Insomnia is a catch-22. Not being able to sleep when you know you need to is stressful, but stress keeps you awake. Thanks to this paradox we've all had the deeply unpleasant experience of waking in the middle of the night, which stresses up out, which makes us even more wakeful, which stresses us out even further, and on and on and on.
So how do you break out of this loop of stress and wakefulness and finally get the rest you need?
Many people's natural first reaction is to reach for their phone or tablet to distract themselves. Bad idea. Not only are these devices mentally stimulating, but the blue light they emit is basically a wildly ringing alarm clock for your brain. Go the late night Google route and you're almost certainly doomed to toss and turn until dawn.
But there is a better option according to short but supremely useful video from Tech Insider (Hat tip to lifehacker for the pointer). In it, Dr. Erich P. Voigt of NYU Langone, suggests a simple cure to get you back to sleep when insomnia hits. Just breathe deeply and rhythmically in through your nose and out through your mouth, while mentally chanting "relax."
It sounds too simple to work, but Voigt explains that doing this exercise will cause your nervous system to release hormones that will help you relax. If this is an issue you struggle with, check out the video below for all the details.