9 Reasons Why You Might Be Waking Up During the Night
Most of us have tried to function the day after not getting enough quality sleep. It may be because of a job, a baby, an illness. Whatever the reason we're tired and cranky. The lack of sleep can be caused by being unable to fall asleep. It can also be caused by waking up in the middle of the night. Either can leave you feeling exhausted the next day. Let's look at nine reasons you may be waking up at night and the things you can do about each one.
Temperature -- It's important to get the temperature right when you're sleeping. If you're too hot or too cold, you'll have trouble going to sleep or staying asleep. Experts recommend that your bedroom temperature be 60 to 67 degrees Fahrenheit for the best sleep. Your body temperature starts to fall a little when you get into bed ready for sleep. A cooler bedroom helps your body with that process.
Chronic Pain -- If you have temporary or long term chronic pain sleeping throughout the night can be difficult. You might feel all right when you go to sleep, but after a few hours you might feel sore lying in a particular position. You wake up in pain during the night which keeps you from getting the sleep you need to feel rested. That can have a snowball effect making your pain even worse. If pain is keeping you from sleeping, consider speaking with your primary care provider and/or a pain management doctor.
Night Time Urination -- Getting up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night interrupts your sleep and can cause you to feel tired the next day. If you're waking up nightly, possibly even multiple times each night, start by trying to reduce your fluid intake a couple of hours before bedtime, especially if you're drinking alcohol or caffeine.
Alcohol -- Do you drink alcohol thinking it's just the thing to help you sleep? Don't do it! Alcohol is a depressant but hours after consumed, it will cause a spike in your blood sugar. That blood sugar spike can cause you to wake up. Interrupted sleep means you may feel tired in the morning rather than rested. It's best to avoid alcohol if you have trouble sleeping.
Caffeine -- Caffeine can also keep you awake at night. It's also best to avoid caffeine for several hours before bed. If you do manage to fall sleep, your sleep may be restless or you could find yourself waking up in the middle of the night.
Anxiety -- Anxiety can cause your body to release cortisol and adrenaline, hormones that can make it difficult to go to sleep or stay asleep. If you suffer from anxiety that affects your quality of life and sleep, it's best to see a doctor.
Depression -- Depression can cause some people to sleep excessively during the daytime but others to not sleep at all. Both can cause low quality sleep that leaves you tired and irritable. Untreated depression can affect every part of your life. If you think you might be experiencing it, seek medical attention.
Stress -- When you feel stress, your body may release cortisol and adrenaline, the same chemicals released when you feel anxious and stressed These chemicals can cause you to wake up once you go to sleep or they will prevent you from going to sleep when you need to. If you're feeling stressed, take steps to lower your stress levels by participating in activities like deep breathing, meditation, yoga, a calming hobby. Regular exercise will also help.
Sleep Apnea -- Sleep Apnea is a serious medical condition. It can cause you to stop breathing multiple times per night, forcing your body to wake you up in order to get oxygen again. If you snore, feel tired all the time no matter how much rest you get, and you often wake up in the middle of the night, you may want to see a doctor and be checked for Sleep Apnea.
Any of the above problems can cause you to wake up during the night. Waking throughout the night can leave you feeling chronicly exhausted. It can also cause you to have trouble concentrating and regulating your emotions. If you're not getting quality sleep, your health and quality of life can be affected. Do what you can to manage any of the problems above. Don't hesitate to seek medical attention if you need to. You're definitely worth a good night's sleep!