by Laura Falls on 15 Sep 2014

When you look at the clock and it’s 3am you probably think to yourself it’s too early to get up but also worry if you will ever get back to sleep and how tired you may be next day.

There are several types of insomnia, one being ‘early-morning awakening insomnia’.

“Early-morning awakening insomnia is common in older adults and is often associated with daytime tiredness, balance impairments, and memory troubles”, said Professor Leon Lack.

Flinders University has conducted research into the treatment of early-morning awakening insomnia using evening bright light therapy.

Participants in the study who experienced early-morning awakening insomnia had significantly advanced body clocks compared to those who were good sleepers.

Professor Lack said, “Evening bright-light therapy was found to be effective in delaying the body clock of individuals with early-morning awakening insomnia and resulting in more sleep and better daytime moods and functioning.”

Wearing Re-Timer for 30-60 minutes in the evening before bed can delay your body clock (or circadian rhythm) helping you to avoid waking up at 3am in the morning.

Here are some tips, if you do find yourself awake at 3am:

  • Remember that awakenings during the night are a normal part of the sleep period, especially as we get older.
  • Don’t do anything too stimulating, relax and allow yourself to fall back to sleep.
  • Don’t stay in bed more than 20 minutes awake, get out of bed and go to another room to do quiet activities in low illumination light.
  • If you feel sleepy again you can go back to bed to allow yourself to re-initiate sleep.
  • If, however, you cannot fall back to sleep in about 20 minutes then start your day but avoid bright light for the first few hours.

Penny Palmer used Re-Timer to treat insomnia, read her full story at

Image credit: Discovery News