How to go Back to Sleep After Waking up at Night

Man tries to get back to sleep

Some nights are just different in so many ways. Some people are abruptly awoken by an unpleasant sound in the middle of the night. While for some it’s either a nightmare, the frequent tossing and turning, the need to use the toilet etc. that leaves their eyes wide open without the slightest knowledge of when to catch the next sleep flight. In our local parlance, we use the phrase “Sleep has disappeared from my eyes”, to describe this state.

However, this is a frustrating and exhausting experience, especially when you wish to catch some more Z’s but sleep seems to be far away. Unfortunately, not only does this affect the quantity and quality of sleep you will get, it will also impact your productivity the next day.

Here are ways you can fall back asleep after waking up at night

Ignore the time

Ignore the time
Photo Credit: Shutter Stock


This seems like an impossible thing to do. It’s a common act to stare at the clock and watch the time slip away while we struggle to snooze off. However, this only makes it more difficult for you to fall asleep as it increases tension and anxiety. This is because your brain will be more active, making falling back asleep more difficult. Resist the temptation of checking the time, focus your mind on something else aside your desire to fall back asleep.

Try music

Do you remember how those lullabies lured you or your little baby to sleep? Ah ha! That’s the power of music. Beautifully, it works for people across or ages.  A beautiful soothing, slow music at night can get you back to dreamland easily. Interestingly, listening to music can help your body relax and prepare for sleep. This is because of its effect on the parasympathetic nervous system. Additionally, those pleasant sounds can penetrate your body, soul and spirit. It can slow your heart rate and breathing, reduce your blood pressure and calm your nervous system. Although, your music preference could also determine the effect of music on you.  Still, music enhances sleep and can work on just anyone.

Leave your phone

Blue light from phone disrupts sleep

Some people quickly resort to checking their emails, chats, play games or see movies with their phones, once they have trouble getting back to sleep. Unsurprisingly, they find it even more difficult to snooze. This is because the brain becomes more alert, making sleep more difficult to achieve when we are exposed to the blue light from our phone. Literally, your brain is tricked into thinking its morning and therefore becomes alert and set for the day. In fact, sleep experts have recommended putting your phone away 2-3 hours before bedtime, so picking it up at the middle of the night is a complete NO.

Create a distraction

When you focus on getting back to sleep, your mind might be stressed out and you’d become too tense to sleep. You can doze off by visualizing a beautiful scene, recollect great memories, or repeat soothing lines, poems or songs till you go off. Also, try counting- repeat a circle of 1-10 or try counting backwards.

Use the meditation technique

Meditation increases your prospect of falling back asleep if you are struggling to. This is because meditating calms your mind. It helps lower your rate, foster slow breathing and activates the parasympathetic nervous system. These activities will help you drift to dreamland faster. You can do this by lying flat on your bed with your head stationed on a pillow. Begin with a few long slow breath-inhale and exhale slowly. Also, be sure your body is relaxed and close your eyes, so you would concentrate. This would help you snooze quickly.  You can also try the meditation techniques in this article: 8 sleep hacks to help you  fall asleep faster.

Get off your bed

Get off the bed

Ok, you’ve been struggling to catch some Z’s for over 10-20 minutes yet it seems like an impossible feat. It’s time to get up. Lying on your bed doesn’t not guarantee a doze off, in-fact you only get frustrated and exhausted trying to sleep.  Because, your brain would adjust to sleeplessness on your bed. So, you’ve got to do something different: change your sleep surface, move into another room, read an interesting but not horrific novel with a dim light, and listen to music. Again, you can try a warm or cold shower depending on the temperature of your bedroom.


Sleep is a fundamental part of life; therefore anything that robs you of quality sleep should be treated as urgent and important. While staying asleep is very important, falling asleep easily should also be very easy. For some people, the trouble to get back to sleep is a daily experience which may be due to insomnia. For such people, we recommend a visit to your doctor.  More so, you can get a sleep App to help you go back to sleep based on a doctor’s recommendation. We have also discussed in other articles how a mattress can affect your sleep. You can get a new mattress if your mattress is the culprit.


Best Mattresses For Couples in Nigeria

Pillow prices in Nigeria

Should Babies Share a Bed With Their Parents



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