Tips for When You’re Awake in the Night

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Help! I’m Having a Terrible Sleep

It’s the middle of the night and you are wide awake…again. Panic begins to set in as you think about what you need to do tomorrow and how exhausted you’ll be. Before you spend the next hours anxiously awake, we have some helpful advice so you can drift back into dreamland.

Here are some tips to help you fall back asleep:

  • First, don’t just try to “push through it.”
  • Although it can be tempting to get onto the computer, avoid interacting with anything that has a screen. The light coming from these screens could confuse your nervous system and interfere with your sleep cycle.
  • Stop watching the clock. If you do sense that you have been awake for more than 30 minutes though, get up and engage another activity until you feel sleepy again.
  • Take the opportunity to do a couple of things around the house. Choose tasks you can do without a lot of physical or mental activity such as paperwork or household chores. For example: Sort your mail (but don’t pay any bills!), update your address book if you have it on paper (avoid getting on the computer), make a grocery list, fold clothes, sort recycling, and/or make a “to-do” list.
  • Practice some easy techniques for calming your mind to make it easier to fall back asleep. Meditation, breathing exercises and progressive relaxation activities have been shown to be effective ways to improve ability to fall back asleep. Check out the links below to learn more about sleep techniques:

“A 10 Step Mindfulness Practice for Better Sleep” (Huffington Post)

“Better Sleep Through Meditation: 4 Techniques to Try Tonight” (Health.com)

Share your tips in the comment section below.

We are interested in your feedback. By sharing your tips of how you get back to sleep a night, you can help others live well and sleep better.

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Comments (11)

A hot bath/shower.

Hi Kathleen – This is a helpful tip. Thank you for sharing your opinion with our community.

Diffuser with essential oils such as some lavender or cedarwood. The moisture created is also great for those dry eyes.

Also, a drop of essential Clove oil on your pillow (may need two dabs if you turn your face from one side to the other during the night)

That’s a great tip, Kelley. Natural oils can be found at most health food stores and is a great holistic approach to sleep issues.

teas sometimes help me. there are several “nighttime” or “sleepytime” organic herbal teas. I also find reading a book can help–not one that requires study or deep thought, but something escapist (I’ve just discovered Joe Nesbo’s terrific crime novels, and sports memoirs are fun, too). I also use “rescue remedy” by Bach Original Flower Remedies. finally, mindful or meditative breathing is essential for me. of course, these help, but do not always put me to sleep…

These are all great suggestions, Wayne. Be sure to avoid teas that contain caffeine and try something like chamomile or valerian root tea. If you are wanting to add any herbs, supplements or ‘rescue remedy’ to your daily intake, it’s important to discuss this with your doctor beforehand.

My neurologist referred me to this website. I just started reading through it and I’m so excited to find so many things to help me. I was recently diagnosed and I’m really scared of what my future may hold. I’m 70 years old & I want to be as active as I can for as long as I can. Thanks for listening!!

Thanks for stopping by, Kathleen. We’re glad you’re finding our resources helpful. One of the resources we have that people love is our Every Victory Counts e-book. If you haven’t already requested a digital copy, you can do so here.

My trick to ridding myself of a very achy stiff back in the morning is a hot shower as soon as I get out of my bed!!

It might seem silly, but after a hot bath, laying in bed listening to talk on my favorite subject which in my case is spirituality actually help me to drift into sleep.

I use my mantra which I was given back in the day when the Maharishi was all the rage. I was initiated at the instigation of a girlfriend. I never found that it helped me to meditate but it does send me to sleep so my money wasn’t wasted.

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