How do I get back to sleep after getting up in the middle of the night?
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
More often than not, we are awakened at least once a night. We can't keep ourselves from waking, but we can help ourselves to go back to sleep with these tips:
  • Keep a notebook and pen on your bedside table. Begin writing to-dos and reminders an hour before bed so that you aren't compiling a mental list for the next day. If you awake suddenly remembering an important task, write it down rather than trying to commit it to memory.
  • Try counting backwards from 300 by threes. Simple math can keep our thoughts from wondering and yet isn't so difficult that it will frustrate you.
  • If you're still awake after 15 minutes, get up and do something quiet, like reading a book. You have to let your body and mind slow down to be able to slip into sleep, so that means quiet activities only.

This content originally appeared on
Watch as Dr. Michael Breus provides tips on how to get back to sleep after getting up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom.


Continue Learning about Healthy Sleeping

Healthy Sleeping

Healthy Sleeping

Healthy sleep isn't just about getting enough sleep; getting the right kind counts, too. While you sleep your brain stays active, and it actually takes several stages of sleep to make you feel well and refreshed. Just how much sle...

ep we need changes as we age, from 16 to 18 hours a day for newborns to 7 to 8 hours a night for adults. If you find yourself feeling tired or fatigued during the day even after a full night in bed, you may have a sleep disorder. See your family doctor or a sleep specialist for help.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.