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What shall I do when I wake up at night? Advice needed!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Hi All Sparkfriends,

This night I woke up at around 4am, and was up until 5am I think. I'm not sure why I woke up, there are a couple of things on my mind, but they are not so stressy that I would expect to wake up.

Maybe the workers out there, cleaning up the streets. It was snowing tonight, and in Austria when it snows at night, the brigades clean up the streets, so by 5-6 am, everything is clean and ready to be driven.

I also had an interesting dream, with a sudden twist, maybe I got surprised, and that woke me up...

I tried just to stay still in my bed, and don't read e-mails or on my phone, nor watch the clock on our Philips wake-up light. I was bit warm, but not hot by any means.

Here in Austria, it's still winter with snow:

I'm not sure what is the best strategy to do when I wake up in the middle of the night.
Shall I get up and do something in another room?
Shall I take a cold shower (to lower my body temperature)?
Shall I air the room?
Shall I read something boring on my kindle paperwhite in the bed?

I have read many type of tips and advice on the net, but I'd be interested, what do you do when you wake up at night?
What do you suggest?
All tips are welcome!

Member Comments About This Blog Post:
2WHEELER 2/13/2014 9:10AM

    When I can't sleep and it's the middle of the night, I either read for a short while or get up and do something active--empty the dishwasher, wash a few dishes, pick up around the house,etc. That 20-30 minutes of activity seems to re-set my sleep clock and I usually fall asleep when I get back in bed. It's definitely unconventional, but it works for me.

If I wake up about an hour early (typically get up at 5 a.m.), I will try to empty my mind and drift back to sleep. If I'm still awake at 4:30, I get up and start my day. I'm very tired in the evening, but I love having extra time in the morning to enjoy a leisurely breakfast, start dinner prep, or practice a little yoga.

Hope you find something that works for you. It's so important to get your emoticon .

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DDOORN 2/13/2014 8:20AM

    I also have a meditative / breathing routine which I find helpful. I normally practice this each morning before getting out of bed, but also find it helpful if I wake up in the night or am having trouble falling asleep.


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DALID414 2/13/2014 12:56AM

    Happen to me last night. I lay on my back and practice my yoga breathing; deep long inhales and long deep exhales, helps get me back to sleep. emoticon

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GREENGENES 2/13/2014 12:48AM

    I keep a glass of water by my bed and drinking water usually helps me relax. If I am too wide awake I might wash my face with a nice warm wash cloth and then try and revisit a pleasant experience in my mind.

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GORIANA 2/13/2014 12:47AM

    I wake up around that time often. Sometimes I practice meditation. Sometimes I listen to meditation music. I do not know how that music works but it usually puts me to sleep.

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GLORIAMAJDI 2/12/2014 7:46PM

    I also have a wake up light. Isn't it wonderful? My normal wake up time for work is 4:30 a.m. Much too early if you ask me! I tend to wake many times during the night. Often I am too hot, too cold or as I mentioned on your previous blog, because of the cat (seriously, putting him out of the room is a worse fate then letting him pet me all night long - we have unsuccessfully attempted that). Anyway, my goal in sleeping is rest, whether it be for my body or my mind. Sleep is important but if I can't sleep, I can still rest. So I will just lay in the bed and think nice thoughts such as a nice day at the beach. I just try to keep my mind of negative things and just let my body rest. If I am lucky, I will fall back asleep. If not, I might be sleepy at work!

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TINAJANE76 2/12/2014 7:25PM

    I find that doing something very active is often the worst thing I can do and will have me up for hours. Reading, if having a bit of light on doesn't disturb my husband, or watching something on TV will usually cause me to fall back asleep in a short time if just staying in bed doesn't work.

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DIANNEMT 2/12/2014 6:21PM

    When I wake up and have trouble getting back to sleep--I start thinking about blessings that I have and thank God for them and pray for each of the people blessings!

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GETSTRONGRRR 2/12/2014 6:18PM

    I have an MP3 player by my bed with recorded radio shows (mostly from the BBC) along with some plays & lectures. I use these things called "SleePphones" by AcousticSheep (look them up on Amazon). I fall back asleep within minutes.

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HEALTHIERKEN 2/12/2014 1:53PM

    I silently recite psalm verses that I've memorized specifically for this purpose. It keeps the stressing thoughts from getting a place in my mind.

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PHEBESS 2/12/2014 9:54AM

    I've always had sleep issues, even as a baby - I can manage with not much sleep. Not good, I know.

If I don't fall asleep within an hour, I usually get up and read. Or paint. Or play something mindless like solitaire. I know, computer screens are supposedly not good for getting back to sleep - but if I do it in the dark, I often find I'm sleepy and can go back to sleep.

During the early part of menopause, I woke up at 2 AM every night for weeks, was awake for an hour or two. Lasted about a year. Exercise helps me sleep for longer periods of time, so does staying up late. But, well, I've always had trouble falling asleep and staying asleep. If it continues a lot, talk to your dr. If it happens occasionally, give sleep a chance, then get up and do something relaxing.

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MANDELOVICH 2/12/2014 8:36AM

    I breathe deeply and on the in-breath I think about something positive and on the out-breath I think of something positive and when I catch my mind drifting I bring it back to that intention until I fall asleep.

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KRISZTA11 2/12/2014 7:47AM

    For me the question is not what woke me up but what keeps me up.
For me, usually it is THOUGHTS that keep me up. Thoughts about work, things to get done, all trying to get my attention.
In the past couple of weeks I try to remind myself that these are just thoughts, not an objective reality that I have to deal with right now. In fact, any other time will be better to deal with them than the small hours when everything seems darker. So I acknowledge the thoughts and promise to myself that I'll work on them during the day.
I hear some people even write their thoughts down at night, so as to get rid of the pressure. Just like you do before going to bed.
I hope you will find a good solution!

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GINIEMIE 2/12/2014 7:28AM

    I grab my Rosary and pray for those who are ill, in difficult situations or on their death bed. If I fall asleep again, I'm good and if not I've done some good for someone.
emoticon emoticon emoticon
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DONNABRIGHT 2/12/2014 7:21AM

    I try to roll over and go back to sleep - sometimes it actually works. If not I stay in bed and feel like I am at least resting. Good luck with resolving this - not sleeping well is not a fun thing.

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CHANCETARYN 2/12/2014 7:20AM

    I wake up regularly anywhere from 1-4 a.m. due to mostly pain issues that are mostly unavoidable. I do stay away from caffeine as that makes things worse and also sugar as much as possible. My strategy is prayer - I let my mind drift through list of different people and their needs and just kind of pray blessing on my children and others. I have also found listening audio recordings of the Psalms soothing and helpful.

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SABLENESS 2/12/2014 7:13AM

    If I can, I just lie there and repeat with my breathing, "rest...relax...sleep". Sometimes it works.

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BETRHO48 2/12/2014 2:26AM


It's tough when a person wakes up at night and cannot go back to sleep. I know because I am an insomniac.

When it comes to getting back to sleep, I think different things work for different people.

I've read that doing things that stimulate the mind (watching TV) or body (exercise) are generally to be avoided. Perhaps a dull boring book or listening to very soft calming music might help. Reading has worked for me at times.

If you can identify what woke you up and then make an intervention to change it or stop it, that might be helpful. For example, I have awakened at night with a thought on my mind (usually related to work or a worry of some sort) and I have found if I write that thought down, I can get back to sleep easier.

SparkPeople has some wonderful articles on improving sleep. Maybe you can find something that will help you in one of those.

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KALISWALKER 2/12/2014 2:10AM

    I stay in bed in the dark and listen to an audio book on my MP3 and I go back to sleep quickly. Let us know what works for you.

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SHOOPETTE 2/12/2014 2:03AM

    I usually stay in bed and see if I doze back, after a while if I am not sleeping I get up and clean up, do mail etc... and as soon as I feel my eyes blink I jump into bed again!

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GOLFINMOMMA 2/12/2014 1:50AM

    I have a collection of slow calming music on my iPad that I put on low and am usually asleep again before they have finished playing.

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ROXYCARIN 2/12/2014 1:08AM

  emoticon glass of water helps me

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IDICEM 2/12/2014 12:57AM

    I usually read or check email or something like that. If I don't get back to sleep quickly, I need to get out of bed and do something.

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CHIBIKARATE 2/12/2014 12:54AM

    I try to exercise or read and listen to the ocean waves I wake up most mornings at 4 to 5 am as well and feel great when I do some exercise be blessed hugz

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