How to Handle Insomnia in the Middle of the Night?

If it’s midnight and you’re wide awake, you don’t want to hear about what you should do in the early evenings to overcome insomnia– you need answers now! You can’t delay. What options are available for an insomniac in the middle of the night?

Get out of bed. Much as you may want to lie there and hope you’re going to fall asleep, you’ll be better off if you actually get up, do something, and try going back to bed in a little bit. It may help you to consider falling asleep as being akin to landing a plane properly; if the landing doesn’t go as planned the first time, you may have to circle around and try to bring the plane in for a second try.
Your body has gotten used to falling asleep at a certain time, and if for some reason you missed that time, or you were too stimulated at the time you usually fall asleep, you may have to jolt your body into thinking it has another chance.

Drink some warm milk. Many insomniacs find drinking warm milk really does help them fall asleep. If you’re not crazy about warm milk, try a natural sleep tea like Valerian or Chamomile, both of which are quite effective.

Engage in a quiet, restful activity. Dim the lights, and think of something that will make you get drowsy. Resist the temptation to watch movies, surf the web, or use electronics because the stimulation will prevent you from falling asleep. Try to remain calm and quiet, doing something like reading or writing in a journal.

Construct a plan. If your mind is racing because you’re concerned about something, try writing out solutions or planning around the issue. Write long hand, and whatever you do, don’t send an email to anyone about the issue.

When you’re done, try going back to bed and see if you can fall asleep this time.

Nighty night!

Christiaan Janssens
CRO Akwa Wellness

Sources and References:

National Sleep Foundation
What is insomnia?
Sleep Disorders

Qaseem, A, Kansagara, D, Forciea, MA, Cooke, M, Denberg, TD, The Clinical Guidelines Committee of the American College of, Physicians (May 2016). “Management of Chronic Insomnia Disorder in Adults: A Clinical Practice Guideline From the American College of Physicians”.
Roth, T., “Insomnia: Definition, prevalence, etiology, and consequences”. (2007) Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. 3 (5 Suppl): S7–10.
Ellis, J. J., Hampson, S. E., Cropley, M. M.:”Sleep hygiene or compensatory sleep practices: an examination of behaviors affecting sleep in older adults.” (2002).
Van Straten, A, Cuijpers, P: “Self-help therapy for insomnia: a meta-analysis”. Sleep Medicine Reviews. 13 (1): 61–71 (February 2009).

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