How to battle sleepless nights

Temporary insomnia is inadequate or poor-quality sleep lasting anywhere from one night to a few weeks. Temporary insomnia can be a single episode or recurring episodes of insomnia separated by periods of normal sleep. There are no formal criteria for diagnosing insomnia, and what constitutes sufficient sleep for one person may be inadequate for another. Temporary insomnia may involve difficult falling asleep, difficulty maintaining sleep (waking up frequently), awakening too early, experiencing unrestful sleep, or a combination of the above.

The following suggestions are intended to help overcome temporary insomnia and maximize the chance of getting a healthy night’s sleep:

  1. Make your bedroom an inviting place. Keep the room free of clutter and distractions. Be sure you have the right bed and mattress for your needs. The wrong mattress can lead to musculoskeletal problems and sleep disturbances.
  2. Use the bed only for sleeping and sex. Avoid use of the bed for watching TV, eating, working, or any other activities. If you do wish to use the bed for a bit of nighttime reading, read only pleasure books in bed.
  3. Therapists often use “reconditioning” as part of a treatment plan for insomnia. With this method, people are “reconditioned” to associate the bed with sleep. If you find yourself unable to sleep at all, get out of bed and move to another room, so that you only associate the bed with sleep and not with wakefulness.
  4. Establish a regular sleep-wake cycle. Your body will learn to set its internal clock to your schedule and will eventually respond to internal cues to become sleepy at a given time and to awaken at a given time. A good way to begin this is by getting up at the same time every morning, even on weekends.
  5. Don’t nap. No matter how tempting it may be, an afternoon nap can make falling asleep at night even harder. “Extra” sleep on weekends can also throw off your regular sleep schedule and worsen midweek insomnia.
  6. Limit your consumption of caffeine in the afternoon and evening. Remember that eating chocolates and drinking cocoa and colas also are sources of caffeine.
  7. Watch your alcohol intake. Don’t drink any alcoholic beverages in the few hours prior to going to bed. Excessive amounts of alcohol at any time in the day can also disrupt sleep patterns and lead to unsatisfying sleep. Cigarette smoking can also worsen insomnia.
  8. Fit in some exercise during the day, but don’t exercise strenuously right before bedtime.
  9. Eat light meals in the evening. Eating heavily in the evening or eating just prior to going to bed can disrupt your sleep.
  10. Establish a “winding down” ritual in the evenings just prior to bedtime. Try to free your mind of distracting or troublesome thoughts and engage in a relaxing, enjoyable activity like reading, listening to music, or watching a pleasant film.

Secondary navigation

Simple lifestyle changes can make a world of difference to your quality of sleep.

Follow these 10 tips for a more restful night.

Keep regular sleep hours

Going to bed and getting up at roughly the same time every day will programme your body to sleep better. Choose a time when you’re likely to feel tired and sleepy.

Create a restful sleeping environment

Your bedroom should be a peaceful place for rest and sleep. Temperature, lighting and noise should be controlled so that your bedroom environment helps you to fall (and stay) asleep.

If you have a pet that sleeps in the room with you, consider moving it somewhere else if it often disturbs you in the night.

Make sure your bed is comfortable

It’s difficult to get restful sleep on a mattress that’s too soft or too hard, or a bed that’s too small or old.

Exercise regularly

Moderate exercise on a regular basis, such as swimming or walking, can help relieve some of the tension built up over the day. But make sure you do not do vigorous exercise, such as running or the gym, too close to bedtime, as it may keep you awake.

Cut down on caffeine

Cut down on caffeine in tea, coffee, energy drinks or colas, especially in the evening. Caffeine interferes with the process of falling asleep, and also prevents deep sleep. Instead, have a warm, milky drink or herbal tea.

Do not over-indulge

Too much food or alcohol, especially late at night, can interrupt your sleep patterns. Alcohol may help you to fall asleep initially, but it will disrupt your sleep later on in the night.

Do not smoke

Nicotine is a stimulant. People who smoke take longer to fall asleep, wake up more frequently, and often have more disrupted sleep.

Try to relax before going to bed

Have a warm bath, listen to quiet music or do some gentle yoga to relax your mind and body. Your GP may be able to recommend a helpful relaxation CD.

Write away your worries

If you tend to lie in bed thinking about everything you have to do tomorrow, set aside time before bedtime to make plans for the next day. The aim is to avoid doing these things when you’re in bed, trying to sleep.

If you cannot sleep, get up

If you cannot sleep, do not lie there worrying about it. Get up and do something you find relaxing until you feel sleepy again, then go back to bed.

Make an appointment to see your GP if lack of sleep is persistent and it’s affecting your daily life.

The NHS Apps Library has sleep apps that can help you sleep better.

Read more about insomnia.

Audio: sleep problems

In this audio guide, a doctor explains what you can do to give yourself the best chance of a good night’s sleep.

Page last reviewed: 4 July 2019
Next review due: 4 July 2022

Haim Pekel is an entrepreneur and shares tips on productivity and entrepreneurship at Lifehack. Read full profile

How to battle sleepless nights

  • Share
  • Pin it
  • Tweet
  • Share
  • Email

It all began with an idea I had before going to bed. Quite excited, I turned to write it down, stressed that I would forget it. The problem is that my enthusiasm didn’t settle down, I know that I had written everything down but I was anxious to begin and the possibilities swirled like a maelstrom in my head. When I finished, lo and behold, I had the entire workflow in front of me and I was quite content as one might expect. But guess what? Being content was not enough to cool down my enthusiasm; I had to see it through! So I set out to battle the night, began the project and when I finished it 3 hours later, I slept like a baby. When I woke up, I had more insight about why I had problems going to bed that night and how to avoid it in the future.

1. Deal With Issues, Ideas and Unfinished Tasks Before Going to Bed

As it turns out, when we turn to sleep, we lower our guard. Our body relaxes, our body temperature drops and, as a result, our brain’s floodgates come tumbling down, sweeping away our sleep and bringing into our conscious mind thoughts from our subconscious that lay dormant during the day. I found out in retrospect that I was entertaining this idea the entire day and I was unaware that not dealing with it in that exact moment, (i.e. writing it down) would cause me to lose several hours of sleep! Unresolved projects, unfinished tasks, a full inbox that demands our attention – they all come back at night to haunt us. And to make things worse, if we fall asleep, those things that we were not able to solve during the day, visit us in our dreams. If you’re not suffering from insomnia or other sleep depriving medical conditions, the best way to fight sleepless nights is to process everything that needs to be processed during the day, without procrastinating or postponing to-do things that you’re already partially aware of. This doesn’t mean you have to do it, you just have to get it out of your head and into the right list.

2. Tackle your Tasks 2 Hours Before You Go to Bed

The phenomenon that propels this suspense/excitement/anxiety that catches us unprepared at night and prevents a much needed shut-eye is called the Zeigarnik effect. The Zeigarnik effect is our innate tendency to remember an uncompleted or unresolved tasks rather than a completed one. When we complete tasks and projects, they evaporate from our memory, leaving much room that is instantly occupied by unprocessed business and as a result leaves us awake at night. That’s why the things that cry for your attention on the to-do list must be closed before you go to sleep. If you can’t close them, at least have a plan that will detail (preferably step-by-step) how you’re going to tackle that pesky task the next day. This way your mind will know it’s taken care of. The key is to do all of this at least 2 hours before you head hits the pillow. This will give your subconscious enough time to process that your tasks have been handled.

3. Follow Your Real-Life Dreams

I also found the above phenomena stealing sleep from me on projects that were not that urgent, i.e. those on my someday/maybe list. Since it’s a list of things that I dream to do one day, they have the potential to occupy the slot between dream and day time. Another dangerous side effect of not following up on your dreams (and what are someday projects if not dreams waiting for realization) can result in remorse – and remorse can and will keep you awake at night. Make sure those items are handled as well as the more pressing ones, but whatever you do, leave enough space between planning and sleep. Cutting it too close might create an opposite effect.

What do you do to battle your sleepless nights? Leave a comment with your own personal tips and advice on how to get a good night’s sleep.

If you are suffering from insomnia, there are many steps you can take to change behaviors and lifestyle to help you get to sleep. Here are some tips for beating insomnia.

  1. Wake up at the same time each day. It is tempting to sleep late on weekends, especially if you have had poor sleep during the week. However, if you suffer from insomnia you should get up at the same time every day in order to train your body to wake at a consistent time.
  2. Eliminate alcohol and stimulants like nicotine and caffeine. The effects of caffeine can last for several hours, perhaps up to 24 hours, so the chances of it affecting sleep are significant. Caffeine may not only cause difficulty initiating sleep, but may also cause frequent awakenings. Alcohol may have a sedative effect for the first few hours following consumption, but it can then lead to frequent arousals and a non-restful night’s sleep. If you are on medications that act as stimulants, such as decongestants or asthma inhalers, ask your doctor when they should best be taken to help minimize any affect on sleep.
  3. Limit naps. While napping seems like a proper way to catch up on missed sleep, it is not always so. It is important to establish and maintain a regular sleep pattern and train oneself to associate sleep with cues like darkness and a consistent bedtime. Napping can affect the quality of nighttime sleep.
  4. Exercise regularly. Regular exercise can improve sleep quality and duration. However, exercising immediately before bedtime can have a stimulant effect on the body and should be avoided. Try to finish exercising at least three hours before you plan to retire for the night.
  5. Limit activities in bed. The bed is for sleeping and having sex and that’s it. If you suffer from insomnia, do not balance the checkbook, study, or make phone calls, for example, while in bed or even in the bedroom, and avoid watching television or listening to the radio. All these activities can increase alertness and make it difficult to fall asleep.
  6. Do not eat or drink right before going to bed. Eating a late dinner or snacking before going to bed can activate the digestive system and keep you up. If you suffer from gastroesophageal reflux (GERD) or heartburn, it is even more important to avoid eating and drinking right before bed since this can make your symptoms worse. In addition, drinking a lot of fluids prior to bed can overwhelm the bladder, requiring frequent visits to the bathroom that disturb your sleep.
  7. Make your sleeping environment comfortable. Temperature, lighting, and noise should be controlled to make the bedroom conducive to falling (and staying) asleep. Your bed should feel comfortable and if you have a pet that sleeps in the room with you, consider having the pet sleep somewhere else if it tends to make noise in the night.
  8. Get all your worrying over with before you go to bed. If you find you lay in bed thinking about tomorrow, consider setting aside a period of time — perhaps after dinner — to review the day and to make plans for the next day. The goal is to avoid doing these things while trying to fall asleep. It is also useful to make a list of, say, work-related tasks for the next day before leaving work. That, at least, eliminates one set of concerns.
  9. Reduce stress. There are a number of relaxation therapies and stress reduction methods you may want to try to relax the mind and the body before going to bed. Examples include progressive muscle relaxation (perhaps with audio tapes), deep breathing techniques, imagery, meditation, and biofeedback.
  10. Consider participating in cognitive therapy. Cognitive therapy helps some people with insomnia identify and correct inappropriate thoughts and beliefs that may contribute to insomnia. In addition, cognitive therapy can give you the proper information about sleep norms, age-related sleep changes, and help set reasonable sleep goals, among other things.


American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Sleep Disorders Channel.

How to battle sleepless nights

Your eyes pop open at 2 or 3 AM, and try as you might, you just can’t fall back asleep. Sound familiar? “Everyone has an occasional restless night,” says Timothy Morgenthaler, MD, president-elect of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. “But if you regularly find it hard to get back to sleep within 15 or 20 minutes, or if you wake up more than two or three times per night, that can cause disruption in your daily life and is worth addressing.”

Why it happens
A normal night’s sleep includes many seconds-long mini-arousals—from 3 to 15 per hour—as a result of changes in brain wave activity. Most of the time we aren’t even aware of them, and they don’t affect sleep quality. But as we age, these mini-arousals happen more frequently and can become full-fledged awakenings for all sorts of reasons: stress, alcohol, noise, light—you name it. Try these tips to get you clear through the night.

How to battle sleepless nights

Deep breathing and mental imagery techniques can help you sleep through the night or return to sleep after you wake up. “Focusing on a positive experience—like imagining a beautiful beach—allows stress to fade into the background,” says Gary Elkins, PhD, director of the Mind-Body Research Program at Baylor University and the author of the new book Hypnotic Relaxation Therapy. Patients with insomnia meet with him weekly for five to eight hourly sessions to learn self-hypnosis. They get an audio recording of sessions and practice self-hypnosis daily at home. People tend to see results within 2 to 4 weeks, Dr. Elkins says.

More from Prevention: Can Hypnosis Turn You On?

How to battle sleepless nights

CBT-I has been found to be as effective as medication is for inducing sleep. “In people with sleep problems, confidence in the ability to sleep erodes,” says Ryan Wetzler, PsyD, of Sleep Medicine Specialists in Louisville. “We teach people what they might be doing wrong and how to reset the biological systems that regulate their sleep.”

How to battle sleepless nights

Eliminating anxiety about getting back to sleep can go a long way. “People who meditate are more relaxed, so when they wake up during the night, they may not get as upset,” says Ramadevi Gourineni, MD, associate professor in neurology at Northwestern University. As a result, they soon drift off again. Dr. Gourineni found that when insomniacs practiced Kriya yoga meditation for 15 to 20 minutes twice a day for 2 months, the time they spent awake in the middle of the night dropped from 75 minutes to 25. Other types of meditation and yoga might help as well—and even if you don’t have 30 minutes a day, a consistent practice of any length is likely to help. (Skeptical? Find the meditation style that matches your personality.)

How to battle sleepless nights

More than a third of Americans have acid reflux, and a majority are awakened by it. Your first lines of defense: Don’t eat within 3 hours of bedtime; try lifting your head 45 degrees to keep acid down; and avoid citrus, onion, carbonated drinks, mint, alcohol, and smoking. If these strategies don’t help, prescription proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) may.

How to battle sleepless nights

“Patients often tell me, ‘When I was a college student, I could drink fluids up until I went to sleep, and now all of a sudden it’s a problem,’ ” says Ariana Smith, MD, assistant professor of urology at the University of Pennsylvania. That’s likely because vasopressin, a hormone that suppresses urine production, declines as we age. If your sleep is being sabotaged by trips to the loo, try some simple lifestyle changes. Use the toilet before you go to bed, don’t drink within 2 to 3 hours of bedtime, and steer clear of alcohol and caffeine, which are diuretics. If these don’t help and you’re using the bathroom more than once a night, see a doctor, because this could signal a medical condition.

How to battle sleepless nights

Insomniacs who did 16 weeks of aerobic exercise—walking outside or using a treadmill or stationary bike—for 30 to 40 minutes four times a week slept an extra 75 minutes per night, finds a recent study published in Sleep Medicine. That’s more than other nondrug therapies have achieved, likely because exercise improves metabolism and decreases inflammation—both of which can enhance sleep quality and reduce daytime fatigue.

How to battle sleepless nights

A nightcap can certainly make drifting off to sleep easy, but as soon as that alcohol gets metabolized, you may wake up. Drink before sleep and you’ll get less REM sleep, the deep dream state that we need for good rest. Another thing to know: Levels of alcohol high enough to impair sleep differ among individuals—so your mate may sleep like a log after hoisting a drink or two, while you may toss and turn. Your best bet is to schedule last call 2 or 3 hours before heading to bed.

How to battle sleepless nights

People exposed to light at night had shallower sleep and were more likely to experience mini-arousals during the night in a 2013 study in the journal Sleep Medicine. “Melatonin levels are suppressed by even low levels of light, and that in turn is associated with disturbed sleep,” says Phyllis Zee, MD, director of the Sleep Disorders Center at Northwestern University. If you read on a tablet, switch from a white background with black font to a black background with white font, which emits less light. Also, dim your device to half brightness or less, and hold it 14 inches away from your eyes.

How to battle sleepless nights

Have you had yet another night of staring up at the ceiling, eyes held open by the anxiety of tomorrow’s trials and tribulations?

Is every morning complemented by the struggle of dragging yourself out of bed to the rhythmic wailing of the alarm clock, wishing you’d had more hours of sleep and that you were not a self-diagnosed victim of insomnia?

You’ve tried everything, from exercising late at night to staying in your bedroom hours beforehand to prepare your mind and body for sleep, but you still find exhaustion looming over you throughout the day.
Relax…here are 5 tips to help you sleep naturally and get you well on your way to a life of good regular kip.

It is a common misconception that exercising just before you go to bed will tire you out to the point that you’ll fall asleep as soon as your head hits the pillow, when, in fact, late night exercise can actually keep you awake for longer.
When you exercise, your body heats up due to the increased intensity of your pulse, which can adversely affect any attempts to avoid a sleepless night as the body needs to be a cool temperature to optimize the chances of falling asleep.

Regular exercise roughly between early morning and midday, however, can actually improve your sleeping pattern as it can relieve tension and stress as well as release endorphins, which help you relax and fall into a nice, deep slumber come bed time.

Create the Perfect Sleeping Environment

The environment you sleep in can play a big role in the difficulty you have getting to sleep.

Obviously, you’ll find it easier in a nice, quiet room, as opposed to standing against a wall in a nightclub next to the speakers. The point is, subtle factors can make all the difference, such as:
• Temperature of the room – not too cold and not too hot
• Lighting- darker the better
• Sounds – neighbor/street noise, dripping taps, creaky pipes
• Bedding – clean, mattress not too hard/soft

Try to control the environment as much as possible. People are different so adapt it to suit your needs – some might prefer the sound of waves or crickets rather than complete and absolute silence of anti-snoring aids.

Maintain a Regular Sleep Habit

Another sleep technique is to maintain regular sleeping hours.
The concept of a sleeping pattern is no myth, if your body falls into a natural rhythm, you will find it a lot easier to get to bed. Establishing a rough time at which you’ll feel sleepy can help you programme your body into a pattern, as biological clocks can be managed quite easily. This does not mean that you are to be only restricted to sleeping at night, though it can sometimes be just a tad more complicated to sleep at several intervals during the day and maintain this pattern.

Watch What You’re Eating & Drinking

There is a direct connection between food and sleep, so it’s worth taking notice of your diet, and all through the day, not just before bed time.
Food and drink high in caffeine for example will certainly keep you up, especially if they have been had in large quantities through the day or just before trying to go to sleep. Coffee, tea, carbonated drinks (soda, cola, etc.), energy drinks and chocolate make up the list of usual suspects that will keep you buzzing well into the early hours of the morning, due to the changes that caffeine creates in the chemistry of your brain.

Deal with Stress

If it’s tomorrow’s tasks that are the barrier keeping you from the warm, snuggly embrace of sleep, then the solution is at hand.

Simply write down your worries and assess them:
• How important they are
• How long you have to deal with them
• Possible solutions

Do this before you go to bed so they are no longer a persistent source of worry when you lie down. The idea is to separate the time for being active and dealing with these problems from the time that is required for rest, allowing you free to count sheep and not your troubles. You should be aware of the fact that these methods may not help you transition from wide-eyed and bushy-tailed to sawing logs in an instant, but if done properly, they can improve not only the quantity but the quality of your sleep, leaving you refreshed and ready for a new day.

Some insomnia is part of our 24-hour society. Here’s how to counter the effects of being sleep deprived.

How to battle sleepless nights

According to the American Insomnia Study, about 23 percent of American workers are sleep deprived, which costs the American economy $63.2 billion dollars a year in lost productivity.

American adults lose about 11 days a year to insomnia and often go to work too tired to do their jobs properly.

“We live in a society that is on the go 24 hours a day,” says David A. Neumeyer, MD, a sleep specialist at the Lahey Clinic in Burlington, Mass. “For many of us, that does not leave enough time for the seven or eight hours of sleep that we need every night. This can be especially dangerous if the sleep deprived worker has a job like a pilot, surgeon, or truck driver.

People at risk for insomnia and sleep deprivation include those with sleep disorders and medical conditions that interfere with sleep as well as caregivers and shift workers who have a tough time regulating their sleep hours.

Effects of Insomnia

“We are all familiar with the short-term effects of sleep deprivation — it makes you feel crummy, grumpy, and sleepy,” Dr. Neumeyer says. “The long-term effects can actually be pretty serious and can include obesity, depression, loss of memory, and serious accidents.”

Sleep deprivation can cause these additional negative consequences:

  • Mood changes from sleep deprivation include irritability, lack of motivation, and anxiety.
  • Performance effects include inattention, inability to concentrate, longer reaction times, and poor decision making.
  • Long-term physical effects may add to your risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes.

Short-on-Sleep Tips

“You can’t fight biology,” says Neumeyer. “The only cure for sleep deprivation is sleep.” But for many of us, there are days that we just have to cope with not getting enough sleep. Here are some tips that may help:

  • Eat well and stay hydrated. “When you are sleep deprived, your body tries to conserve energy so you may not have the energy or the appetite to eat and drink normally,” warns Neumeyer. Avoid fast food and empty-calorie snacks that can make you feel even less energetic.
  • Get some exercise. “Some moderate aerobic exercise can give you a temporary boost, but don’t overdue the exercise or you will make your fatigue worse,” he says.
  • Enjoy some fresh air and sunshine. “Getting out in the sunlight helps reset your biological clock,” Neumeyer says. Your body will stop making the hormone melatonin when you are exposed to bright sunlight, and that may make you less sleepy.
  • Drink some coffee. About 80 percent of adults use coffee as a stimulant. You may need to take more than one cup if you are recovering from a night of insomnia. “A couple cups of coffee can help, but avoid the energy jolt from a high-caffeine energy drink,” Neumeyer advises. “The rebound when the caffeine wears off can be much worse if you are sleep deprived.”
  • Try to look better than you feel. If you look sloppy or neglect your personal hygiene, you may start to look and feel even worse. Keeping up appearances can help you hang in there on a sleepy day.
  • Grab a quick nap. You can store up on sleep if you know you are going to have a sleepless night, so restore some energy and alertness by taking a quick nap during the day. Even 15 to 20 minutes can help. In fact, if you nap longer than 30 minutes, it may be too hard for you to wake up again.

“There is no substitute for a good night’s sleep,” Neumeyer says. “If you become sleep deprived, you can eventually make up for lost sleep, but you can’t do it in one night. You can catch up gradually over a few nights.” If you have long-term symptoms of sleep deprivation, or you suffer from frequent insomnia, talk to your doctor. Insomnia can be a sign of a serious medical problem and may need to be treated.

Although not everything is known about the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), taking precautions to prevent contracting the illness is vital.

The need for sleep to boost your immune system

One of the best things you can do if you do get sick with COVID-19 or any virus is to get plenty to sleep. Your body needs sleep to fight the infection if you are ill and help prevent the infection if you are not.

Although there are still some unknowns, it is thought that the majority of people who get COVID-19 will only develop a mild illness. Keeping your immune system as healthy as possible helps your body fight the infection.

If you do not get enough sleep, it lowers your immune system. When you sleep, your immune system releases cytokines. Some cytokines play a role in how your immune system functions. According to research in the peer-reviewed journal Brain, Behaviour and Immunity, lack of sleep may alter cytokines and affect the immune system response.

The exact amount of sleep a person needs to boost their immune system may vary. But according to the Mayo Clinic, most adults need seven to eight hours of quality sleep each night. Teens and school-age children need about 10 hours.

Sleep tips with the flu

Since getting good sleep is so vital to speed up recovery from COVID-19 or any infection, there are things you can do to promote quality sleep. Consider the following tips:

Take a warm bath: A warm bath may ease muscle soreness. It is also a nice way to relax before trying to sleep.

Go to sleep a little earlier: Now is not the time to skimp on sleep. Try to get another hour or two of sleep each night. Also, if you need a nap during the day, take one.

Use a humidifier: Place a cool-mist humidifier in your room to add moisture to the air. The increased moisture may help decrease congestion and ease coughing.

Elevate your head: If you have congestion, placing a few pillows under your head to prop yourself up may decrease stuffiness.

Create the right environment: The right environment helps promote sleep regardless of whether you are sick or not. But since getting enough rest helps your immune system, it is even more important to get the sleep you need. Most people sleep best in a dark and quiet environment that is not too warm.

Relax before going to sleep: With all the current uncertainty in the world, it can be hard to quiet your mind. But taking some time before you try to sleep to relax is helpful. Put aside your phone and log off social media. Instead, find something that helps you unwind, such as listening to music, reading, or doing deep breathing exercises.

Creating a sick room to avoid infection spread

But if you or a loved one do become infected, it is essential to try to prevent others in the household from becoming sick. This is especially critical if you have someone living in your home that is at high risk for complications.

While social distancing is recommended when you go out, it is difficult to do when you’re at home. But it is important to try to create a sick room if someone in your family has tested positive for COVID-19.

It appears COVID-19 is spread through contact with droplets from a sneeze or cough of an infected person. In addition to breathing in droplets, you can also contract the disease through contact with a surface contaminated with the virus. It is possible to get the infection by touching the surface and then touching your nose, eyes, or mouth.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), setting up a sick room may help prevent others in the home from getting sick.

Whether it is a bedroom or guest room, select an area in the home, which is preferably near a bathroom. Make it a space set aside for your sick family member. Other family members should avoid the room. If it is your partner, try to sleep in another room.

Place everything the person needs in their room, such as the following:

  • Hand sanitizer
  • Towel
  • Glass
  • Water
  • Tissues
  • Trash can
  • Blanket

Try to have the person that is infected stay in the room as much as possible to prevent spreading the infection throughout the family.

Preventing transmission in your home

In addition to setting up a sick room for someone that is infected with COVID-19, there are other things you can do to avoid the transmission of the virus in your home, including:

  • If possible, try to have only one caregiver for the person that is sick, instead of multiple people coming in contact.
  • Wash bedding every day in hot water and dry on high heat.
  • Frequently clean surfaces and objects that are touched a lot, such as toilet handles, doorknobs, and kitchen counters.
  • Wash your hands often and thoroughly. Use soap and warm water and wash for a minimum of 20 seconds.

Creating a sick room may be a little inconvenient for others in the home. But the short-term inconvenience can help prevent spreading the infection to others in your household. Remember, we each can do our part to slow the spread of infection.

Irwin, M. (2002). Effects of sleep and sleep loss on immunity and cytokines. Brain, behavior, and immunity, 16(5), 503-512.
Lack of Sleep: Can It Make You Sick? (2018). Lack of Sleep FAQ
The Flu; Caring for Someone that is Sick. (2010). Influenza Home Care Guide

In a recent national survey, 44 percent of adults said stress had caused sleepless nights at least once in the previous month. All that tossing, turning and staring at the ceiling can leave you feeling tired and more stressed the next day. If you’re caught in this vicious cycle of anxiety and insomnia, there’s good news: Simple stress relief techniques can help you sleep better and feel calmer.

Understanding Anxiety and Insomnia

What’s behind the more stress, less sleep connection? “If you’re frequently triggering your stress response, your body never gets back to its baseline,” says Johns Hopkins sleep expert Luis F. Buenaver, Ph.D., C.B.S.M.

“Stress and sleepless nights are closely linked,” Buenaver says. “If you’re in pain, tend to worry, or are coping with a difficult situation in your life, you may have more stress hormones than usual circulating in your body. A poor night’s sleep adds even more. And those hormones may never be fully broken down. It’s like running an engine in fifth gear all the time.”

Activate Your Body’s Relaxation Response

“We recommend planned relaxation activities to reduce stress. Watching a ballgame or movie on TV just isn’t the same as taking the time to fully relax,” says Johns Hopkins sleep expert Luis F. Buenaver, Ph.D., C.B.S.M. Try this plan:

1. Practice gentle breathing and progressive muscle relaxation every day (20 to 25 minutes) for two weeks. On a scale of 0 (“totally relaxed”) to 10 (“completely tense”), rate your level of emotional and physical stress before and after.

2. After two weeks, choose the exercise that works best for your anxiety and insomnia and keep it up every day. “With practice, your body and mind will learn to relax more quickly and deeply for fewer sleepless nights,” Buenaver says.

Stress Relief Techniques to the Rescue

“Activities that switch on the body’s natural relaxation response feel great,” Buenaver says. “And they have been proven by research to improve sleep. They help by reducing the release of the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline and by slowing your heart rate and breathing. Your body and mind calm down.”

Yoga, tai chi and meditation are helpful stress relief techniques. So are these two simple exercises that Buenaver recommends to patients who are struggling with sleepless nights.

Gentle breathing:

  • In a quiet place, sit or lie down in a comfortable position. It may help to close your eyes.
  • Breathe slowly in and out for about five minutes. As you inhale, breathe down into your belly. Focus on your breath.
  • If you’d like, repeat to yourself, “Breathing in I am calm, breathing out I am coping.”

Progressive muscle relaxation:

  • In a quiet place, sit or lie down in a comfortable position.
  • Take a few gentle breaths, in and out.
  • Begin tensing groups of muscles one at a time as you breathe. Hold the tension as you inhale, then release it as you exhale. Take a few breaths as you notice (and enjoy) how relaxed each muscle group feels.
  • Start with the muscles in your head, neck and face. Move down to your shoulders, hands and arms, back, stomach, buttocks, thighs, calves and feet.
  • Repeat for any areas that are still tense.

“As you go through this exercise, feel the presence and absence of tension so you can spot lingering tension and do something about it,” Buenaver says.

Sign Up for Our Free Newsletter

One of the best things you can do to protect and improve your health is to stay informed. Your Health is a FREE e-newsletter that serves as your smart, simple connection to the world-class expertise of Johns Hopkins.

How to battle sleepless nights

How to battle sleepless nights

How to battle sleepless nights

How to battle sleepless nights

How to battle sleepless nights

How to battle sleepless nights

How to battle sleepless nights

How to battle sleepless nights

How to battle sleepless nights

How to battle sleepless nights

How to battle sleepless nights

“Survive the night!”

Keep your campfire going through the night, so you don’t freeze. Cut down trees to get more wood and collect gold to buy better upgrades. Keep the zombies and other enemies under control so that they can’t do any harm!

The campfire is the heart of your camp and is the only way to survive through the night. Without the campfire near you, you’ll slowly start freezing until eventually, you die, so make sure it doesn’t extinguish! To achieve this cut-down trees, bring their branches to the sawmill, and replenish the campfire with the sticks you obtain this way.

If you have the campfire under control, perhaps it’s time to seek out the mines. In the mines you can secure valuable gold ores, which a nearby smeltery turns into gold nuggets for you – these can be used to buy new upgrades back at your camp. One upgrade, for example, lets you cut down trees faster!

✧ The Enchanting Table

One important feature of this map, however, has been left out so far: Spells. Each player can use two spells to increase their likelihood of surviving the night, and, the Enchanting Table gives you a chance to improve them. It converts mob loot into magic orbs, which are used to enhance spells.

One last essential factor of survival is food. The lake offers a great opportunity for fishing, and the campfire can cook fish for you. Additionally, berry bushes are scattered around woods, providing a decent food supply.

Submit a video showing how you got your score on our discord here or in the comments on this page, to appear on the leaderboard. Endless mode is recommended, but Default mode scores are valid. The player option has to be set to Default. Scores set with more than 3 players are not considered valid.

When trying to get a score for the leaderboard, it is recommended to use No / Custom Snow (You can change this in the lobby), and to play in Singleplayer or on a Server.

Sleepless Night has been updated many times, and the current version has significant differences to the original. Because of this, the leaderboard has been reset (2020-12-03). Scores on version 1.3.4 or higher are valid for the leaderboard. You can find the old leaderboard here.

This map was made for the first Vertex Map Jam, where each team (1-3 people) had to come up with a concept and create a themed map within 2.5 days. The themes were Winter & Magic. Seven of the participating teams submitted a map at the end of the jam. This map was made by Tsjo43, made up of McTsts, marhjo & Ds43m. With 27.09% of all submitted votes, this map received First Place. Before publishing this map, it has been slightly extended, balanced, and fixed.


Map by McTsts, marhjo & Ds43m

Extended with the help of Asometric, BartTheBart & federick