When you are done reading this article, you will easily be able understand and apply how to not wake up in the middle of the night.
Having trouble with midnight wake-up calls? You’re suffering from a condition called insomnia. A good night’s sleep leads to a happy & productive day.
But these midnight wake-up calls affect the sleep quality heavily, which can further lead to conditions like tiredness, anxiety, depression, and more.
According to research, 1 of every 5 Americans face insomnia. And as statistics say, the majority of humans experience about 20 un-noticed smaller awakenings every hour, with 2 to 3 observed major wake-up calls every night.
And I’ll be honest with you, I was one of those sleep-deprived people, and that was not so long ago!
I would wake up at 01:00 am every night and could never fall asleep again without wasting 3 hours. But I was able to overcome the situation by following some tips and techniques.
What tips did I follow? This article’s all about those eight powerful tips! So, let’s get sleepy! (after reading)
How To Not Wake Up In The Middle Of The Night:
1. Leave Your Bed:
Sounds strange, right? But sleeping isn’t something that you will and do. It’s something that comes to you (If I’m not majestic).
Now that you’ve woken up in the middle of the night try to persist in staying in bed to sleep. Do it for 20 minutes or so. And if your effort fails, you need to take the way out!
So, what’s the best you can do? Get out of your bed, wear your sandals, leave your room and go to the study room, living room, TV lounge, or whatever your best bet is, and start doing something easy, relaxing, and less-thrilling.
It can be anything like re-reading that chapter from your favorite book you finished last Monday or arranging the plates in a stack. Try and avoid using screens. Finally, go back to bed again when you feel sleepy.
2. Don’t Keep Clock-Record:
Whether it’s your first attempt to sleep or efforts to sleep again after waking up at midnight, don’t ever do this! Don’t stare at the clock, checking the time again and again.
Neither count the number of hours you’ve slept and remaining to sleep before you officially wake up. Doing this won’t help you with anything except adding some extra stress to your brain.
Although you should keep track of your sleep, as it is important to make sure you are taking a healthy amount of rest, but do it during the day. Don’t spend nights being a clock-watcher.
Before sleeping, make sure all the clocks in your room are facing the opposite direction. Putting it simply! Clocks aren’t something to binge-watch at night.
3. Make Your Bedroom Sleep-Friendly:
Bedrooms are meant for sleeping, so they must be cool, calming, relaxing, and dark. The more sleep-provoking the bedroom is, the more sound you sleep!
To enhance your sleep, you must minimize two things; noise & light! For noise, you can use earplugs or ‘white noise’ appliances.
And in the case of light, heavy curtains and blackout shades are your front-runners. You can also use an eye mask. It is very important to manage the light as it signals the brain to wake up.
In addition, ensure that the bedroom’s temperature is comfortably cool. Anything between 60F to 75F is considered good. The mattress and pillow must also be comfortable.
Screens are very distracting at times. Don’t keep your phones, laptops, and other devices in the bedroom.
And if your pet keeps awaking you, consider keeping it out as well. Don’t indulge in work activities in the bedroom so your mind can associate it as the place to sleep.
4. Stick To A Schedule:
A very major reason behind sleep trouble is the lack of discipline. Take the example of the military; they do everything on time, follow a schedule, and are always disciplined. The same goes for us, the common people as well.
Just like you need practice and consistency to become good at your work or studies, you need to strictly maintain a sleep schedule.
Sleep and wake up at the same time every day. And on weekends, make sure you sleep as close to your limit as possible.
Doing this sets the body’s internal alarm. It’s like the brain records the timestamps, and when the brain feels like the time is similar to that timestamp, it will alert the body to sleep.
There may come nights when you won’t sleep well, but don’t extend your sleep hours. Wake up at the same time.
Although you’ll feel much tired the whole day, it will result in better sleep the next night. Long story short, stay on the clock!
5. Relax Yourself:
A relaxed body can sleep better than a stressed body. Moreover, relaxation is important for both mental and physical health.
To relax before bedtime, you can do things like:
- Taking a bath
- Reading a book
- Watching a sitcom
Or you can do any less-stressing and less-exciting activity. Avoid doing work or anything physical and brain-intensive.
According to research, intensive activities can result in producing stress hormone called cortisol which increases the body’s alertness and hence disturbs sleep.
If you had a rough day, write down your whole day’s story on paper. Make it a habit and write daily, irrespective of how your day was! You can also adopt several relaxing techniques and exercises to relieve stress. Some of your options include:
- Deep Breathing
- Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Adapt any relaxing activities and stick to them daily and feel the difference!
6. Stop Taking Caffeine, Nicotine, & Alcohol:
I wonder, will coffee and tea lovers spare me after this but let me say, you need to stop taking caffeine! (not forever, don’t worry) Tea & coffee are huge sources of caffeine.
And according to researches, caffeine can stay in the body for anything between 6 to 10 hours, which means it can disturb your sleep and can be a possible reason behind your midnight awakenings.
You are free to take caffeine in a day or anytime before the afternoon, but stop taking it near bedtime or afternoon as caffeine is meant to alert and active the body.
Although alcohol is popularly known as an anti-depressant and has a sleepy effect after some hours, it turns into an alerting agent that can give you sleepless nights.
So, don’t consume too much in the day and never intake it 3 hours before bedtime. Smokers should also avoid cigarettes, tobacco, and similar tobacco items before bedtime.
7. Use Light the Right Way:
As already mentioned earlier in the article, light influences the brain with the signal to stay up. You need to use light the right way!
In the daytime, go for a walk and expose yourself to sunlight. Also, when at home, turn on the light as it’ll give the brain the signal that its daytime and the body needs to stay up.
Do opposite in night. Don’t expose yourself to heavy lighting. Avoid artificial lights, mobile screens, and laptops.
(Although you can watch TV if you can’t sleep as it is at a reasonable distance from eyes and its effect on the eye is minimum)
And if for some reason you need light, keep it dull and dim. Let the darkness tell the brain that you need to sleep. This proper usage of light will keep your internal clock functioning properly.
8. Avoid Excessive Napping:
In order to keep your sleep-wake cycle consistent, you must eliminate your daytime naps. But if you do need to take naps, make sure they are not long enough and not after the afternoon.
Your ideal nap should be no more than 30 minutes and not after the afternoon.
If the above-explained tips and techniques don’t work for you, you must consult your doctor or find a sleep specialist. Because there can be medical reasons for your sleep deprivation.
Stress and psychological issues can also be a reason if the above tips don’t work for you. If that’s the case, give your doctor a visit as soon as possible!
Or learn how to tap into the power of your mind and reprogram it for sleep! That’s the easiest way by far!
Healthy sleep means a healthy body. But sometimes, temporary sleep disturbance can cause you a lot of trouble. It can give you sleepless nights, tiredness, anxiety, depression several other medical issues.
How to tackle it? This article was all about eight powerful tips that will help you cut off your midnight awakenings and make your day productive after a good night’s sleep.
I named these tips ‘sleep cheat-sheet’ when I was facing sleep troubles. It worked for many other people and me and will surely work for you as well if followed correctly! Adapt it and stick to it! Sweet dreams.