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Can’t Fall Asleep? Productive & Fun Things to Do When You Are Having Trouble Falling Asleep At Night

Updated on July 6, 2009
Are You A Night Owl?
Are You A Night Owl?

I have insomnia. I had it when I was a teen, it somehow fixed itself and then after my last job, which allowed me to only be able to get 3-4 hours of sleep each night (which weren’t restful!), I surprisingly (note sarcasm) developed insomnia again. I’ve had it since last November. I just can't sleep like I used to!

That being said, I believe I’ve become somewhat of an expert when it comes to finding fun and productive things to do when you simply can’t fall asleep. Wait a minute – why aren’t I trying to find ways to make myself fall asleep? Deep down, I sort of know what will work to fix my insomnia due to past experiences, but I know that eventually I’ll get back to a normal cycle; for now (call me crazy) I’m using it to my advantage. I realize that lack of sleep is very negative towards daily functions, but some people, like me, actually do use it to their advantage to get extra work done or pick up a new hobby. Some of us simply don’t require as much sleep. And, who knows – once you find something fun to do and get your mind of the fact that you can't sleep, perhaps your insomnia will disappear all by itself.

Fun Activities to Do When You Can't Fall Asleep

Since I get can't fall sleep like I used to, I have started doing lots of stuff in the evening just for something to do. I’ve definitely turned into a night owl. Every evening, around 10pm, I get dressed for bed and surround myself with tons of fun stuff to do.

Earning Extra Money

If you can’t sleep anyway (like I can’t), some folks like to find things that can make them a little extra cash (whether it be a new hobby or developing their business).

Writing Articles

For me, it is writing articles on a website called Here, I can write about any topic I want and earn royalties from advertising for doing it. I currently make around $150 a month. You can literally write about anything with the exception of several adult-oriented subjects.

Selling Your Crafts Online

If you currently make craft products, you could sell them on which is an incredible handmade online shopper’s and seller’s mecca. It’s like eBay, except everything is handmade. So, if you want to start making a craft or already are – list your items on Etsy to make some extra cash!

Entertain Yourself When You Can't Fall Asleep

Watch TV on the Computer

I like to watch tacky movies online. You can find a ton at Actually, some of them are pretty good. The amount of online TV I watch is pretty insane, but, I have to do something while I’m not sleeping!

Read an Entire Series

I love mystery novels, and am currently reading all of the books from a bunch of series that are murder mysteries, yet are not terrible horrific. They’re pretty lighthearted, which is what I prefer to read at night.

Learn Something New When You Can't Fall Asleep

Imagine all the time you could spend learning about a new topic or studying for school or for something related to your work.

Learn a New Language

Spanish is quickly becoming a very crucial language to learn for certain professions. In the future, learning Spanish could be very beneficial to your career.

Teach Yourself

Learn how to build websites or learn how to become a better speaker. Whatever it is, you can surely manage it while you’re waiting for your insomnia to subside.

There you have it!

 Again, if you just can’t sleep and have tried everything, you might as well be having fun instead of laying in bed fuming over how you can’t fall asleep. Once you do something fun, it will no longer allow your mind to obsess over how you just can't sleep. Thinking about how you're not sleeping is the worst way to get to bed! Of course none of these activities are conventional methods to falling asleep, but if you've tried everything else - try taking your mind off of your sleep problem. It's bound to fix itself eventually.


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    • profile image

      Gomie 20 months ago

      What you can also do is getting relaxed before going to bed. Of course it's no substitute for sleep but it helps with not feeling like total sh*t in the morning. Humans don't actually need to sleep 6-8 hours per night, 3-4 are enough if you get some rest otherwise. I don't know if you've ever heard of ASMR but I found that it helps me relax immensely when I watch videos that trigger an ASMR response in my brain. That way I can relax and only sleep for four hours per night but I feel quite well. Best thing about this is that it works very quickly, you only need to watch 10 or 15 minutes of such a video to feel the immediate effects. Problem is, you need to know what your triggers are. Every person has different ASMR triggers and it can be quite difficult to find yours. Most people respond to specific sounds, be it a whispering voice or a lawnmower in the distance. For me the sounds of very ordinary objects usually do the trick for me, like greasproof paper or tin foil being folded or a pillow filled with cherry stones. Here are some videos you can check out, maybe it helps you or one of your readers if you want to try it:

    • profile image

      Dennis Teel 6 years ago

      this is interesting to me ,because i was diagnosed with chronic anxieties at 21 years old and i'm 56 now.i've been unemployed all these years due to the sleep disorder that accompanies my anxieties.i've been a night owl since i was 21.a real authentic night owl.the original.i began my sleep schedule in 1981,sleeping from 6am to 2pm daily...still's 4:42am now as i type this/at night i do everything imaginable.except rob inconvenient stores and fast food places.i browse walmart..i have coffee at 2 or 3am at dennys.i surf the dvd' with my jack russell,clean the apartment.being unemployed since 1981 ,i've become used to being a night owl and having free time 24 /'s as normal to me as your working 8 hours a day.but i receive more criticism from a lot of people for being unemployed than you do for being employed i guarantee it.i've gotten used to that too however.being a night owl is something i'd learned to love quite fast once i began to receive disability in 1981.i don't enjoy it as much as i used to.years ago,the city was dead after 10 or 11pm.these days there's too many night owls out there all hours of the night for it to be enjoyable.used to be that 24/7 restaurants only had a customer wander in ,maybe one or two every hour or,groups of people habitat these 24/7 places all night.they don't have those hourly periods of 'nothing to do' took the enjoyment out of being a night person.i guess i can't say that totally though.bottom line=the nights are quieter and there's fewer people out.just not as few and quiet as i'd like.i miss the old days

    • remaissance profile image

      remaissance 6 years ago

      Great Hub. I've had insomnia for some time and there was even one time when I spent the whole night literally tossing and turning in bed until morning came. Wow! Maybe I just should have started a blog then. Thanks for the ideas, next time I'll try some of these.

    • JessBraz profile image

      JessBraz 6 years ago from Canada

      Very cool article! I just joined Hubpages and wrote my first article about not being able to sleep... which is what I should be doing right now, but instead I'm writing on here... So I guess that means I'm following one of your tips. :) Happy sleeping!

    • lanetodd profile image

      lanetodd 7 years ago from Fruitland, ID

      Great hub! I have trouble sleeping sometimes, thanks for the ideas!

    • subbuteoz profile image

      subbuteoz 7 years ago from NSW, Australia

      Excellent hub. I wonder how many people there are out there at 3 in the morning hub-hopping and learn Armenian at the same time.

      Well there's one at least :-)

    • betherann profile image

      Beth Morey 7 years ago from Montana

      I am reading this at 5:30 AM, having been awake since 2:30 AM. Obviously I am following your first tips and writing/reading...but I like your idea about learning a new language!

    • kevin1877uk profile image

      kevin1877uk 7 years ago

      I know what you mean, I too am terrible at sleeping during the night, sleep better during the day then I can during the night

      take care and have fun

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 8 years ago from Georgia

      Loved the hub! I, too, have insomnia. I do a lot of writing at night, when the house is quiet.

    • girly_girl09 profile image

      girly_girl09 8 years ago from United States

      You're welcome, Amelia. I know you'll enjoy the site! :)

    • profile image

      Amelia Lamont 8 years ago

      Thanks for the advice, I stumbled across this article on Google and it inspired me to join hubpages.

    • Montana Farm Girl profile image

      Montana Farm Girl 8 years ago from Northwestern Montana

      Bravo!!! Great hub...I too suffer (I wrote a hub about it too) from insomnia; sometimes it sucks, other times I use it to my advantage, as you noted in your hub!!

    • Ron Mariano profile image

      Ron Mariano 8 years ago

      Great hub. Practical tips! I study French at least twenty-minutes at night.

    • bala99 profile image

      Bala Subrahmanyam Vishnubhotla 8 years ago from Hyderabad, Telangana, India.

      Good and practical things to do, but the primary thing is to sleep.

    • RGraf profile image

      Rebecca Graf 8 years ago from Wisconsin

      Good advice. I remember being told that if you can't fall asleep don't fight it. Just get up and do something. I try it and eventually I get tired. But like you said, I've read a lot, watched some good movies and written a few articles. At least at that time of night the house is asleep so I can have peace and quiet.

    • Army Infantry Mom profile image

      Army Infantry Mom 8 years ago

      Yupper's, I am a serious night owl,...Hmmm, maby I was a vampire in a past life,..LOL. Loved the hub,..checked out 2 of the links,..Something different to break up the night routine.

    • Dorrene R profile image

      Dorrene R 8 years ago

      It's always interesting reading your articles. Thanks again!

    • advisor4qb profile image

      advisor4qb 8 years ago from On New Footing

      I read. I always pass out when I read, no matter what time of day. I notice myself nodding off. It's almost funny. I think I am just so sleep-deprived that any stationary activity lets me pass out.

    • RVDaniels profile image

      RVDaniels 8 years ago from Athens, GA

      Good hub. We all must be night owls.

    • Philipo profile image

      Philipo 8 years ago from Nigeria

      Nice tips. Thanks.

    • wandererh profile image

      David Lim 8 years ago from Singapore

      You just proved my point. hehehe

    • girly_girl09 profile image

      girly_girl09 8 years ago from United States

      thanks for stopping by guys. :) Its 2:30 a.m. here so I figured I'd log onto Hubpages and see what was going on!

    • wandererh profile image

      David Lim 8 years ago from Singapore

      Well. it's no wonder that you can't sleep - you have so many things to do. :)

    • RooBee profile image

      RooBee 8 years ago from Here

      Great job, as usual. Love the tips! I often can't sleep & can definitely use them. :D

    • Gypsy Willow profile image

      Gypsy Willow 8 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      Excellent ideas. Currently I don't need them but you never know!