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St.George's avatar

What can I do to put myself back to sleep when I wake up at 4:00 a.m.?

Asked by St.George (5852points) September 2nd, 2010

When I’m feeling a lot of stress, I get insomnia. I am able to fall asleep quite easily, but I end up waking up like two hours before I need to which isn’t a reasonable hour to wake up since I’ve only slept like 5 or 6 hours, and I’m a person that needs at least 8 to function.

My question is this: What are some techniques I can use to fall back to sleep when my mind is running around in my head. I try to distract myself and not think of the thing that is causing me stress, but that hasn’t worked.

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16 Answers

Emt3225's avatar

I have the same problem as you. The harder I try to go back to sleep the more difficult it becomes. I just lay in bed untill it’s time to get up for work. Good luck.

john65pennington's avatar

Before going to bed, take a 25 mg. of antihistimine. taking it with a glass of milk will normally keep you asleep for about 7 hours. the cheapest out there is at WalMart. its just as good as the brand name.

Austinlad's avatar

I advise against using any kind of medication as a crutch. Try warm tea, warm milk, a banana is supposed to be good, or just get up up for a half hour and do something boring like watch TV or read. Also, Google this question—you’ll find tons of info/suggestions on the Net.

Trillian's avatar

Get up out of bed. If you stay in bed you will condition your body to being in bed but not sleeping, which is hardly conducive to your purpose. Do something relaxing,read, take a hot bubble bath, some nice chamomile tea.
I like to have some CD’s playing all night of environmental noises. They helped me to no end.

ryan9305's avatar

I always just find something to stare at and do nothing but stare at. Eventually my eyes get so tired that my body just fall back asleep when my eyes close. But everybody is diffferent.

janedelila's avatar

Have you tried meditation? Just concentrate on your breathing, where your breath is in your body, and where it leaves your body. Mantra “in…out” try to clear your mind and concentrate only on that. It takes some practice, and don’t give up if your mind wanders. Just start over. Works for me. Sometimes.

talljasperman's avatar

a game of solitaire…or take a photo of the moon and dream about it

filmfann's avatar

I have this problem. The way I beat it is to stay up until I am exhausted. When I go to sleep, I can stay out for longer that way.

St.George's avatar

Thanks all. Going to try this all out tonight. Hope I stay out.

YARNLADY's avatar

What I do is count backwards from 100. I can’t remember getting past 70 most of the time.

skfinkel's avatar

Write down the problem that is bothering you. If it is there, you know you won’t forget about it and can go back to sleep. I also love the “worry people”—little Guatemalan dolls you tell your worries to, then put them under your pillow where they worry for you all night long, and in the morning you can take your worries back from them.
Also, I awake at 4 am if I drink too much coffee—or drink any coffee after like 1 pm. Could that be something you can look at as well?
And, when I do wake up at 4, I always read until I fall back to sleep again.

faye's avatar

I have audio books. They usually put me back to sleep. No matter what time I go to sleep, I wake up after about 5 hours- have to pee.

ModernEpicurian's avatar

Personally, the counting backwards from 100 task always works. A monotonous task that bores you and allows you to relax whilst concentrating your mind on the arbitrary.

I also feel that just closing my eyes the whole time makes a large difference, as excess light causes your body to go through the motions of waking up (causing the release of stimulating hormones etc) so keep out as much of the nasty light as possible!

philosopher's avatar

Have you ever tried slow acting Melotantin ?

SiameseIfYouPlease's avatar

Chamomile Tea is helpful.

St.George's avatar

Update: I have tried limiting coffee, which has worked. Occasionally, I know I won’t sleep, so I have taken a half a tablet of melatonin, which is a f**king miracle supplement. Sleep comes fast, and when I wake in the night, right back to sleep. A bit groggy in the a.m. if I don’t get the 8 hours, but I feel well-rested and ready to face the day. I feel like I’m cheating a bit, but at least I have my sanity.

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