Insomniacs, What Do You Do When You Wake Up and Can’t Go Back to Sleep? Here’s What People Said.

I don’t really deal with it anymore, but when I was younger I had a TON of problems sleeping at night.

Maybe it was stress. Maybe it was anxiety. Heck, maybe it was too much caffeine.

But it definitely wasn’t fun and I’m glad I sleep pretty well these days.

What do you do when you can’t go back to sleep at night?

Insomniacs of AskReddit spoke up.

“Lie there for hours and feel like s**t in the morning.

Occasionally take a shower.”

“Get up, get a glass of water in the kitchen, check doors are locked, brush teeth and most importantly, go pee… then go back to bed.

If that doesn’t work, try the self loathing option!”

“I do a reset.

If I can’t get back to sleep, I get up and walk through my bedtime routine again and then get back into bed.

It usually works!”

“I usually listen to a podcast rather than look at anything on my phone.

I find that the light from the screen only makes it less likely that I’ll be able to fall asleep again.”

“I get up for the day. I’ve had some days where I’m running on half an hour of sleep.

It truly sucks but I don’t know what else to do, if I just lay there I never actually fall back asleep and usually end up getting out of bed a few hours later.”

“Laying there is definitely not helpful. But neither is just getting up.

What I learned from insomnia therapy (CBT) is you should get up, sit down in another room or at least away from your bed and do something like read the paper or play solitaire. Something that doesn’t keep you up but takes your mind off things. I usually listen to a podcast or audiobook.

When you feel tired again, try going back to bed. If you can’t sleep, at least you gave your brain a little extra time to rest.”

“I lay there annoyed that I’m not asleep and then start thinking about all my personal failings until I fall back asleep half an hour before the alarm.”

“I relive all the awful, uncomfortable, embarrassing, humiliating experiences or mistakes I’ve made in my entire life and deride myself for being an idiot, because that’s a really useful way to spend time at 3:30am.

And then I fantasize about winning the lottery.”

“Get up and wander around, trying to figure out why I’m not asleep. Do I need to pee? Am I too hot/cold? Do I need some water? If I drink the water, will I need to pee again? I hear an owl. It sounds so close.

If I go to the window, will I see it? OMG, it’s right there! Watch the owl for a while. Get into bed. Realize that my back hurts. Maybe that’s why I’m awake. Try to go back to sleep, since I’m already back in bed, it’s not happening. Get up for some painki**ers.

Try to pee again just in case, since I just drank another glass of water. Get back into bed. Every anxiety I’ve ever had crowds into my head. Listen jealously to my husband’s untroubled slumber.

Get out my iPad and earbuds to watch something to distract my brain. Doze off for an hour or two to Blue Planet, wake up tired.”

“Read a book. It usually puts me too sleep.

If I am stressed and woke from a nightmare, I will do a few breathing exercises or meditation to calm down before trying to sleep.”

“1: Do NOT get on your phone, turn on the TV, or turn the lights on if your intent is to go back to sleep. You’re just going to f**k up your brain.

2: Lay still, close your eyes, and start with the letter A. Name five things from a category that start with A. Baby names, City names, items in a grocery store, types of animals, things you would find in an office, whatever…name five things from that category that start with the letter A, then move onto the letter B, then C, and so on. I skip Q and X.

3: If you make it through to Z, move onto another category.”

Do you have trouble sleeping?

What do you do when you’re up late at night?

Talk to us in the comments!

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