medications. According to the Mayo Clinic, frequent use of over-the-counter sleep aids could create a dependency that, over time, will only exacerbate your insomnia. So before you pick up a bottle of melatonin, try out one of these tricks instead. You’ll fall back asleep so quickly that any unwelcome moments of wakefulness will seem like nothing more than a fleeting dream.
Everyone loves the smell of lavender. But it turns out the stuff has some serious benefits, too. Per a study in The Journal of Biological and Medical Rhythm Research, lavender can help lull you into an increased state of relaxation. Better yet, according to the researchers, just three whiffs of the stuff—over up to a 30-minute period—can help you sleep deeper and feel more energized upon waking up. Keep a stock in your bedside drawer to lull you off to dreamland whenever necessary.
Turn down the heat.
The ideal temperature for your bedroom should be between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit. According to research out of Harvard Medical School, when your body starts power down for the night, it drops a few degrees, which subsequently helps your body enter and stay in REM. By keeping your room toasty, no matter how cozy it might feel during frigid winter nights, you’re just inhibiting your own sleep.