What to Do When You Can't Sleep and Are Bored

Do you have troubles falling asleep and staying asleep? Do you often find yourself just lying in bed and staring at the ceiling because you can’t come up with anything smart to do to help you fall asleep.

The reasons for having difficulties falling asleep may be numerous, but whatever is keeping you up at night, here are some funny and effective things to do when you can’t sleep and are bored. Last updated Aug 31, 2020 @ 5:41 pm

Tell Yourself a Story or Pick One Thing to Focus On

The first thing you can try even without getting out of bed is to tell yourself a story. This could work well for you if your brain is racing with stressful thoughts. It will shift your attention to something nice, maybe a favorite childhood story and help you fall asleep easier. You can try this every night and use the same story every time.

However, if telling yourself a story doesn’t help, you can try to focus on something specific other than “I can’t sleep”. Focus on your breathing instead or the good old sheep counting or something else that can make you sleepy. Repeat this over in your head until you fall asleep.

Pretend to Be Tired

Another way is to trick your brain into thinking that you are tired enough to fall asleep by pretending to be tired.

Focus on everything you feel when you are really tired like the sensation of sinking into your bed and soft sheets, dropping eyes, etc. and you might start experiencing this for real and fall asleep pretty quickly.

Do a Breathing Exercise

What may also help you fall asleep faster is a breathing exercise. Breathing exercises help decrease your heart rate, decrease blood pressure and promote better sleep.

All you need to do is to breathe in through your nose while counting to four, hold your breath and count to seven and then breathe out through your mouth while counting to four again.

Get Rid of Stressful Thoughts

If your mind is racing and there is something that really bothers you and that keeps you awake, you should try to write everything down. Grab a piece of paper or your journal and jot down all your worries.

Try to get everything out, all thoughts, all ideas and pressing issues so your brain doesn’t have to focus on them or worry about forgetting. This can reduce your anxiety, help you fall asleep faster and sleep better at night.

Read a Book

Reading can also help you calm down and fall asleep easier. Dim the lights in your room, grab an interesting book and read until you feel you are getting sleepy. Put away the book, turn off your lights and you will be able to easily fall asleep.

Listen to Music

Listening to music can have a calming effect on your brain and stimulate falling asleep. Opt for some relaxing, simple, acoustic music and after some time it will get your eyes to droop.

Use a White Noise App

Some people can’t sleep when it’s too quiet. If you are one of them, you can try to download a white noise app and it will fill your room with subtle sounds of household appliances such as fridges, fans, heaters, etc.

White noise is often associated with the sounds that babies hear while they are in a womb. This is why this kind of noise can have soothing and calming effects on some people and stimulate falling asleep faster.

Get Out of Bed

If after everything you’ve tried out you still can’t fall asleep, maybe you should get out of bed instead of lying there and stressing yourself out for hours. Get up, and do something that will help distract your brain and make you sleepy. Once you feel sleepy, you can go to bed again.

Make Your Room Dark

If the lights are keeping you awake, you should try to make your room completely dark. This means that you should turn off your lamp, pull your curtains to block lights from the street, even cover up blinking clocks, etc. It will be easier for you to fall asleep when there are no lights to distract you.

If some light still makes its way in, you can put your eye mask on or cover your eyes with a warm washcloth or a t-shirt.

Adjust the Temperature in Your Room

You can’t get a good and restorative night’s sleep if it is too hot or too cold in your room. The ideal sleeping temperature is somewhere between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit, so you should adjust your thermostat or simply turn on the fan when you are too hot and bundle up when you are cold.

Take a Relaxing Bath

If you have a tub, you can fill it and take a relaxing bath, or you can at least take a warm shower. It will relax your muscles, help you get rid of tension and make you feel drowsy and ready for sleep.

Drink Something Hot or Eat a Sleep-Inducing Snack

Drinking something hot before sleep can make you feel sleepy and help you fall asleep easier. You can have a glass of hot milk with honey or a cup of tea without caffeine.

Also, some foods can trigger sleep and help you sleep better at night thanks to their anti-stress nutrients. These include avocados which are rich in magnesium, bananas which also have magnesium as well as the sleep-inducing chemical tryptophan. You can also eat oatmeal, which will have the same effect on your sleep like bananas.

Avoid Using Electronic Devices That Emit Bright or Blue Lights before Bedtime

When we can’t sleep, we often scroll through our phones. But this can only make us stay awake longer. All electronic devices such as phones, tablets, TVs, etc. that emit bright or blue lights will keep your mind stimulated and make it difficult to fall asleep.

So, you should avoid using these devices at least two hours before bedtime or just keep your phone away from your bed and on silent.


Sometimes falling asleep won’t come so easily and it is often linked with stress. But there are a few interesting things you can do when you can’t sleep and are bored and we have mentioned some of them above.

We hope that following our tips will give you a much-needed push in the right direction and help you fall asleep easier and get a better night’s sleep.

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