Health & Wellness -

Ask a Sleep Expert: "How can I better get back to sleep after waking up at night?"

Always getting up to hit the bathroom? Here's how to ensure you get right back to dreamland.

By Womaness Editors   1-Minute Read
Dr. Shelby Harris menopause sleep expert for WomanessWelcome to ASK AN EXPERT, a series where we pose your real questions to our menopause experts for the answers you need. Have a question? Post it on The After Party, our private Facebook Group.


Your Question:

“I always wake up at night having to go to the bathroom. How can I better get right back to sleep after I get back in bed?”


The Answer:

From Dr. Shelby Harris, licensed clinical psychologist in behavioral sleep medicine: “It's normal to wake up a few times a night. If you have to wake up once or twice to use the bathroom, it’s okay.

Some people expect that they should go back to sleep right away. But sometimes it can take five, 10, or 15 minutes.

However, if it takes a long time—a half-hour or more—I usually recommend that you spend less time in bed. It might seem counterintuitive, but I’d ask you to go to bed a little later and wake up at the same time.

This consolidates and condenses sleep. And [since] you spend a little less time in bed, sometimes when you wake up in the middle of the night, you're in much more of a deeper sleep and you can go back to sleep a little bit faster."


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Get More Answers 

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Disclaimer: This article is intended for informational purposes and is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a physician. Womaness strives to share the knowledge and advice from our network of experts and our own research. We encourage you to make healthcare decisions in partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.