The Sleep Experts


5 Reasons Why You’re Waking Up in the Middle of the Night

waking in the middle of the night

Falling asleep can be a difficult enough task some nights, but staying asleep can often prove even more troublesome. It’s actually completely normal to wake up during the night, due to our innate survival instincts. However, if you are unable to seamlessly fall back asleep, there may be a deeper problem at hand.

The following are 5 likely reasons why you continuously wake up in the middle of the night.

1. Your Sleeping Environment

The Problem: If there’s any light in your room, it can play havoc with your body’s internal clock. Whether it’s from the moon or your phone, it will wake you without you even realizing the cause. Likewise, an uncomfortable mattress will eventually wake you up if you can’t find a restful sleeping position.

The Solution: Remove all sources of light from your room by installing blackout blinds, and keeping your electronics in a drawer overnight. Invest in breathable bedding, and replace your mattress every seven years for the best spinal support.

2. Your Nightcap

The Problem: Having a nightcap before bed is widely thought to help you sleep. This is actually true, as alcohol has a sedative effect that helps you fall asleep faster. However, it also prevents you from entering REM sleep, which you need to be well-rested. As a result, once the sedative effect wears off you’ll experience fragmented sleep.

The Solution: It takes two hours before your body begins to eliminate alcohol, meaning you should avoid consuming it in the evening.

3. Nature Calls

The Problem: Nocturia (nighttime urination) is one of the biggest disruptors of sleep, as while we rest our bodies try to maintain a balance of water and electrolytes. If you have too much water and not enough salt, your body will wake you up to flush out the excess H20.

The Solution: Reduce the amount you drink before going to bed. Make sure to avoid beverages that contain alcohol and caffeine, as these act as diuretics. Adults could also try drinking a small glass of water with a tiny pinch of unprocessed sea salt 30 minutes before bed, to help maintain your body retain a healthy electrolytes balance.

4. Stress

The Problem: Stress is widely recognised as a core issue which affects sleep, but it can also cause you to wake up during the night. Anxiety can hit at any time, even when you’re fast asleep. In fact, 56% of our sleep survey respondents say a racing mind is the biggest theft of their sleep!

The Solution: Try have a coping mechanism at hand for when you wake up. It can help to follow a routine, like keeping a journal on your bedside table to write down your worries, or spritz sleep spray on your pillow to soothe you back to sleep.

5. A Sleep Condition

The Problem: Sleep disorders are incredibly common, and can affect your ability to stay asleep. For example, insomnia can cause you to wake throughout the night, even if you’ve no problem falling asleep in the first place. Sleep apnea, where you stop breathing intermittently, can also disrupt your sleep.

The Solution: Visit your doctor to rule out a sleep condition. If you’re waking up regularly during the night, this can also be symptomatic of a deeper health concern, which is why it’s always best to get checked by the professionals.

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