What To Do When You Can’t Sleep

What To Do When You Can’t Sleep

Many of us struggle with sleep and even more so during the lockdowns we have experienced.

So what should you do when you can’t sleep?

From my own experience I would suggest there are several things that you shouldn’t do when you can’t sleep:

  • Sighing, groaning, tossing & turning, counting sheep loudly and making a nuisance of yourself in said bed.
  • Wake your partner up to tell them (this can lead to serious injury or an early death!)
  • Start hoovering (well it’s needed doing for several days) or cut the lawn (this will prove unpopular with your neighbours as well and may lead to a similar outcome as waking your partner up!)
  • Listening to Smooth FM on the clock radio, whistling, singing or praying out loud
  • Naturally drilling, hammering or general DIY is out!

So what do you do when you can’t sleep……grab a coffee and I’ll share what I do….

Get up and get ahead!

Providing it’s not the middle of the night (!) then I will get up, get the kettle on (caffeine is a great help!) and get ahead for the day!

Some of you will be saying right now…..NO WAY!!

However I have discovered (and it is a regular habit in my life today and even more so when I am under pressure) that it is amazing what can be achieved in those early hours while the house is quiet!

Can I suggest you focus on the following:

Spend some time with God

Read your bible, worship (quietly!), pray and lay the day out before God.

Talk through your plan with Him. Ask for wisdom and listen, wait, enquire.

Claim that wonderful promise for the day – that though you have received less sleep: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

Then as the day wears on why not with Paul declare: ‘Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.’ (2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV) and ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me’ (Phil. 4:13). The Amplified Bible puts it like this:

‘I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency].’

Love this! He is more than capable of seeing you through the day and every single challenge you face.

Pray as you go! You’ll be surprised.

Focus on a major task

Do NOT waste this quality time by concentrating on trivial low concentration tasks such as emails!

Do something really creative – write that article, report or blog post, prepare that project, do some major planning, read that book.

Imagine what you could do with the time other people waste? It could be the start of a whole new and exciting season!

I’ve written an article about that here.

Whatever you do: tackle something major that will send you into the day feeling that you have used the time well and achieved something.


Finally, if there’s anytime left…..

Take your partner a cup of tea/coffee (or even breakfast in bed) and with a big kiss and a smile tell them you love them!

You’ll both start the day right!

If you don’t have a partner do the above at work (possibly without the kiss….perhaps take doughnuts – I’ll leave that to your discretion!)

A couple of final things to share:

You will probably have a lull at some point (probably during the afternoon).

If you can’t have a short nap…then have a good yawn and carry on…..but leave some work for the ‘lull’ if it is possible that doesn’t need great concentration….such as emails, phone calls etc.

You may find that getting up earlier was just so good that you want to make a it a part of your routine.

I discovered a great book by Laura Vanderkam.

It’s inspirational and well worth a read and is available here

Click on the link and grab it and enjoy your most productive season yet!


  • Dorothy Young
    Posted at 17:06h, 06 October Reply

    Great ideas. Maybe it means that something is incomplete and the subconscious wants to have it done and out of the way hence insomnia.

    • Simon Lawton
      Posted at 19:26h, 06 October Reply

      Fair point! We all have those nights. Thanks Dorothy. God bless you!

  • June MacGregor
    Posted at 08:45h, 26 May Reply

    I find reminding God His Word says He gives His beloved sleep. Or having the words of a praise chorus helps.

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