How to Get Back to Sleep After Accidentally Waking Up Too Early

Two Parts:Getting Back to SleepImproving Your Sleeping Conditions

Sleep is an important aspect of any person’s day. It promotes overall physical and mental health and general well-being. You may occasionally find wake up too early and have a difficult time falling back asleep, which may also cause you distress and further interrupt your ability to sleep. By relaxing, improving your sleeping conditions and following a bedtime routine, though, you can help yourself fall back and stay asleep.

Part 1
Getting Back to Sleep

  1. Image titled Go to Sleep on Time Step 13
    Avoid watching the clock. Whether you woke up before an alarm or naturally opened your eyes, don’t stare at your clock. Watching the time go by on your clock can increase your stress and make it more difficult to fall back asleep.[1]
    • If necessary, turn the face of the clock so that you can’t see it. However, if the clock is wall mounted, you probably won't be able to turn it around. In this case, just do your best to ignore it.
    • Be aware that if your clock glows in the dark, it may not be so easy to avoid looking at it, and its light may make it difficult for you to fall asleep. Therefore, choose wisely when you buy your clocks. If you are a light sleeper who frequently wakes up before you should, buy clocks that don't glow in the dark.
  2. Image titled Fall Asleep when You Have Things on Your Mind Step 1
    Shut out light sources. Try blocking out any light sources that may be in your room. Light can stimulate your brain to wake up and this measure may help you fall back asleep quickly.[2]
    • Heavy curtains can block out light and noise to help you sleep better.
    • If certain light sources are unavoidable, and they really bother you, consider using a sleep mask to shield your eyes from the light.
    • Make sure you silence and turn off all electronic devices such as cell phones and tablets. You do NOT want to be in your room trying desperately to fall asleep when Subway Surf suddenly lights up your screen with one of its weekly challenge offers. Not only will the light be distracting to you, but it may even scare you with its suddenness, thereby increasing your heart rate and making it less likely that you'll get back to sleep.
  3. Image titled Sleep Late Step 7
    Block out disruptive noises. Even the slightest sound could wake you up, so block out any noises that may be disrupting you. This could relieve disruptions and any distress the sounds cause you and may help you fall back asleep quickly.[3]
    • Make sure the television or other electronics are turned off and not making any noises. Text or voice message alerts, even if they are set to vibrate, can disrupt you.
    • Try a pair of earplugs to block out noise. You could also use a pillow over your head to block noise.
    • White noise, such as a fan or a speaker that plays the sound of waves, can relax you and block out disruptive noises.[4]
    • Carpets or area rugs can help to dampen noise in your room.[5]
  4. Image titled Sleep In Step 8
    Relax your body. Try tensing and relaxing your muscles as you lie in bed. This may help you relax your entire body enough to go back to sleep.[6]
    • Starting at your toes and working up to your forehead, tightly tense each of your muscle groups for five seconds and then release them.[7]
  5. Image titled Sleep In Step 10
    Meditate for a few minutes. There are many different health benefits to meditation including lower blood pressure and heart rate, decreased anxiety and depression, less stress, and greater feelings of relaxation. Trying a few minutes of meditation when you can sleep may help you to fall back asleep quickly and easily.[8]
    • Focus on your breath, but don’t control it. This will help achieve greater relaxation.[9]
    • Let your thoughts come and whenever they arise. This will teach you to focus and let go of anything you can’t control.
    • Any time you need to refocus your mind and help yourself relax, you can repeat “let” with every inhalation and “go” with every exhalation.
  6. Image titled Fall Asleep when You Have Things on Your Mind Step 6
    Get out of bed. If you can’t fall asleep within a few minutes of waking up, get out of bed and leave your bedroom. This may help you from further stressing and eventually become drowsy enough to sleep again. [10]
    • Go to a room in which you can do something relaxing like reading or listening to music.[11]
    • Make sure to not turn on too many lights so that your brain isn’t completely stimulated and stays awake.[12]
  7. Image titled Do Kegel Exercises Step 4
    Use the bathroom. You may have woken up because you have to go to the bathroom. If you’re not sure, let yourself go to the bathroom and see if this can help you fall back asleep.
    • Don’t turn on the bathroom light if you can avoid it. The light could stimulate your brain to stay awake. If you can, use a night light that emits a soft red or orange light.[13]
    • Don’t force yourself to go to the bathroom.
  8. Image titled Sleep In Step 4
    Do an uninteresting activity. If you decided to get up because you couldn’t sleep, find a non-stimulating or boring activity. This may make you drowsy and help you fall asleep again.[14]
    • Try reading something uninteresting or watching a television program or movie that is boring.[15]
    • Listening to relaxing music may help you relax and fall asleep.[16]
  9. Image titled Adopt a Polyphasic Sleep Schedule Step 7
    Adjust your sleep patterns. As we age, our sleeping requirements change and there may also be other circumstances, such as a job, in which you need to adjust your sleeping habits. From high stress events to age or illness, adjusting your sleep to these situations may help you fall asleep and stay asleep.
    • Be flexible to accommodate for situations that might disrupt your sleep. For example, you may have a work event that will require you to drink alcohol, which can wake up some people. Adjust your sleep plans before and after the event and keep a glass of water by your bed to help ensure that you can easily go back to sleep.
    • If you know that you’re about to enter a particularly stressful time at work, home, or school, you might also want to adjust your sleep patterns to make sure that a lack of sleep doesn’t cause you more stress.
  10. Image titled Control Your Temper While Sleep Deprived Step 14
    See your doctor. If you have consistent sleep disruptions, see your doctor. She can help rule out underlying conditions that may be causing you to wake up before you should. She may also help you formulate a plan to fall back asleep quickly and easily.

Part 2
Improving Your Sleeping Conditions

  1. Image titled Sleep in Class Step 14
    Avoid naps if you have trouble sleeping. Naps are a popular way to take a break and recharge during the day. But they can also have the side effect of keeping you from getting to and staying asleep. Avoiding naps during the day may help you fall and stay asleep. [17]
    • If you find that you need a nap or naps, take it before 5pm and keep it short. Thirty minutes is enough to help you refresh and recharge.[18]
    • If need multiple naps during the day or are just generally exhausted at times when you should be awake, consult your doctor to rule out medical conditions.[19]
  2. Image titled Adjust Your Sleep Schedule Step 8
    Set a fixed bedtime. Establish a reasonable time to get to bed on most days, including weekends. Having this designated bedtime will help regulate your circadian rhythms, or body clock, and may also help you fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night. [20]
    • When you set your bed time, make sure that you consider factors like exercise, eating, and alcohol consumption. You want to make sure your body has at least 2-3 hours to process these activities before you go to bed.[21]
    • The best way to set your internal body clock is to wake up at the same time every day, even if you had a bad night’s sleep.[22]
    • Don’t set a bedtime that is too late or one that corresponds to when you feel tired so that you don’t stay alert and in turn not get tired.[23]
    • Stick to this schedule as much as possible and adjust it if necessary.[24]
  3. Image titled Get Baby to Sleep on Back Step 16
    Create a comfortable sleeping environment. You won’t want or be able to sleep if your bedroom isn’t comfortable. By controlling factors such as the temperature and darkness, having comfortable bedding, and removing stimulating electronics, you will help yourself get to bed on time and fall and stay asleep.
    • Set temperature in bedroom to between 60-75 degrees for optimal sleeping conditions.[25]
    • Keep computers, TV and work materials out of room to strengthen association between bedroom and sleep.[26]
    • Light stimulates you to be awake, so make sure that your room is dark enough to sleep. You can use curtains or eye masks to help with rooms that are exposed to a lot of light.[27]
    • Noise will also keep you from getting to sleep. Keep your room as quiet as possible and consider a white noise machine to combat any loud noises that may filter into your bedroom.[28]
    • A comfortable mattress, pillows, and bedding can make you want to get to bed on time.[29]
  4. Image titled Condition Your Body to Need Less Sleep Step 1
    Exercise early in the day. Exercising early in the day can help you fall and stay asleep because it tires your body and will also relax you. But avoid exercising too close to your bedtime, which may stimulate you and keep you from sleeping.
    • Exercise at least three hours before bed so that your temperature cortisol levels can return to normal. Higher body temperature can make it difficult to sleep and having more cortisol in your system from exercise may stimulate you.[30]
    • Vigorous exercise best, but anything activity is better than nothing.[31]
    • Don’t exercise at the expense of your sleep.[32]
  5. Image titled Wake Up On Time Step 12
    Avoid caffeinated and alcoholic beverages and cigarettes. Caffeine, alcohol, and cigarettes can interrupt your sleep. Avoiding them before bedtime could help you get to and stay asleep.
    • If you consume nicotine or caffeine, avoid them within 4-6 hours of your bed time.[33]
    • Limit yourself to 1-2 alcoholic drinks per day or less and avoid drinking within three hours of bedtime.[34]
    • Even though alcohol might help you fall asleep, after a few hours it acts as a stimulant.[35]
  6. Image titled Fall Asleep when You Have Things on Your Mind Step 4
    Avoid late or heavy meals. Eating too close to your bedtime or having heavy meals can affect your ability to sleep. Plan to eat lighter fare at dinner and within a few hours of your bedtime to ensure that you are able to get and stay asleep.
    • Try to eat two to three hours before your bedtime.[36]
    • Big or spicy meals can cause discomfort and indigestion.[37]
    • If you’re hungry before bedtime, have a snack about an hour before you turn out the lights.[38]
  7. Image titled Get Back to Sleep Step 6
    Start winding down as early as possible. Your body needs time to shift into sleep mode. Taking an hour or so to begin winding down before bed will signal your body and brain that it’s time to sleep and help you get the best night’s rest.[39]
    • Avoid electronics such as televisions, laptops, tablets, and smart phones within an hour of your bedtime. Not only can shows, work, or social media stimulate your brain, but the light from these devices also makes it difficult for your body to fall asleep.[40]
    • Dim the lights in your home and bedroom. Light will stimulate you, so dimming the lights within an hour of your bedtime signals your brain that it’s slowly time to go to bed.[41]
    • Having a calming bedtime ritual will help you wind down for a good night’s sleep.
  8. Image titled Fall Asleep Fast Step 5
    Create a bedtime ritual. Once you’ve begun to wind down and are close to bedtime, having a set ritual will further cues your body that it’s time to go to bed. There are different activities you can do as a part of your ritual such as having tea or a warm bath.
    • A bedtime routine reduces anxiety, stress or excitement that can make it difficult to fall or stay asleep.[42]
    • Reading a book in bed with the lights dimmed will relax and entertain you while not overstimulating you.
    • A warm cup of herbal tea such as lavender or chamomile will relax you and help you sleep.
    • A warm bath is not only relaxing, but the rise and fall in body temperature it causes will promote drowsiness.[43]
  9. Image titled Get to Sleep and Feel Refreshed in the Morning Step 15
    Go to bed even if you’re not tired. Go to bed at the same time every night whether or not you’re tired. Sticking to this consistent sleep routine will help you get to sleep and stay asleep throughout the night. [44]
    • Getting in to a comfortable bed with the lights dimmed may help you get to sleep faster even if you don’t feel tired.
    • If you can’t fall sleep within 20 minutes of going to bed, go to another room and do something relaxing until you feel tired enough to sleep.[45]


  • When meditating, or using any other way to calm down, listen to music you really like, and put it in the background. Calming music, or smooth songs that you can sing softly
  • Know when it's too late to go back to sleep. If you wake up half an hour before you need to, you might as well get up.

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Categories: Better Sleeping