Write out thoughts if you wake up during the night. If you wake up during the night with your mind racing, give yourself 30 minutes to just lay there. If you’re still awake after that point, get up and write out all of the thoughts that are running through your head. Often, we wake up thinking about something that we need to remember to do. If that’s the case, go ahead and write it down so that you don’t have to worry about having to remember what it was. If you’re thinking about something that happened the day before or 20 years before. Write it down, get it out of your system and then figure out if there’s anything you really can or need to be doing about that situation. If so, write that down as well so that you have at least some partial resolution to it and so that you’ll remember what you decided to do the next day. Often, that’s all we need. Once whatever it is that you’re thinking about is written down in front of you, your brain is ready to turn off again and you can go back to sleep.
If you wake up thinking about something that you need to do for work, sometimes it’s better to just go ahead, get up and take care of it – potentially taking advantage of any creative thoughts or ideas that may have come to you. Once you’ve reached the point where your brain starts to wander or you find yourself just staring at the computer or your paper, shut down and go back to bed.
While waking up in the middle of the night with our minds racing is not ideal, we also don’t need to lay there tossing and turning, stressing because we can’t sleep. That doesn’t solve anything. If this happens on a regular basis, you may want to change your pre-bedtime routine to see if that helps.