Top Reasons And Treatments To Stop Tossing And Turning While You Sleep

Written by in Sleep Health

Top Reasons And Treatments To Stop Tossing And Turning While You Sleep

Tossing and turning is something known the world over. We all have been in the position of losing sleep because we are continually repositioning ourselves in bed. In fact, tossing and turning while sleeping is kind of an oxymoron because so few of us sleep when we are restless. Amazingly,  we do not know where the idiom, “tossing and turning in bed,” originates.


Top Reasons We Toss And Turn At Night

Many factors can make us toss and turn in sleep. Stressors are present no matter where we live in the world. Even children feel stress due to school responsibilities or home dynamics. Stress can lead to chronic sleep deprivation, as we find ourselves tossing and turning at night. Here are some of the main reasons we have trouble sleeping

Poor Sleep Patterns

Sleep Disorders

Sleep disorders, such as snoring or sleep apnea, is a primary reason for tossing and turning while sleeping. Snoring can occur when the tongue falls across the windpipe during sleep. This blocks the airway and snoring may result. Sleep apnea has various causes. Excess weight can cause the soft tissue in the neck area to block the throat when the throat and tongue become more relaxed. The problem with sleep apnea is that even if the sufferer does not realize he is tossing and turning in bed, their partner may. Without treating the underlying problem and having a bed with supreme motion isolation, both partners may find themselves tossing and turning at night.


As we age our body changes. Sometimes, we may find ourselves tossing and turning in bed because of various aches and pains. Joints can be painful, and bony prominences can become tender. In these cases, it’s essential to have a comfortable mattress that contours to our body. But, that’s not all. An adjustable bed frame that can take the stress off your spine is also vital. Many people find comfort sleeping in a zero-gravity position.

Acid Reflux

Acid reflux occurs when acid comes back up the esophagus. This can occur when you are lying flat in bed. The resulting heartburn can result in sleepless nights.
Tossing And Turning While You Sleep acid reflux


As we get older, our heart finds it harder to pump blood up from the lower extremities. This results in liquid pooling in our lower legs and feet, causing pain with walking, and tossing and turning in bed. Lifting your legs and feet at night so that they are above your head can give your circulation a boost.

Other Underlying Causes of Poor Sleep


Did you ever wonder why sometimes you seem to start worrying when you lie down to sleep? Tossing and turning in bed exacerbates anxiety, and a vicious cycle ensues. At night, some of the coping methods that we use during the day can be ineffective or cause more difficulty falling asleep. Stress affects people of all ages – from children to the elderly. Learning successful strategies to work through stress without losing sleep is essential.
Weighted blankets, also known as gravity blankets, are known to aid mental health issues like stress and anxiety, and make falling asleep and staying asleep easier.

Tossing And Turning While You Sleep

Why Sleep Is Vital

When you sleep, your body performs critical bodily functions such as repairing and rejuvenating the cells. It is also the time when the brain recharges and relaxes so it can function better the next day. Sleep improves your mood and strengthens your immune system. If you are sleep deprived, your brain and body can’t perform these essential functions. Your cells won’t be replenished, and your brain cannot recharge.

How to Stop Tossing and Turning: Sleep Hygiene

Have you heard of the term“sleep hygiene?” The term was first coined in 1939 by Nathaniel Kleitman. It became mainstream after 1977 when researchers started performing studies. Bad habits typically cause poor sleep hygiene. Having an effective sleep hygiene program is essential for learning how to stop tossing and turning at night. Good sleep hygiene doesn’t mean you have to take a shower to achieve a perfect night’s sleep. However, you do have to wash off those toxic bedtime habits you have.

Some of the most common factors of tossing and turning while sleeping is associated with lifestyle including:

  • Eating before going to bed
  • Drinking too much coffee
  • Alcohol intake
  • Blue light from your TV or phone screen
  • Watching or listening to stressful information before sleep
  • A warm temperature in the bedroom
  • Lack of activities to do during the day
  • Not having a consistent sleeping schedule

Having an effective sleep hygiene program is essential for learning how to stop tossing and turning at night. Here are some ways for you to get back to restorative sleep.

Daily Habits To Help You Get A Good Night’s Sleep

  1. When possible, wake up in the morning and sleep at night.

This is a fundamental concept, yet many people fail to follow this routine. Sleep before 11 pm and wake up at 8 am. You need to sleep for at least 7-9 hours every day. This is the body’s natural cycle.

  1. Allow sunlight in your bedroom.

Waking up to natural sunlight first thing in the morning can improve your metabolism, enhance your mood, and increase alertness.To achieve this, open your blinds or curtains.  Try to dedicate some time outside. Have a cup of coffee or read a book for a while to soak in some sunshine. During the winter when the nights are long, opt for light bulbs that mimic sunlight to give your room a morning feel. To prevent Seasonal Affective Disorder, you can install a therapeutic light box during winter.

  1. Do morning exercises to enhance your metabolism.

Morning exercises are great to boost your metabolism. Cycling is a great exercise that boosts circulation, improves your heart, targets your core muscles, and helps a number of joints. If your joints are sore, you can’t go wrong with swimming. You can also walk or jog.  Go outside, grab your earphones, and breathe deeply.

Knee Pain While Sleeping

  1. Avoid social media when you first wake up.

Stay away from your phone when you’re waking up since this can lead to brain drain. When you check your phone first thing in the morning, you get hit with numerous notifications and start the day on someone else’s terms.

  1. Take a cool shower in the morning.

Hot showers and warm baths are ideal at night. But for the morning, make it a habit to take a cool shower to wake you up.

  1. Avoid caffeine after 2:00 PM.

Your average caffeine consumption should be limited to two to three cups a day. After 2 pm, avoid drinking coffee and stay away from energy drinks, as well. Drinking any caffeinated beverage too late in the day can cause tossing and turning in sleep.

  1. Develop a consistent bedtime routine.

Make it a habit to drink decaf or caffeine-free tea, do some light stretches, and write in your journal before you go to sleep. Doing this ritual every evening may help your body sleep at a consistent time and prevent tossing and turning in sleep.

  1. Avoid a heavy lunch to prevent brain drain and fatigue.

Eat a light lunch to beat post-lunch fatigue and brain drain. Your meals should include small servings of protein with fewer carbs and sugar.

  1. Afternoon power nap.

If you feel sleepy during the day, you can try to sneak in a 30-minute power nap. But if you can’t, there are still alternatives, such as munching on crunchy healthy snacks (nuts), drinking a cold beverage, stretching, sitting outside, sucking on ice, chewing gum, or washing your face with cool water.

  1. Eat dinner before 7 pm and limit alcohol intake.

Eating earlier will help your body sleep better at night. Apart from that, you also need to limit your alcohol intake to 1 serving or if possible, skip it. This is because alcohol disrupts the natural sleep and wake cycle of the body.

  1. Adjust your room temperature.

Make sure the temperature in your room is at least 60-68 degrees for you to sleep well.

  1. Read before you sleep.

Reading can make you sleepy. Make sure you keep some books beside your bed in case you find it difficult to sleep.

  1. Download a mindfulness or meditation app.

There are several calming and meditation apps you can download and try. They can help you get some good sleep.

  1. Make sure you have a proper mattress and bed frame.

A good bed frame and mattress are not just for the elderly. Children need restorative sleep for better learning during the day. Adult partners can benefit from a split-king adjustable bed frame so that they can customize their sleeping position, lessening the chance of either partner tossing and turning in bed.

  1. Get a sleep study.

If you continue tossing and turning in bed, consider getting a sleep study. Chronic sleep deprivation can be hazardous for you and those around you. Sleep studies can help pinpoint the cause of your sleeplessness.

Learning how to stop tossing and turning at night varies for each person. Only you know your stressors, effectiveness of your sleep hygiene habits, and the state of your bed. Tossing and turning can become a memory once you develop better sleep habits.