"FALL BACK ASLEEP. NO PRESSURE. IT'S SO EASY JUST FALL BACK ASLEEP." That's your unhelpful brain screaming at you when you wake up in the night, desperately thirsty, needing to pee, and not entirely certain that your dream about eating cereal with Ke$ha wasn't real. The best thing to do under those circumstances? If we knew, we wouldn't be holding a bag of frozen peas over our miserably tired eyes right now. But if you hold onto any hope of sleeping before dawn, do not, under any circumstances:
Look at the clock. Once you look at the clock, all you'll think about for the next four hours is how miserable you'll be tomorrow if you don't go to sleep right now. The pressure will keep you up all night, until you subside into the best sleep of your life seven minutes before your alarm goes off.
Decide you're just going to be a night person from now on. "I've been a fool all these years," you think. "There are 24 hours in a day!" You start several ambitious projects around 3 AM, then wake up 5 hours later, face-down in a bowl of half-set Jell-o, your fingers covered in hot-glued sequins and a "smoky eye" tutorial playing on repeat on your laptop.
Go on Facebook. First off, the computer light will make you even more awake, according to science. Secondly, you may not be posting as your best self. "Your baby looks like a less handsome Anthony Hopkins" is not what your cousin needs to hear right now.
Get out of bed at any cost. Yes. We get it. You have to pee. So do all of us. Stick it out, and the rewards will be great (but the possible punishment less so).
Start thinking about sharks. Or ventriloquist dummies, or Saw, or whatever it is that will then dance crazily across your brain's eye every time you try to fall back asleep. Actually, how about we stop talking about sharks ever? It's never far enough from bedtime to talk about sharks.
Listen for weird sounds. You'll definitely hear something. It will either sound like a murderer sharpening an ice skate, an evil clown adjusting his makeup, or the dripping faucet that drove Donald Duck insane.
Reveal to any animal in the vicinity that you're awake. Your dog will be thrilled and delighted by the unexpected company, and your cat will do that weird cat thing where they bat you in the face while giving you a 1,000-yard stare from a 5-inch distance. The next morning, as you drag yourself to school, you'll find your tuckered out pet asleep in a sunbeam.
Turn on the television if you're within 20 yards of a credit card. Insomnia + the dark voodoo of late-night infomercials = the mistaken belief that you can't live without a Disinfecting UV Scanner and a Fart Machine.
Don't you HATE it when you wake up in the middle of the night? Do you have any fool-proof ways of falling back asleep?