For those tackling insomnia.  If you want to change any habit, getting enough sleep is a key first step.

Recently, I had a bad night of tossing and turning. I was up for a few hours, then overslept the next morning. While I was lying there, unable to sleep, I knew I was breaking one of the most basic back-to-sleep tips for tackling insomnia — the tip to get up, rather than toss and turn.

Though, to give myself credit, I was following some advice because I’d just read Andrea Petersen’s Wall Street Journal article, “Middle-of-the-Night Insomnia Blues.”

If you have trouble with insomnia, here are some of the tips from Andrea’s article:

1. If you’re wide awake, get up

I just kept lying there thinking, “I should get up.” Somehow, I couldn’t muster the energy to do it. I would’ve been a little cold, when I got out from under the covers, and I didn’t feel like reading my book…so I just stayed put.  Bad idea.

2. I love this tip: If you watch TV, wear sunglasses

Hilarious! It helps to block the light rays that will mess up your circadian rhythm. I couldn’t watch TV during my insomnia because (this is embarrassing to admit) my family and I were staying in a rental house, and I didn’t know how to turn on the TV. TV-watching is so confusing these days. If I’d been wide awake, I could’ve figured out how to manage the TV, but I couldn’t face the challenge in the middle of the night.

3. Don’t eat

As a habit for healthy eating, I make a point not to eat between dinner and breakfast. But the Wall Street Journal article makes an interesting additional argument: middle-of-the-night eating can condition you to keep doing it in the future.

4. Don’t sleep late the next morning

Which I did, by accident. Usually I set my alarm, and I really don’t know why I forgot to set it that night. Bad timing, but fortunately, I slept well the next night.

5. If you get up, keep the lights dim

I’m good about doing this. It really does help. When we moved into our apartment, I was careful to make sure to put dimmable lights in the bathroom.

Interesting fact I learned: “Waking up–and staying up–in the middle of the night is more common than having trouble falling asleep.

Sourced through from: article by Gretchen Rubin (2 minute read) with other links at the end of the page.