How to fall back asleep

Expert insight:

Keep a bottle of lavender essential oil next to your bed and breathe it in when you wake up feeling restless, says Todd Anderson, Tier X coach, sleep coach, and area personal training manager at East 74th Street in New York City. The scent has sleep-inducing powers. 

Adds Lauren Deluca, Tier X coach and master instructor at Gold Coast in Chicago: Do a body scan. "The active meditation keeps your thoughts focused on your breath and body so your mind can't wander," she says. "Start at your toes and work your way up each body part to your head." Note all the sensations you feel, breathe slowly, and relax all muscles on every exhale.

Speaking of a wandering mind, both experts agree you can avoid it with a bedside journal. Write down the thoughts that are keeping you up and consciously decide to solve them in the morning—not right then, Deluca says. 

The bottom line:

If you've tried and failed to fall back asleep and you’re within an hour of your typical wake-up time, get up and start your day. “A REM cycle lasts about ninety minutes, so you won’t be missing out on high-quality sleep,” Anderson says.

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