How To Deal With These 3AM Wake Ups
Hello and welcome to this article. I'm so excited to have you here. I am Christine Hansen. I am an international adult sleep coach. Today, I'm going to talk about one thing that I hear 99% of the time. It's when I talk to my clients and they tell me that they are tired, but once they go to bed or once they wake up in the middle of the night, their brain is racing away, and they just feel that there's no way that they can take control of it.
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It's an extremely frustrating feeling because you are so stressed that you have to sleep, and you know that you have to sleep because there are a gazillion articles out there, and Google told you how important sleep is, so you know that you have to get to sleep, but it's just not happening.
You are lying there.
You are ready.
Just sleep, can you just come?
That's when it all happens. That's when all the ideas come in, when the doubts creep in, when you replay everything that has happened or you imagine possible scenarios. Everything seems to happen during this early morning hours.
What can you do?
There's a couple of things that I want to help you with here. The first thing that I always ask my clients to do is to tell me about an event, or an evening or at night where they really didn't get any sleep, not like a party night, but a night where, I don't know, they were at an airport and their flight was delayed or where they had work telling them how long they had to go and stay in the office.
I had one client who told me that she had to stay until two in the morning, but she had to be back in the office at seven. They gave her a hotel room. Of course, once she arrived, she couldn't fall asleep. She literally got like maybe 20 minutes of sleep.
What's the most important part here is that she managed to pull through.
She didn't die. The project went through. After their presentation that she had been working on, she went home and everything was fine. The world continued spinning. I told her, "When you're lying there, remember that you will definitely get more sleep than that. Don't be afraid that you're going to die on the spot. Your body is going to take what it needs. Trust your body. It will help you to recover."
That is just to help you get all that pressure off your shoulders.
Nobody needs eight hours of sleep every night.
It's ideal, yes, but some people need more sleep. Some people need less sleep. If you had a bad night now and again, then that's it. Don't stress yourself too much about it. Remember that you managed to make it work in a much worse situation and that you will be able to do so again. That is hopefully going to help you already.
I also want to give you a couple of other techniques.
One thing that I tell my clients is that they should not stay in bed because they're just going to stress out. You're going to lie there and it's not going to come. It's not going to happen. What I want you to do is to get up. I know it might be a little bit cold and uncomfortable, but that's going to make it all the easier for you to fall back asleep when you get back to bed.
Now, what I don't want you to do is to go open up your laptop, work on your five-year plan, or write down a blog post, or start Facebooking or building a website because you just have the idea. Do something that is going to keep you focused but in a boring way. What I mean by that is I, for example, I really suck at doing the household. I really do. In French, I'd say j'assume. I admit it.
What I would do is I'd go and fold the laundry, for example, or do some ironing because that would keep me focused because I'd have to look at what I'm doing, but it wouldn't allow me to really go down the rabbit hole of thoughts. It's going to keep those at bay, but at the same time, it's going to have you focused on something like Sudokus are really great to do that as well.
As soon as you feel that your eyes get tired, as your body gets tired, go back to bed and give it another try. It's much better than just staying there and waiting for sleep to come because you just can't grab it.
You can't control sleep.
What else can you do? Next, I want you to work on what works for you in a way that ... If you like meditation, I really suggest a guided meditation. I think sometimes they are easier to do because they don't leave you as much room to sway away. Even if you do, some of them remind you to come back.
I love the Calm app. You can just go to the App Store. I think it's for Android and for iPhone. You can just type in Calm, so C-A-L-M, and they have a fantastic app. It's for free. It has a great guided meditation. I have to say I've never finished any of them because I've always fallen asleep before that.They're also great if you want to do a little power nap, power meditation during the day. If your office has a chill zone, for example, or if you can just go and have a couple of minutes for yourself during lunch time, it's great to recharge your batteries. I highly recommend the Calm app.
Yes, you will use your iPhone. Make sure that the screen is as dark as possible or, if you can, you can download it on an iPhone touch maybe or just an MP3 device. There's also MP3s that are called iRest. It's a form of Yoga Nidra, which is deep conscious sleep. I really like those as well. They can help you a lot as well. If you're into meditation, if you know that it works well for you, then I definitely suggest trying to do that.
These are my main tips for you. First, don't stress out. Really, don't stress out. Second, don't stay in bed. Get up and do something else. Then, lastly, try to find a meditation, a guided meditation that works for you. If you don't like meditation, then, that's definitely when you should get up and do something different. Really, don't stress yourself out.
Also, a little tip, which I'm also being asked about, is books. Now, if you're an avid fiction reader, I wouldn't necessary recommend you starting on reading the Game of Thrones in the middle of the night because that might carry you away until early morning hours or until you have to get up. Read something that's interesting but not that interesting. Maybe Tax Revenues for Dummies or something that is on your bedside table because it gets interesting but it's a little bit tiresome to read. That's a perfect choice.
I hope I helped you a little bit with this. A lot of it is common sense but you just need to hear it sometimes and get the permission to do it. I give it to you wholeheartedly. Don't stress yourself out. You know that sleep is important, otherwise you wouldn't be listening to this and you will survive. It's going to be okay.
I hope I helped you a little bit. Please don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions whatsoever. I love to hear them and to help you. I'm always there for you. You can just email me here. I will talk to you soon on my blog, which is bychristinehansen.com. All right. I will talk to you soon. Bye-bye.