Perhaps you’re wondering why it is that I keep awakening around 4:00 am. Over 35% of the population reports waking up at least three times a week due to insomnia. It’s possible to be momentarily roused from sleep by external stimuli like a snoring companion, a shift in the room temperature, or a passing car. Most folks have little trouble dozing off again.
It may not be entirely environmental if you have trouble falling or staying asleep at the same time every night or if you wake up several times during the night. An increase in nighttime awakenings is common with age, and it is typically associated with medical and psychological issues. Get the lowdown on nighttime awakenings, why they could occur, and whether or not you need to see a doctor as a result.
Why Do I Wake Up at the Same Time Each Night?
Nighttime awakenings can be caused by a number of different things, but they seldom come at a convenient time for the person who would rather be sleeping. These factors may interact with your circadian rhythm and sleep cycle to increase the likelihood that you will wake up at a particular time each day.
The circadian rhythm is a natural 24-hour biological clock that regulates the release of hormones that help you sleep and those that give you energy. Also, while we sleep, we progress through four distinct stages, with some allowing for easier waking than others. It is possible that other causes that wake people up at night, when added to these natural rhythms, could lead to consistent morning awakenings.
If you have a hard time getting to sleep or staying asleep, you may be suffering from insomnia. Insomnia often manifests itself in these ways:
- Problems getting to sleep.
- In the middle of the night awakening.
- Trouble falling back to sleep after an early morning awakening.
- I can’t say that I’ve been getting good rest.
- Not sleeping sufficiently despite having ample time and the suitable atmosphere for sleep.
- Exhaustion from lack of sleep during the day.
One’s inability to sleep could be due to any number of things.
- It’s a shift schedule.
- Daytime snoozing.
- Sleeping with a device.
- Not sticking to a regular schedule for going to sleep.
- Cigarettes, booze, and narcotics.
- Caffeine in the evening.
- Intense light or a lot of noise.
- The suffering of the body.
- A failure to exercise regularly.
Insomnia can be treated in a number of ways, including with cognitive behavioral therapy, lifestyle changes, and sleep medicines.
The musculoskeletal, respiratory, cardiovascular, and gastrointestinal systems can all be adversely affected by prolonged or chronic exposure to stress. The quality of your sleep might be negatively impacted by stress. One study indicated that medical students who reported feeling more stressed also reported sleeping less well.
The ability to deal with stress positively correlates with the quality of sleep, according to one study. Your ability to deal with stress is impacted by the quality of sleep you get, and vice versa, according to the research. With the help of cognitive behavioral therapy, you can finally put an end to your sleepless nights.
Nighttime awakenings could be a natural consequence of aging. After reaching middle age, circadian rhythm changes cause adults to wake up more frequently during the night and sleep for a shorter total amount of time. It takes older folks longer to fall asleep at night, and they often wake up too early in the morning and have trouble falling back to sleep. Treatments for insomnia that involve cognitive behavioral therapy and selective light exposure have both been shown to be effective.
Hormonal shifts are a potential cause of nighttime awakenings. Hormonal shifts and sleep disruptions are common symptoms across the lifespan of a woman, particularly during pregnancy, perimenopause, and menopause.
Pregnant women may also have trouble sleeping because of their changing bodies. Use a maternity pillow to help sleeping on your side more tolerable when pregnant. If you’re a woman going through perimenopause or menopause and you’re hot throughout the night, you might find that using a fan or cool sheets helps.
Not all drugs have the same effect on sleep, and some can even lead to frequent awakenings during the night.
- Drugs known as beta-blockers are typically prescribed for the treatment of hypertension, but they also have the potential to affect sleep by reducing melatonin production. Since melatonin helps you fall asleep, its suppression can disrupt your sleep. Studies suggest that melatonin supplementation can mitigate the inability of beta-blockers to induce sleep.
- Diuretics are medicines that assist reduce blood pressure by increasing urine output. You may urinate more frequently, though, so keep that in mind. Having to get up several times during the night to use the bathroom might throw off your sleep schedule, making it difficult to get back to sleep afterward.
- Antidepressants aid in the treatment of depression and other mood disorders. However, medications frequently cause insomnia.
Your doctor should be consulted if you have any worries regarding the drugs you are currently taking.
Your capacity to sleep through the night may also be affected by your way of life. According to the results of one study, for instance, those who do not adhere to a regular bedtime are more likely to experience sleep-related issues.
The quality of sleep reported by smokers is similarly lower than that of nonsmokers. Some people also get up in the middle of the night to smoke, which disrupts their rest even more. There is some evidence that consistent, strenuous exercise can help smokers kick the habit.
If you suffer from chronic pain, getting a good night’s rest can be especially challenging because you may find yourself waking up frequently throughout the night. Problems sleeping can be helped by addressing the underlying causes of discomfort and any associated emotions like anxiety and sadness.
Can’t fall sleep from 9 PM to 11 PM
Do you have trouble falling asleep during the aforementioned hours? Perhaps your head is still too full of stress because you haven’t had time to relax yet. If so, some calming practices like meditation and deep breathing, together with a cup of chamomile tea, may help you go off to sleep. Make sure you check your thyroid levels, as this could possibly be a cause.
Waking up between 11 PM and 1 AM
Your gall bladder is related with this time frame. Problems with the gall bladder have been related to resentment and disillusionment; this suggests that the source of your anxiety may lie inside your own thoughts. Keep in mind that it is not sufficient to merely forgive others. You must extend the same grace to yourself. Do not be too hard on yourself; remember that we are all human and make mistakes.
Waking up between 1 AM and 3 AM
In this time frame, your liver is most active. According to Feng Shui, unpleasant emotions, such as rage, are stored in the liver and must be released. Take care to hydrate well and cut back on booze and coffee.
Waking up between 3 AM and 5 AM
Waking up between these hours is associated with your lungs and it is also tied to melancholy and loss. Have you just endured a loss (person, job, thing) and you are still attempting to cope? Have a little faith and things will get better.
Waking up between 5 AM and 7 AM
You checked the time and realized it’s way too early for you to get up, right? Maybe your large intestine is malfunctioning. If this isn’t the case, it’s possible that you’re experiencing an emotional block. You need to take a step back, reevaluate certain connections, and let go of the past.
Waking up between 7 AM and 10 AM
If you wake up at these times, it may be a sign that you are concerned and stressed about something, or that your stomach and spleen need attention. Be kind to yourself, and if you find yourself struggling, consult a coach.
When to Talk to Your Doctor
Consistently going to bed at the same time each night, as well as limiting your use of electronics and caffeine in the hours leading up to bed, will help you sleep through the night again if you’ve been having trouble falling or staying asleep.
However, if nighttime wakings persist despite these adjustments and are keeping you from getting enough sleep, it may be time to consult a medical professional. If you frequently wake up throughout the night, it’s best to see a doctor to rule out sleep disorders, physical ailments, or psychological issues as possible causes.