3 a.m. wake ups and dark thoughts that keep you awake. My top 10 to deal with that


Well-Known Member
I bet some of you know how it feels to wake up 3 a.m. and not being able to escape worrying thoughts mulling in your brains. Perfect time to come up with most horrendous catastrophizing thoughts. Not so perfect time to come up with anything useful. So better to cut whole process right away. It isn't easy to just stop, so I at least need to preoccupy my brains with something else instead.

These are my favourite ways for that.

1. Sex
Nothing to distract you from dark thoughts than a good old fashioned romp in the hay. Unfortunately other people in your bed don't always appreciate being waken up 3 a.m. Especially at a work night. Not after twenty some years of marriage at least.​

2. Counting
If you just want to get back to sleep, boring yourself out of your mind could work. But to stop those unwelcome thoughts you have to fill your brain with something else. Just counting lambs do not work for me, too easy to get distracted back to those 'idea non gratas.' Currently I tend to go through powers of seven to empty my mind. When you try to keep numbers in your mind and multiplying 40 353 607 with seven you can't really think anything else at the same time. Or at least I can't.​

3. Mobile games
My old favourites to clean my head from any thoughts were Minecraft, Tetris and Solitaire but nowadays there is so much more options. My current favourites are Criminal Case, basically a missing item game and Hay Day, farming and resource management game. Criminal Case is fun, but it is bit competitive, you compete against time, so while it captures your attention real well, it has same problem as Tetris that it also makes your more alert. Hay Day on the other hand is not competitive at all. And graphics are sickeningly cute and fun and still you can be enchanted to it for long periods of time. Very soothing game. And even pigs don't need to die so you can have bacon; they just go to beauty salon to slim up and you get your bacon.​

4. Reading

Preferably something bit boring or soothing, not something you can't stop reading before your alarm goes off. Problem of course is, that if it is a real book or Kindle, you need lights. And if other people in your bed are not happy to wake up for option 1, they are likely not happy to wake up to you reading either. So you may need to get out of the bed.​

5. Petting a dog
Or if you still have a young child, watching the sleep and petting them. Can be extremely relaxing.And if you just have dogs or cats, do the tick search when you are at it. No time wasted.​

6. Colouring books for adults

They make those things nowadays. Do you remember how attention grabbing it used to be to clolour your clolouring book without going over lines? Those colouring books for adults give you the same experience also as an adult. And some of them are absolutely lovely.​

7. Committing mass murder of snails

Nothing more relaxing than preying, maiming, killing and burning your mortal enemies. This option is of course only available part of the year, but right now it is perfect. At 3 a.m. Sun is not yet so high that snails would hide nor is it difficult to see them. Actually just raised sun makes them perfectly easy to catch. Of course 3 a.m. May be bit dark for this activity to you southern folks.​

8. Taking dogs to walk

When you are up anyway, you can as well make a most of it and enjoy the fresh early morning air, birds starting their morning concert and the nature waking up to a new day.​

9. Reading a morning paper and completing their Sudoku puzzles

If your regular early morning delivery guy is not at summer vacation. If they are and there is someone substituting them, there is little hope that paper would be in you mailbox yet. But of course you can look for Sudokus online.​

10. Writing a list to CD of ten things you can do, when you wake up 3 a.m. mulling dark thoughts


Well-Known Member
Haha, Suz! Hilarious! Yes, sex is distracting...lol.

I like to read, or take a hot bath and read at the same time (so the books get a bit wet; I don't care), snuggling dogs is good, I hear they have adult coloring books, which is cool, but I've never seen any yet. Where do they sell them? I also like watching a FUNNY movie, nothing dark or dreary.

It's a bad feeling to wake up in the middle of the night with a knot in your tummy. That's for sure. I've done that many times myself. I'm sure many of us have.