If You Wake Up More Than Once At Night, It Could Be A Sign Of These 5 Things
For many people, sleeping through the night is nothing more than an elusive dream. While waking up at least once is normal, if you wake up more than once in the middle of the night, it could be a sign of an underlying problem. ABC News Australia reported that, historically, two-stage sleep was the norm for humans. When people in old-timey days went to bed at sundown, they often woke up a few hours later and stayed awake for an hour or two before engaging in their second stage of sleep. What they did during this middle-of-the-night awake time is a mystery, but what is certain is that they had a lot more time to devote to sleep than you and me.
In modern society, electricity has made it possible to stay up long after sundown, but the small amount of free time people have limits their ability to try out that whole two-stage-sleep thing. If you're constantly waking up during the night, chances are the sleep you are getting isn't very restful. There are a number of things that can rouse you from sleep including stress, the call of nature, or being too hot, Healthline reported. While some of these things can be eliminated by simple lifestyle changes, others may indicate a medical condition. If you're waking up in the middle of the night on the regular, here are some reasons why.
1. You Have Sleep Apnea
A lot of people with sleep apnea aren't even aware that they have it, Healthline reported. Sleep apnea is an interruption of breathing during your sleep, and these pauses in breathing can jar you awake. What's more, it can also cause daytime sleepiness. If you experience symptoms like snoring, gasping for breath upon waking, morning headaches, or difficulty concentrating during the day, head to the doctor ASAP.
2. You're Experiencing Night Terrors
Night terrors are different than nightmares. During a night terror the person experiencing it appears awake but is unaware of what is happening. They are also unlikely to remember it upon waking, according to Healthline. If you have a history of night terrors, see a sleep specialist so you can begin improving the quality of your sleep.
3. You Have Insomnia
Most people think of insomnia as the inability to sleep. While this is one form of insomnia, you could also have this sleep disorder if you're unable to stay asleep. On the Mayo Clinic's website, Dr. Timothy Morgenthaler explained that waking up multiple times during the night is a form of insomnia commonly brought on by stress. The good news is that it can generally be treated with lifestyle changes like a healthy bedtime routine.
4. Too Much Screen Time
You already know that spending too much time on your devices can overload your brain, but you might not be aware that the blue light emitted from your phone, computer, and tablet can actually wreck your sleep, according to Sleep.org. In order to reduce the chances of waking up at night, power down at least 30 minutes to an hour before going to bed.
5. You're Anxious Or Depressed
For some people, anxiety and depression can cause extreme exhaustion and sleepiness. In others it can cause insomnia. "Anxiety and depression often go hand in hand with insomnia. In fact, it can sometimes be difficult to tell which comes first. An anxious or depressed mind can make it hard to fall asleep or stay asleep. Trouble sleeping can then lead to anxiety and depression," Healthline reported.
Getting a minimum of seven hours of sleep each night is important for both your mental and physical health. If you find that you're continually waking up in the middle of the night more than once or twice, and lifestyle changes haven't helped, talk to your doctor or a sleep specialist.