If you need to make it through the night on your own, here’s how you can comfortably get yourself back to sleep.
Please note that this is not for emergency situations! If you’re in danger or in need of urgent assistance, make sure you have a way to contact those that can help, whether that may be local emergency services or any close family/friends.
This is just a list for when you’re uncomfortable or simply unable to stay asleep.
Okay, disclaimer over. So already it sounds like a horrifying thought to think about. It’s the middle of the night, you’re trapped in bed but unable to fall back asleep. This is something I’ve encountered more times than I would like, hence this list. If this can possibly help others, then I’m writing about it.
- Remain Calm and Breathe!
This is the main thing to keep in mind. Slow breathing is first and foremost. If you start panicking, it only makes it worse, and you’ll become more uncomfortable. Whatever breathing method works for you, do it! I always prefer the 4 second (inhale) – 7 second (hold) – 8 second (exhale) technique. Doing this will keep anxiety from building so you can concentrate on helping yourself.
- Moving Your Arms Out From Under the Covers
Being able to take control of the situation will keep you grounded because remember that you have power over yourself even if you feel stuck. What usually wakes me up in the middle of the night is the sweltering feeling from being buried beneath sheets and blankets. Sometimes my arms get caught beneath the sheets and since I overheat easily, it tends to scare me.
Don’t worry! Even if it takes a minute, freeing your arms can be half the battle. I tend to use my fingers and slide or walk their way using my wrist to get out. It also helps that my nails are a bit longer, so sometimes they come in handy by using them to drag my hands across. If you’re already hot, your skin can stick so if you can use the fabric of the sheets, your clothes, or whatever else is nearby, take advantage of it.
This ties into the next one.
- Utilize the Objects Around You
Just like I stated above, whatever you can get your hands, feet, or mouth on, use it! I know that last one might sound weird but let me explain.
I sleep with a Bi-Pap mask, the cloth one that goes over my nose, and because the fabric chafes my skin, I put a folded Kleenex across my upper lip to protect it. There was one night where I woke up and the Kleenex had shifted up to where it blocked the tube, and I couldn’t get proper airflow.
My hands were free so I could reach the tube but even though I tried fixing it, it didn’t do much. Finally, after however many minutes I resort to using my tongue to slide the Kleenex out. Breathing got a bit better, though not completely, and I kept trying to adjust the mask but to no avail. Eventually I managed to fall asleep because I was still so tired, but when I woke up to be rolled over to my other side, the mask was repositioned, and I could finally get complete airflow where I didn’t feel like I was slowly being smothered. I think in that case the tube or something just wasn’t in the proper place but still the Bi-Pap has its own problems anyway.
- Adjusting the Body Parts that are Uncomfortable
This mostly comes down to a case-by-case basis as it depends on what you yourself are able to do personally as far as what strength and movements you have. If you can roll or move a limb with ease, then by all means reposition yourself and get as comfortable as you can.
For me, I’m very limited but we all still manage to find ways that work for us. So I may not be able to roll or readjust much, but if it’s something like my top leg (I sleep on my right side) is stretched out too far and is bothering my hip, I can wiggle my foot and use my toes to push on the pillow beneath it while I pull as hard as I can with the small amount of muscle strength. Even if it’s not perfect, I manage to move it enough to where my body isn’t in such an awkward position.
- Remember It’s Okay to Ask for Help
If you’re still in pain and unable to fix it on your own, ask for help if you can. I sometimes feel guilty if I have to call on my parents or roommates to help because it’s the dead of night and I know they’re tired, but there are times when it’s inevitable.
One example of this is when my Bi-Pap was being weird in college. It only happened once or twice in those four years but one night I woke up having trouble breathing. The machine was making a weird sound too and after messing with the tubing I realized water droplets were beginning to accumulate at the bottom where it was hanging. I kept lifting it to see how much was inside but inadvertently made the water trickle closer to my mask. I had to call my roommate that night and have her disconnect the tube to help drain the water before I possibly drowned.
So there might be times where you don’t have a choice and that’s okay because it’s out of your control. What’s most important is that you’re safe and not in any pain or discomfort.
What are some ways you readjust or things you use to make yourself more comfortable for sleep? Comment down below!
Being as comfortable as you can be is the main priority, so hopefully some of these tips can be beneficial to you and help boost that independence. ~So Says The Disabled Dryad~
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