Should you get out of bed if you are awake in the night?

This is a common question and my advice is a little different to what you normally hear:

My advice on whether or not to get up in the night differs slightly depending on whether you are working with me to fix your sleep problem or you are going it alone.

When you are going it alone

If you are struggling with your sleep it is really tempting to get up in the night when you are awake. 

Many, many people get up in the night to watch TV, read a book, scroll social media or move to another bed.

It breaks the boredom, it interrupts the frustration and it gives you something to do…I get it.

My head really hits my hands though (it happens a lot) when I come across someone who tells me that they get up in the night and catch up on emails or the housework. 

Again, I get it. It feels like dead time and it makes sense to use that time productively. 

But think about what this is doing – it is creating a habit for your mind and for your body clock. Your body and mind will start to expect to be awake in the middle of the night and it will only solidify your sleep problem further.

If you are going it alone with your sleep problem, I suggest that the very most you do if you are awake in the night is to move to the sofa or to another bed so you can get a change of scenery.   

If you really feel the need to do something, listen to a relaxation MP3 or app

Please do not busy yourself with anything. I know it can feel harmless because you are awake anyway, but this only cements your problems further by embedding unhelpful habits in your body and mind

When you are working with me

My approach in the ‘Total Sleep Reset Programme’ when I support you to overcome your sleep problems, is to encourage you to stay in bed all night

This may make you twitch with discomfort and anxiety, or it may fill you with relief. 

In all my time working with people on their sleep, I have never found a need to get people to get out of bed in the night if they are not asleep.

To me, asking a sleep deprived person to get up in the night is inflicting torture and I do not feel good with that.

Instead, what I promote is to stay in bed for the hours you want to be sleeping but to do this in a different way – using techniques I teach you. This allows you to retrain your body and mind to sleep, so that night by night of doing things differently, you are creating your sleep reset.

What you do when you are awake in the night really matters so I hope this helps you.

Please feel free to click the links below to find out more about how I can help you.


Click here to use my self assessment tool to understand more about what is causing your insomnia

Click here to find out more about having a sleep assessment call with me

Click here find out more about my ‘total sleep reset programme’