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Midnight To-Do Lists

Now I lay me down to sleep, or rather I try. Sometimes I get it right, even if it only works for a little while. Then I am wide awake. It is 1 AM in the morning, and sleep is nowhere to be found.

For years, I tossed and turned. But honestly, all that happens when I partake in said tossing and turning is that I get incredibly grumpy, my skin hurts, and my body complains.

Insomnia and late night productivity

One realization changed this time of night for me. It does not matter how long I lay there when that feeling hits (oh, you know what feeling I mean).

I am awake, so I may as well get myself up and do something productive. That way, when I go back to sleep, at least I feel like I have accomplished something.

Keep the volume down

Seriously, keep the noise levels down. Not only will your family appreciate this so they can continue their peaceful rest (as much that irks me some days), but it will also stop your mind and body from getting over-enthusiastic.

You know, like a puppy that thinks it is going for a walk. If I listen to music at all, I opt for low volume relaxation or meditation music. Most nights, though, I just enjoy the peace and quiet, as it is a rare treat in waking hours.

Don't fall into the aggravation trap

You can either get up and just be awake and get on with doing some things, or you can really just grumble and be cross about it. Make no mistake, most days I am deeply annoyed about it, and some days it is more than usual.

Importantly though, I make a conscious decision to be okay with it, calm down, and regulate my emotions. Or else it could send me spiraling down the rabbit hole of aggravated thoughts.

We do not sleep well, and no matter how much we want to will this into existence, it does not work.

Nighttime activities

So what do I do when I can't sleep? A question that has been posed to me for many reasons, many times over. Here is a list of my go-to activities:

  • Reading
  • Drink some sleepy tea (Melissa tea, also known as lemon balm) no sugar and creamer though
  • Writing
  • Pack lunch for the next day when it is a school night
  • Make a list of things I want to do the next day or that week coming
  • Fold the laundry
  • A quiet bath with some relaxing Epsom salts and essential oils (lavender, chamomile, Clary Sage)

Always remember, if you use your phone or tablet to switch your blue light settings down. I find this does actually make a big difference.

Repeat your bedtime routine

Not all of us have bedtime rituals, but I do. I brush my teeth, moisturize my skin, bathroom trip, and drink some water. I make sure my room is calm and my bed is made and ready for me to slide in.  

Once I have been awake and done all the things, and I feel I could possibly fall asleep again, I go through the motions again. I like to tell myself that it tricks my mind and body into thinking it is sleep time again. Whether or not this actually works is beyond my brain. But I like to think that it does.

What do you do when you wake up during the night? Do you stay in bed? Do you get up? Tell us more in the comments below, or share in this forum, here!

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