Do’s and Don’ts for When You Wake...

Do’s and Don’ts for When You Wake Up in the Middle of the Night and Can’t Fall Back Asleep

by Linda Mendes
Jobs People Do | JobsPeopleDo.com

You have most likely woken up in the middle of the night and had trouble going back to sleep, haven’t you? Whether it was caused by a nightmare or just randomly waking up, it can be frustrating not being able to fall back asleep. The following are a few things to do and things to not do to help you fall asleep the next time you wake up in the middle of the night.

What to Do

  • Keep Lights Dim or Off

When trying to go to sleep, make sure it is dark. If your lights are on, they will make you feel alert. Try to keep your surroundings dark. Also, if you get up in the middle of the night, keep your lights dim, if possible. You may also want to have blackout curtains in case you have trouble going back to sleep once the sun has begun rising.

  • Keep a Journal Nearby

Sometimes it may be hard to sleep through the night because you might be stressed, worried, or even excited about something. To help clear your mind, it might help if you write down your thoughts and feelings in a journal. Make sure to keep your lights dim or use a flashlight to avoid disrupting your body clock.

  • Meditate

Meditating is a good way to help you relax and fall back asleep. You could simply meditate while lying in bed on your back and with your head on your pillow. Just take deep breaths and try to relax your body and mind. Meditating can help you relieve tension and stress allowing you to fall back asleep much easier.

What NOT to Do

  • Stare at the Clock

When you can’t sleep, you may often feel tempted to keep checking the clock. Try to stop checking the time so much. Continuously checking the clock can make you feel anxious about not sleeping, which can keep you awake for much longer. It may help if you turn your clock around or keep any technology (such as a phone) away from you.

  • Check Your Phone

Technology emits blue light which can keep you awake. It can disrupt your body’s melatonin production. Melatonin is a hormone made by your brain that can help you fall asleep. If for any reason you have to check your phone, make sure to keep the device on night mode, if possible.

  • Drink Caffeine Before Bed

Drinking beverages with caffeine in the evening or at night can disrupt the amount of sleep you get. You might be able to fall asleep at first but you may then find yourself waking up in the middle of the night. Once you wake up in the middle of the night, it will probably take a while for you to fall back asleep due to the caffeine in your body. It is best to avoid consuming caffeinated drinks approximately six hours before going to sleep.

If none of these tips work and you often find yourself having trouble going back to sleep, it is best to consult a doctor. They should be able to help you figure out the cause of your restless nights.



Headspace. “How to fall back asleep.” https://www.headspace.com/sleep/fall-back-asleep.

Hubbard, Ashley. “How to Fall Back Asleep After Waking at Night.” Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-fall-back-asleep.

Lebowitz, Shana. “7 things not to do before you go to sleep.” Insider. https://www.businessinsider.com/what-not-to-do-before-you-go-to-sleep-2016-3#-4.

WebMD. “7 Ways to Get Back to Sleep.” https://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/tips-for-better-sleep.

Yetman, Daniel. “10 Tips to Fall Back Asleep After Waking Up at Night.” Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-go-back-to-sleep.

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