Tell us about your experiences with weight management. Take our survey!

Navigating the Dreaded Middle-Of-The-Night Wake-Ups

Middle-of-the-night wake-ups are the worst, am I right, or am I right? You know you have been there. You roll over with your eyes wide open and take a look at the clock only to find you had about an hour and a half of sound sleep.

Morning is hours away and you don't feel the least bit sleepy anymore. It looks like you are awake now for the long haul – it's just you, the ceiling and that hateful clock counting down the minutes with all the urgency of a snail trudging through mud.

I don't accept these wake-ups. I wholeheartedly reject them and fight them tooth and nail. Here's how.

Shut eye

I close my eyes. Sounds simple enough doesn't it?

I am well aware of the fact that if I lie awake with my eyes open, I will start to feel more and more like my night is over, and that is the last thing I want. Even if my eyelids don't want to shut, I force them. I am in charge of my body after all.

The urge to scroll

I do not, and I mean do not, pick up my phone. As easy as that would be to do, it is right there beside me on the nightstand, I resist the urge to scroll.

I fought this battle for many years, scrolling the night away, hoping my insomnia would just give in to the mindless activity and let me drift off. It didn't happen, and I would end up more alert than I ever needed to be at 2 in the morning.

Adjust as needed

I readjust. By this I mean I rearrange my pillows, turn over to face the other direction, pull my weighted blanket up a little higher if it has worked its way down to the foot of the bed, and settle into a more comfortable position.

I try hard not to make a big production of this – the more gentle the transition, the better the chance I will drift back off.

Mind over matter

Whatever happens and no matter how I feel, I don't get out of bed. This is a tough one. I know lots of people get up and go to the bathroom, or head to the kitchen in the middle of the night, but I fight with everything in me to stay under those covers.

I clear my mind. It's so easy for the wheels to start turning at that hour, especially when I feel panicky about not falling back to sleep. I have picked up some great tips from Tracy Hannigan's articles. This one is my go-to when I wake up in the middle of the night.

Developing a well-planned strategy

Insomnia is a beast, but I am in this war to win it. Middle of the night wake-ups are one battle for which I have a well-planned strategy. I may not have insomnia licked, but I am taking things one night at a time until the time comes for me to regroup, plan a new attack, and gather new reinforcements.

I can do this, and so can you.

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Insomnia.Sleep-Disorders.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Join the conversation

Please read our rules before commenting.