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Why Am I Waking Up at Night?

Updated January 1, 2020

Sleeping well is one of the most important features of living a good and healthy life. It is important to make sure we get the proper amount and quality of sleep. However, oftentimes we can wake up and not feel well-rested or feel that we did not get enough sleep.

There are several reasons that can cause a disturbance in our sleep, leading us to feel fatigued, irritable, and low on energy throughout the day. This lack of sleep can have a lot of negative impacts on our lives and overall health, especially if you don’t know what to do when you can’t sleep.

Why do I wake up in the middle of the night?

There is a multitude of reasons which can result in not waking up rested. However, one of the most common reasons is that you wake up often during the night. This can result in a disturbed sleep cycle and can make it harder to fall asleep again. Ultimately, you then wake up feeling tired in the morning and are not well-rested.

Almost everyone wakes up once in a while during the night to use the bathroom or to adjust their sleeping position. But how do we realize that it is becoming a problem? When do we know that we are waking up too often and it is affecting the quality of our sleep?

Generally, most people wake up once or twice during the night and not necessarily every night. This rousing from sleep during the night is often very short-lived and has no real threat to our health.

However, waking up in the middle of the night or being unable to fall asleep after waking up in the middle can be related to several health issues. If this is occurring frequently and is approaching a point where it is almost regular then it might be time to consult a physician. This inability to sleep or deep sleep can also cause many health issues.

Some common causes of waking up

Let’s consider some common, everyday reasons that might be causing you to wake up during the night and how you might be able to overcome these to get a good night’s rest.

  • Your surroundings are not apt for sleeping in

One of the most common causes for waking up during the night is having an environment that is not well equipped for you to sleep in.  This can mean that either the room is too hot, too cold, too bright, or even too noisy for you to sleep in.

These are quite easy to pinpoint and remedy, you can set the temperature of your room and adjust brightness or noise so that you are able to fall asleep easier or to prevent waking up in the middle of the night.

  • Eating and drinking before bed

Eating and drinking before bed can have a huge impact on the quality of sleep that you get overnight. This is due to the fact that all our bodily processes slow down drastically when we go to sleep, this includes our metabolic and digestive functions.

If you have a large meal or eat something heavy right before you go to sleep it can cause you to have heartburn, acidity, feel nauseous, or it can even prevent you from falling asleep. In order to prevent this, it is best to ensure you eat at least an hour before sleeping and to avoid eating heavy or greasy foods.

In addition to this, it is best to avoid drinking too much water or other beverages prior to sleeping as a full bladder can prevent you from falling asleep as well as cause you to wake up multiple times in order to use the bathroom.

  • Avoid alcohol before bed

Although, most people think that alcohol can make it easier to drift off and would promote sleeping. Too much alcohol near bedtime can cause a disruption in your sleep cycle causing you to spend more time in stage one sleep which is not deep sleep and you are more likely to wake up from restless sleep due to it. So it is best to avoid large quantities of alcohol close to your bedtime.

Now that we have considered some common factors, let’s also consider some medical conditions which might explain why you can’t sleep at night. If you think any of these conditions might be causing you to wake up at night, it is recommended that you consult a doctor to help you get better sleep.

Trouble staying asleep? Maybe it’s a medical condition

There is a large number of medical conditions that can be causing you to wake up at night.

  • Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a common cause of waking up in the middle of the night. This sleeping problem causes disruptions in a person’s breathing such as shallowing or stopping their breathing. This can cause the person to wake up several times during the night. There are different treatments for this condition which can be accessed through your physician.

  • Anxiety or depression

If you’re asking yourself, “why can’t I fall asleep at night?” and none of the above apply to you, then consider this. Another condition that can keep you up at night is anxiety or depression. Often times when something is bothering us it is difficult to relax our mind and this can make it difficult to fall asleep. Constant worry or troubling matter can also cause nightmares which can also cause you to wake up during the night. Some even report waking up with anxiety and don’t know how to fall back asleep.

This can be helped and controlled by seeking medical help or consultation. You can get help in addressing the issues that are causing you to have these conditions as well as you can get medication to help you sleep better.

  • Diabetes

Diabetic individuals frequently feel the need to urinate and this is a key symptom of diabetes.  If you feel that you are needing to wake up a little too frequently to use the bathroom, it might be time to consult a doctor.

Doctors can provide you medication as well as lifestyle changes to help control blood sugar levels which can, in turn, help you sleep better.

Conclusion

Sleep is a very important aspect of our life. If you are unable to sleep and do not feel well-rested in the morning it is important to consider what you might be able to change. So, how do you stop waking up in the middle of the night? If you are unable to sleep well, it is always wise to consult a doctor to ensure that you do not have any underlying medical conditions that may be the cause.