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24th Mar 2019

Can’t go back to sleep in the middle of the night? Try this

It ALWAYS happens us!

Cathy Donohue

It’s the WORST.

Some of us have trouble getting to sleep but others find they wake up in the middle of the night and can’t get back to the land of nod.

Both are painfully annoying, particularly when you’re absolutely wrecked and your brain just will not switch off.

For anyone who has trouble getting to sleep, there’s a couple of tips here and here but now, there’s some expert advice for anyone who wakes up in the middle of the night.

The key thing is, and it might surprise you, get out of bed. Do NOT lie there, getting angrier by the minute as you wonder why you’re awake at this unearthly hour, unlike Sleepy.


Basically, the longer you stay in bed silently fuming, the less likely you are to fall asleep.

Wendy Troxel, PhD, spoke to Byrdie about the science behind this idea and it’s all about training your brain to realise that bed is primarily for sleep, not work, worry or stress.

“Our brains learn by association, and to sleep well, you want your brain to have a strong learned association between the bed and sleep”.

The best thing you can do is stop yourself thinking about the fact you only have three hours left to alarm time by concentrating on something else.

The sleep professional recommends reading a book/magazine but make sure it’s in low-light conditions so you don’t wake up too much.

Having tried this before when I’m awake at 3:30a.m without any sleep, I can confirm it works just as well for insomniacs as those who are prone to waking in the early hours.

Give it a go, you might be surprised.