McKinsey’s Giles Watkins recently published an article on “What to do when you’re awake at 3 a.m.”. First of all, THANK YOU Giles! It’s great to see that McKinsey & Company, the leader of an industry that is, let’s say, historically not known for prioritizing sleep, finally puts this essential human performance topic on the leadership agenda. This goes in line with many other leadership articles in major media outlets in the last months.

The article highlights a few valuable tipps WHAT to do when we wake up in the middle of the night. From my coaching experience with clients, I think it’s even more important to understand WHY we wake up in the first place so we can avoid it once and forever.

*** Spoiler alert: you’ll find a super easy hack to avoid waking up at night at the end of this article***

WHY We Wake Up

The key question is – WHY do we wake up at 3 AM? For many people working in high-stress environments the reason is this:

Es wurde kein Alt-Text für dieses Bild angegeben.

At 3 or 4 AM in the morning our brains run out of energy. The Glymphatic system, our brain’s waste removal (which responsible for cleaning our neurons from toxic proteins that result from our thinking during the day) sucks our last energy resources and causes a blood sugar crash.

Our Body’s Reaction

Our body says “oh I know how to make sugar” and produces cortisol (the stress hormone) and maybe a little bit of adrenalin to boost our blood sugar level.

Es wurde kein Alt-Text für dieses Bild angegeben.

The good thing: we have additional fuel for the brain to run the Glymphatic system.

The bad thing: we wake up stressed with our racing mind kicking in.

How To Avoid Waking Up

The solution: a teaspoon of raw honey (or almond butter if you don’t like honey) just before going to bed. It will stabilize your blood sugar and provide enough energy to run your Glymphatic system. You don’t wake up anymore.

Es wurde kein Alt-Text für dieses Bild angegeben.

Take Action

Try it out tonight and let me know how this works for you.


Thanks for reading 🙂

What are your best tipps to avoid waking up at 3 AM? Please share with us in the comments below.


Es wurde kein Alt-Text für dieses Bild angegeben.

Popular Short Posts:

How Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Destroys Your Recovery & Sleep (22,000+ Views)

How to Stop Feeling Guilty For Relaxing

If You Hate Stress, Read This



Please share it with 2-3 friends, colleagues or family members who need to read this. Thank you!



No problem, register for the newsletter. Never miss any fresh performance content.