Sleepless in Tennessee: 5 Ways to Cope with Late Night Worries

And I am wide awake.

Groan…. I wanted to make it for at least another hour.

Ever have one of those nights?

It happens.

Goodness knows there are all kinds of things to keep us up at night.

Sometimes it’s worry, or fear, about the problems with your website, the team member who’s not quite working out, or your ever-growing To Do list.

Sometimes it’s excitement, over the new client you’re meeting today or the new program you’re about to launch.

If you’re running a business – AND managing a family at the same time – it could be 1000 different things.

All at once. :)

I woke up thinking about what I would do for my next video. Then I started worrying about getting this post done before I head out for a work retreat.
A little extra thinking never hurt anyone. But too much thinking, and not enough sleep, will wreak havoc on your self-confidence, your energy, and your ability to face the day’s challenges.

If you’re going to survive as a business owner, you have to learn how to manage those late-night wake-ups.  

But what can you do?
Here are 5 strategies that usually work for me.

ONE: Practice box breathing.

Breathe in to a count of 4. Hold it to a count of 4. Breathe out to a count of 4. Hold it to a count of 4. Make sense? Practicing slow, measured, steady breathing works like magic, and counting helps! It takes practice to get it right, yet learning this one skill can have the greatest impact on so many things you do, including getting to sleep.

TWO: Use visualization.

Remember that old adage about counting sheep? Well, can you even picture a sheep? Maybe. But you may sleep better after picturing a walk on the edge of the beach. Or a leafy green trail in the mountains. Or the butterfly kisses of your newest grandchild.

The key is to pull up a lovely, soothing photo in your mind, then add in all your senses. What do you hear, while you’re in this place? What can you smell? Feel? Touch?

THREE: Write it all down. (Quickly.)

When I find myself going over and over things that I need to remember, sometimes this helps. Get up, go into another room, grab a scrap sheet of paper and just make a list. Don’t spend any time on it. Just jot down – really quick – all those random things that are on your mind.

Let the paper hold those thoughts for you, so you don’t have to.

Good. Now go back to bed, worry free.

FOUR: Read (a real) book.

Notice I did NOT say turn on the TV, hop online or grab your Kindle.

Electronic screens – even readers – stimulate your brain, and that’s the last thing you need right now. Keep the lights low, the mood quiet.

You could try reading something dry, like that old book your uncle gave you on investing for your fortune. I think it helps, though, to read something light and relatively mindless – but pleasurable. Try a magazine article, a paperback novel, or even the paper.

Try this for 30 minutes or so, then turn off the lights and go back to bed.

FIVE: Give up, and get up.

Sometimes, the best option is to give up, get up, and move on into your day. This isn’t the best strategy if it’s two in the morning. But if you’ve managed to squeeze in at least 6 hours of sleep (or more), you may do better to just get up and get a head start on your day.

Just try to get to bed a little earlier that night. You’ll want it!

I‘ve used every one of these many many times, and they almost always help. 

How about you?

What are your favorite trick for getting back to sleep?

Someone could use that tonight! :)

 Photo Credit: Rachel Kramer on Flickr


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