According to Dr. José Colón, about 4-6 nocturnal awakenings are considered normal for the average person. This goes back to our caveman days when we needed to wake up to ensure our safety.
However, after these short periods of staying awake, we can easily go back to sleep. If you can’t fall asleep right away, there are probably a few things that keep you from getting a good night’s sleep.
We listed the most common reasons why you may wake up in the middle of the night and have trouble falling asleep.
Why Do I Wake Up In The Middle Of The Night?
6. Wrong Sleep Position
Symptoms such as chronic fatigue, headaches, heartburn, and neck or back pain can be caused by incorrect posture while sleeping. You should also pay attention to your bed – your mattress shouldn’t be too hard, but it shouldn’t be too soft, either. Make sure the pillow also supports your neck and head.
What to do: According to Dr. John Douillard, sleeping on the left side can improve your digestion and blood circulation, promote emotional health, help your lymphatic system to function properly, and prevent heart disease.
If you can’t completely change your sleep habits, try following some simple tips:
- If you sleep on your back, place a pillow under your knees to relieve pressure on your lower back.
- If you sleep on your side, place one pillow under your armpit to support your arm and another one between your legs to keep your spine aligned.
- If you sleep on your stomach, use a thin pillow or no pillows.
You can find a complete guide on how to choose the perfect pillow and mattress to improve the quality of your sleep.
5. Environmental Noise
If you live in a big city, you know what it’s like to be exposed to various noises day and night. Your bed partner’s alarm goes off, a neighbor turns on the radio every morning, a passing bus or train, children or animals playing – all of these noises can significantly ruin the quality of your sleep.
What to do: Wear earplugs while sleeping, but don’t forget that foam earplugs have a very short life. You should also clean them regularly.
If annoying sounds are coming from your neighbors or outside, you can soundproof the walls of your room for a comfortable sleep.
4. Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea means that the airways are partially or completely blocked and this can cause you to stop breathing repeatedly at night.
In this case, your awakening is caused by a drop in the level of oxygen in your blood.
Among other apnea symptoms, you may experience headaches, dry mouth, chest pain, excessive drowsiness, and mood swings.
What to do: If the diagnosis is confirmed, doctors may advise you to use a continuous positive airway pressure device to keep the airways open while sleeping.
In some cases, orthognathic surgery can help facilitate the breathing process by correcting the position of the tongue and jaw.
3. Restless Legs Syndrome
If you wake up with a strong urge to move your legs, you probably have Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS). This neurological problem can cause itching, crawling, or a creeping sensation in your legs. Sometimes you may even experience aching or throbbing pain in your lower extremities.
What to do: Leg massages, moderate exercise, and hot baths can alleviate RLS symptoms. If you experience significant sleep deprivation, you can change your sleep patterns by napping during the day.
2. Wrong Room Temperature
If you wake up in the middle of the night because it’s too cold or too hot, the problem would be room temperature. As a general rule, your body temperature should drop slightly to enter sleep mode, but that doesn’t mean your room is freezing.
What to do: According to the National Sleep Foundation, the ideal temperature for a good night’s sleep ranges from 60 ° F to 67 ° F. For babies or toddlers, it’s between 65° F and 70° F.
You can also try taking a hot shower before bed. First, it will raise your body temperature, and after you get out of the bath, there will be a slight drop in temperature, which will send the “sleep” signal to the brain.
1. Drinking Alcohol
Although alcohol has a sedative effect that can make you sleep fairly easily, it can actually be a reason for your restless nights.
As your body metabolizes alcohol into your system, the quality of your sleep may deteriorate, you may start to move frequently, and even wake up in the middle of the night.
What to do: Avoid drinking at least an hour before bed. Instead, have a cup of chamomile tea, this will help you sleep better.
Do you usually get up at night for no specific reason? How do you deal with it? Share your experience in the comments!