Insomnia? 5 Productive Things To Do If You Wake Up In The Middle Of The Night
This isn’t medical advice, I’m no expert, well I guess I could be. I often wake up in the middle of the night. I’m an active dreamer so sometimes just fall back in and finish off whatever dream I was in at the time.
Other times, I don’t.
I used to look at the ceiling, look at the pillow, look at the dark, look at the light creeping in around the curtains.
Now I don’t.
I do something.
So if you are someone who is also bored of gazing at the shadow of a light fitting. Someone who can’t get back to sleep after going for a 2am toilet break. If you’re someone who gets fed up of listening to the most annoying noise you ever can hear when you are wide awake, someone else snoring, then here’s a few ideas of how to change the routine.
1. Get up, go to the kitchen and make a drink
NO! Not alcohol. Have a glass of water, your body may be telling you to drink especially if you did have a few glasses of booze or eat salty food the day before. Make a warm drink, something soothing or relaxing, milky or camomile.
Whilst you are waiting for the kettle to boil, or whilst sipping the glass of cool water. Prepare your breakfast. See you doubted me for a minute, thought how is a cup of tea productive. Stick with me here people!
Get your cutlery and crockery out of the cupboards or dishwasher. Put porridge oats in soak in a cup in the fridge. Put the coffee beans in the grinder. Do something that will save you time in the morning when you are always in a rush.
2. Do the thing that is on your mind
Quite often your mind will harp on about something you need to do. Finish your kid’s homework, iron your shirt.
If you are going on a trip, it may remind you to pack something. Well do it now, or if that isn’t practical, write a note to remind you, put it where you can’t miss it and forget it, pin it to your case.
Ten minutes ironing that shirt or doing a page of spellings or sums can really save hours of sleeplessness telling your self not to forget to find it. (I know you shouldn’t do your child’s homework, but get real, it happens.)
3. Write down your dreams
OK, so you should know me by now. I don’t have to tell you that you should always have a pen and paper to hand. If you aren’t alone and didn’t want to put that light on, remember it’s a lot less annoying to spend a few minutes with a light on than hours spent trying to sleep next to someone tossing and turning all night.
Whilst the dream is fresh, write it down, it woke you for a reason. Once you’ve scribbled it down you can often just fall back asleep. You’ll be surprised when you read your notes at a later date. Try to develop the ideas into a story, or draw a picture based on your recollections. Great art has been inspired this way.
4. Dictate your to do list
If you work hard, and don’t we all, you will no doubt have something work-related to resolve. I’m not talking a big long list, just three things, that’s it, just three. It could be to tell your boss about something that needs sorting before that big event, or to put something in your diary that you have just remembered. It may be to give a compliment or apology to a colleague, they left early before you got around to it.
The only thing to do, is pick it up, go to voice notes and dictate a note to your self to remind you. This one’s handy if you are only half awake, as you can slur into the device and drop straight back off again, trust me.
If you suffer from FOMO (Fear of missing out) don’t have your phone to hand, put it where you can’t reach it whilst in bed. If you are a sufferer of this century’s most common burden, fight it. Don’t dictate, write it down instead. Yes, on that trusted paper at the bedside. You do have a pad and pen there don’t you?!
Most of us have a phone at our bedside. DO NOT GO ON SOCIAL MEDIA! Don’t just quickly look at emails, don’t check that holiday price, don’t play Minecraft or any other game, it will just lead to a long and winding road into the wide world of the web and you’ll be entangled, and wide awake, for hours!
My fifth suggestion…
5. Make love
OK, so making babies is productive isn’t it? Maintaining your relationship is just as important as being prepared for that conference or business meeting. I would argue it’s more so.
Sex produces oxytocin which helps you sleep. You’ll also have that added bonus, a double whammy of healthy exercise and burning calories, RESULT!
Maybe I’ve helped, I’d love for you to share your advice for those of us who wake in the night. How do you switch off?
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