Best Quiet Activities for Insomniacs

Are you surprised that I pulled an all-nighter last night? Apparently, I give good advice but I seldom follow it despite my best intentions. I write about this topic a lot because insomnia is currently something that I am majorly struggling with these days. I absolutely hate the feeling of being wide awake when I should be sleeping, which really throws off my sleep schedule and negatively impacts my #mood. Whether or not we are conscious of it, everything from the air we breathe to the things we do are interconnected.

Whenever I have insomnia, I know how tempting it is to just lie in bed and do nothing. However, doing nothing often makes my insomnia worse. Last night, I was up until 0600 after I promised myself that I would be in bed by midnight. Not gonna lie, I can barely function today. However, on rare occasions, insomnia has been a creative outlet for me. For instance, I often end up writing #poetry when I can’t sleep, which you can find under the page titled “Poetry.”


In case you missed my previous blog posts about Improving Sleep Hygiene and 8 Ways to Sleep Better, I highly recommend reading them first. Now that we got that out of the way, what do you do when you have tried everything and still cannot sleep? 🙄 What do you do when you find yourself tossing and turning in bed at 0200? If you happen to be scrolling through your phone at an ungodly hour because you cannot sleep, then you picked the right blog post to read! 💁‍♀️ In this blog post, we will discuss five quiet activities that you can try when insomnia strikes. Hopefully, these tips will help you get the sleep that you desperately seek.

Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor and I am not here to give you medical advice. Please talk to your doctor if insomnia is a persistent problem to rule out any underlying medical conditions. There may be an underlying cause for your insomnia that can be treated. Additionally, your doctor can recommend other treatments or strategies that may help you sleep better.

Redefining Sleep: Best Quiet Activities for Insomniacs

1. Write in a journal. Keeping a journal is one of the best ways to work through anxiety or stress and fall asleep. If you’re having trouble sleeping, try writing out your thoughts in a personal journal. The act of writing your thoughts down will help you organize your ideas and let go of some stress that may be contributing to your insomnia.

♡ Photo by Miesha Maiden on

2. Listen to instrumental music. Listening to calming music when you’re trying to fall asleep is a great idea, in theory. Studies suggest that vocal-free music can actually help keep you awake since it activates our brain’s auditory cortex, which is known for being overactive in insomnia sufferers. Instrumental and/or ambient sounds like rainfall, wind chimes, or nature sounds (ocean waves, anyone?) tend to be more soothing. Personally, I love listening to BTS piano music on YouTube and the best YouTube channel in my opinion is Smyang Piano 🎧 Here are some songs that I listen to on repeat:

♡ Photo by Yuri Yuhara on

3. Read a book. Books are one of many quiet activities you can do when you have insomnia. Books don’t require all your attention, which means you can easily read one while also doing another task that requires less focus. This makes it a great activity for winding down at night before bed. Plus, reading about topics that interest you may help get your mind off any problems keeping you up. That being said, try not to read anything that is too exciting or makes you think critically.

4. Take deep breaths. Breathing deeply can help you relax and fall asleep faster, which is important if you have trouble falling and staying asleep. I cannot stress this enough, but it is best not to look at your phone, TV, or computer while practicing deep breathing—all of these activities stimulate your brain and body. In a previous blog post, I talked about using the 3-7-8 breathing exercise which you can read more about here.

5. Clean the house. Keeping your house clean isn’t just good for your mood; it can also help you de-stress, clear your mind and possibly even improve your sleep hygiene. The habit of cleaning before bed is a useful one because it can prevent unwanted distractions at night and make you feel more peaceful when it comes time to fall asleep. I recommend checking out this related blog post which includes a daily checklist to help you stay organized and in control of your environment.

♡ Photo by Ivan Samkov on

(っ◔◡◔)っ ♥ FINAL THOUGHTS ♥

Insomnia can be a frustrating condition that makes it difficult to get a good night’s sleep. When you find yourself tossing and turning in bed, you can refer to my list of five quiet activities to help you wind down and drift off to sleep. Do you agree with this list of suggestions? Is there anything that I missed? Feel free to join the conversation by leaving a comment below ↓ #Sweet-dreams

Thanks for stopping by! ♥

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32 thoughts on “Best Quiet Activities for Insomniacs

    • Hilary Tan says:

      I know the struggle of living in a small space and apartment life. I could hear the slamming doors and footsteps above me which drove me crazy since I am sensitive to noise. I think it’s a good thing that you are considerate of your mum and have found ways to deal with insomnia!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hilary Tan says:

      Consider that a blessing, Jenny! I am trying to become a morning person but still slept in until 0940 today 😕 I think I was really sleep deprived because I slept like a rock despite being a light sleeper.

      Thanks for reading! I’m glad that these suggestions still resonated with you 🙂 Having some kind of routine each day/night definitely helps.


  1. stevescountry says:

    Hi Hilary, I find that reading is best for me before bed, it always relaxes me and settles any thoughts of the day that might be a problem. I don’t normally have a problem sleeping if I do this regularly, unless I’m having a lot of pain, but that’s kind of different anyway. Oh, on my end it still shows me as following you. Have a great day!😊😺❄️❄️

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hilary Tan says:

      I just got a notification that you’re following me now! I blame WP for messing with this… sometimes it kicks followers off without warning 😕 Yeah, I couldn’t help but wonder why you haven’t been receiving my updates 😅

      Last night I made the mistake about reading the news before bed and I spent 2 hours reading horror stories (war in Ukraine, awful stuff).I can’t deal with the news and it gave me nightmares….

      Pain is the worst. I hate back pain the most – it’s the worst. I get that it can interfere with sleep. It’s hard to fall asleep (and stay asleep) if you’re in pain! ☹️

      Liked by 1 person

      • stevescountry says:

        Yeah, I unfollowed and refollowed to hopefully show up on your end again, so glad it did. Yep, never read anything unsettling or that might get us worked up before going to bed. It needs to be “easy reading” material.
        Yes, a couple of specialists explained to me that because I suffer with severe chronic pain that even when I seem to sleep well, I am not getting fully rested, which makes me tired all the time now. And sometimes I just can’t sleep at all due to the pain, so I get up and do something for a while rather than just staying in bed trying to find a comfortable position. Eventually I get tired enough that I fall asleep even though the pain is still there. Sometimes I sleep good for about 4 hours then wake up with severe pain and that’s it for my night.
        But for reading it’s something light, funny, or for me, I like history and science as long as it’s not too technical before bed.
        It’s snowing again, how crazy.🙄🙄❄️❄️

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hilary Tan says:

        You’re showing up on the list now so it’s all good! 😊 Yeah, I don’t actively search for disturbing things to read at night… they sort of just show up as uninvited click-bait 🙄The last thing I use before I go to bed is my phone, but I am trying to change that. Having constant access to these things can be bad for one’s wellbeing.

        I hope that you are able to find some kind of relief for your chronic pain. Do you take any topical analgesic creams for achy, sore joints and muscles?

        Liked by 1 person

      • stevescountry says:

        I have read that using your phone or computer right before sleeping is bad, it activates the brain instead of relaxing it.
        A mix of painkillers is what I use, I wouldn’t be able to handle the pain otherwise, it has just gotten to that stage now. I have found the creams don’t help my arthritis much and the sore muscles are mainly in my back so reaching them is not possible. My back muscles are in rough shape now. A lot of my pain is nerve caused and that can get rough at times. So I need to be careful what I do now and not over exert myself or lift/move heavy weight items (over 10lbs, 4kg)

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hilary Tan says:

        Is it possible to get a prescription for gabapentin? It’s a medication we give to patients to help treat nerve pain. It’s what we use as an alternative to opioids for pain. I am sorry that you’re pain has gotten so bad these days. I really hope that you are able to find something that works, Steve.

        Liked by 1 person

      • stevescountry says:

        Hi Hilary, yes the pain is starting to slow me down a bit and really wears me out by the end of the day. I use Tylenol 3 as the main painkiller. Would pregabalin (not sure if that is spelled right) be similar to that one you mentioned? Thanks Hilary!


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