by Spindle Mattress May 03, 2022 3 min read
You're still staring at the ceiling at 2am, even though you eschew caffeine after lunch, have stopped drinking alcohol, and eat healthily. We all have experienced that dreaded feeling of waking up in the middle of the night for no apparent reason.
It's like your mind and body just decided to take a break from sleep and leave you feeling exhausted the next day. But why does this happen?
There are a few reasons why we might wake up in the middle of the night, and it's usually due to our body's natural sleep cycles. Our bodies are designed to sleep in 90-minute intervals, and during each sleep cycle, we go through different stages of sleep. The first stage is light sleep, followed by deep sleep, and then REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. It's during the REM stage of sleep that we tend to have the most vivid dreams. And sometimes, if we're in the middle of a particularly vivid dream, our body can wake us up to process it. This is known as a "waking dream" or a "lucid dream." Other times, we might wake up in the middle of the night because we have to go to the bathroom. This is more common in older adults as our bodies produce less of the hormone vasopressin, which helps our kidneys hold on to water. Stress can also be a factor in middle-of-the-night wake-ups. If we're worried about something or someone, our mind can start racing and it can be difficult to fall back asleep.
There are many reasons why we may wake up in the middle of the night. It could be due to stress, anxiety, a noise in the environment, or even something as simple as needing to use the restroom. However, there are also a few medical reasons why this may occur. Dr. Michael Breus, a sleep specialist, says there are also a few medical conditions that can cause middle of the night awakenings. For example, sleep apnea is a condition where a person stops breathing for a short period of time during sleep. This can cause a person to wake up feeling gasping for air. If you are frequently waking up in the middle of the night and it is impacting your daily life, it is important to talk to a doctor. They can help determine if there is an underlying medical condition causing your sleep disturbances. There could be an underlying health condition that's causing it, such as sleep apnea or restless leg syndrome.
In the meantime, there are a few things you can do to try and prevent middle-of-the-night wake-ups:
This will help you sleep better. If you follow these tips, you should be able to sleep better at night. But if you're still having trouble, you may need to see a doctor to find out if there's another reason why you're waking up in the middle of the night.