You get out of bed in the middle of the night
Even sleep experts debate whether you should get out or stay in bed when you can’t sleep. Breus makes this helpful distinction: “Don’t worry about the difference between resting and sleeping.” If you’re awake in bed, but feel relaxed and peaceful, it’s perfectly fine to lie there and wait to fall back asleep. He recommends counting backward from 300 by 3s to bring on drowsiness. This may be better than automatically jumping out of bed the minute you find yourself awake, which only arouses you more. Check out these other techniques that help you fall back asleep when you wake up in the middle of the night.
You overstimulate in the middle of the night
If you’re in bed, anxious, and your mind is running a million miles a minute, you’re better off getting out of bed. But what you do next is key to ultimately falling back asleep. Stay away from anything too stimulating, like checking email or social media, which can be bad insomnia causes, says Carney. Pick an activity you look forward to—like knitting or reading a novel you’re into—to help minimize the anxiety that many people feel during episodes of insomnia. Can’t shake that nervous feeling? Consider one of these drug-free sleep aids.
You use your device before bed
Not all electronics before bed are bad, says Breus, who acknowledges that some of his patients fare better when they can wind down with some TV before they go to sleep. But activities that are highly interactive—answering emails, texting, posting on Facebook or Tweeting—prevent your brain from shutting down and can promote insomnia. Learn more about why going on social media before bed can keep you awake.