Why do you wake up in the middle of the night after you’ve gone to sleep?


It is disappointing when you think you have finally fallen asleep after refraining from drinking caffeine in the evening and cutting out the temptation of your smartphone, only to wake up at 3 a.m. instead of the next morning. Experts explain the problem of waking up in the middle of the night after having gone to sleep.


Shuteye and sleep hygiene: the truth about why you keep waking up at 3am | Life and style | The Guardian


In recent years, it has been widely asserted that “getting a good night’s sleep is important” and “eight hours of sleep a day is ideal,” which is why waking up in the middle of the night can be so discouraging. However, Alice Gregory, professor of psychology at Goldsmiths College in London, points out that waking up in the middle of the night is natural.

Sleep is interrupted by brief awakenings,” she says. But usually, people go back to sleep again without realizing they have woken up,” Gregory said, and in fact, most people wake up in the middle of the night. Although waking up in the middle of the night is brief and usually unremembered, he said that depending on conditions, such as, for example, the temperature being too hot or too cold, needing to go to the bathroom, having a nightmare, or hearing a baby crying at night, people may be clearly aware that they have awakened in the middle of the night.

He also said that even if a person wakes up in the middle of the night, it is not a definite indication that he or she has insomnia. To be diagnosed with insomnia, Gregory said, it must be weighed against other criteria, such as the frequency of waking up during the night and the length of time a person has been awake.

It’s a misconception that we sleep through the night,” Gregory said. No one is,” said Katie Fisher, who teaches proper sleep habits. According to Fisher, waking up five to seven times during the night is not a major concern; what is more important is how you feel when you wake up. ‘Are you refreshed in the morning? Or do you wake up and within 30 minutes feel woozy and unable to move well?” Fischer said.

Fischer also noted that the reason for waking up in the middle of the night is not necessarily the person’s health. Whether or not you have children is very important. Does your partner snore or work in shifts? Fischer said that noises made by others could be the cause of waking up in the middle of the night.

Of course, it is often your lifestyle that keeps you up at night, so it is important to avoid caffeine after 3 p.m. and drink plenty of fluids during the day. Fischer commented, “Going to sleep mildly dehydrated can disrupt sleep.” Eating until you are full before bedtime and consuming alcohol to fall asleep can also lead to sleep deprivation. Fischer recommends whole-grain cereal with milk or toast with peanut butter as snacks to nibble on before sleep, and notes that it is also important to follow rules such as not bringing electronic devices into the bedroom.

Sleep expert Marian Taylor pointed out that the fact that the bedroom also serves as a home cinema, work area, and dining room has caused the brain to associate the bed with the waking state. For this reason, she said, when we wake up in the middle of the night and have difficulty falling asleep, we might dare to get up. Taylor also claims that waking up in the middle of the night, checking the clock, and worrying that you have woken up even though it is only 2:00 a.m. may itself be preventing you from falling asleep even more.

Unaddressed worries and stresses during the day can cause you to dwell on them during the night when you are alone, which can make it difficult to fall asleep. Therefore, managing one’s own stress and anxiety while awake is the first step toward getting a good night’s sleep, he says.

Ironically, however, the pressure to sleep eight hours a day or to get a good night’s sleep can make it even harder to fall asleep. Therefore, it is important to stop thinking, “I have to sleep well all night” or “I have to get a good score on a sleep tracker,” Taylor said.