This is why you randomly wake up at 4 AM (and how to get back to sleep fast)

This is why you randomly wake up at 4 AM (and how to get back to sleep fast)

There was a time earlier in the pandemic where I would get up every morning between 3 and 4. Sometimes I had to go to the bathroom or I had a genius idea for a new story. Other times it was for seemingly no reason at all.

Waking up in the middle of the night is usually a cause for concern. The average person wakes up several times throughout the night, but often doesn’t notice because they are able to fall back asleep quickly (and wake up for only a few seconds). However, frequent awakenings at night can also be a sign of this insomnia, which is found in 40% of the elderly. But before you self-diagnose, it can be helpful to take a look at why you’re waking up in the middle of the night.

What makes you wake up in the middle of the night

As it turns out, there are many reasons why we randomly wake up in the middle of the night, including, but not limited to:

  • Noise: This could be from the sound of traffic outside and birds chirping, or your partner snoring next to you (or as it was the case for me, a noisy upstairs neighbor). explains Terry Craley, registered nurse and representative for Better sleep board.

  • Alcohol: Having a glass of wine with dinner may not seem like a bad idea, but as alcohol metabolizes in your system, it can disrupt your sleep, which can lead to crankiness and frequent awakenings. “Alcohol consumption is known to reduce the time spent in rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, and it is also considered a diuretic, which can lead to going to the bathroom in the middle of the night,” says Craley.

  • Dinner time: Eating too close to bedtime can also lead to waking up in the middle of the night with heartburn and acid reflux.

  • pressure: If waking up earlier than usual isn’t your habit, you can think about what’s going on during your waking hours and whether stress from life or work might be affecting your sleep.

  • aging: As we get older, the quality of our sleep tends to decline as our sleep cycle changes and medications can affect your sleep schedule as well.

How to fall asleep quickly after waking up in the middle of the night

If you have a few more hours before the alarm goes off, you can still salvage some Sleeps. Here’s how:

Resist the temptation to watch the clock

Checking the time (or notifications) can keep you awake longer. “The light is off and you may easily end up checking out the content and before you know it, you’ll easily lose an hour (or more) of sleep,” Craley says.

Avoid bright light

If you need to get up and go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, try to avoid bright lights as much as possible. However, if you find yourself making several trips throughout the night, you should consult your healthcare provider.

Try to relax (but don’t force yourself to sleep)

Anyone who has ever found themselves staring at their ceiling in the middle of the night knows that purposely trying to sleep can often lead to the opposite happening. Rather than forcing sleep into sleep, experts recommend trying relaxation techniques instead, such as deep breathing, meditation, or progressive muscle relaxation, which involves tensing and then releasing every muscle in your body.

He left the room

If all else fails after 20 minutes, get up and move to another room to read or listen to soft music. Whatever you do, just make sure he’s in another room. “Doing so will lead your mind and body to associate your bed with wakefulness rather than sleep,” Johns Hopkins University sleep expert Louis F. V said blog post.

“It can be hard to leave a warm, comfortable bed after waking up in the middle of the night. But think of this step as an investment in better sleep — if not tonight, then tomorrow night and into the future.” Once you are sleepy enough, you can go back to your bedroom.

Tips to prevent waking up in the middle of the night

While getting up at 3 a.m. may feel unavoidable, there are science-backed ways to ensure you set yourself up for success before bedtime. For adults under the age of 65, it is recommended to get seven to nine hours of sleep each night with a goal going to sleep Within two to three hours after sunset.

It’s crucial to go to bed before midnight, said Dr. Allison Prager, a neurobiologist with expertise in sleep and circadian rhythms. luck, because this “improves the time spent in restorative non-REM sleep.” Other tips for getting a good night’s rest include:

  • Maintain a regular bedtime and wakeup time

  • Get exposure to light, and ideal sunlight, during the morning

  • Avoids Large doses of caffeine throughout the day, and especially after 2 p.m

  • Avoid large meals, alcohol, and exercise close to bedtime

  • Avoid exposure to bright light in the evening

  • Save your bedroom Dark and cold

In addition, you can improve your bedroom to include sleep masks and earplugs; blackout curtains; a noise machine and/or other sound-absorbing materials, such as carpeting, an area rug, or wall hangings; And a comfortable sleeping surface, like mattressand pillows and bedding to help you fall asleep easier (and stay asleep).

But if nothing works and you still find yourself waking up at 4 a.m. more often, you’ll want to see your doctor to see if you have a sleep disorder.

“Good sleep is the foundation upon which optimal health is built. Even if nutrition and exercise are at their best, without proper sleep the benefits are greatly reduced,” Dr. Abhinav Singh, MD, Medical Director, Indiana Sleep Center, expert in SleepFoundation.organd co-authored Sleep to Heal: 7 Simple Steps to Better Sleepwas said previously luck. “Sleep is important for metabolic health, immune health, muscle repair, optimal brain function and mental health. Not only does optimal sleep add years to your life, but it also adds years to your life.”

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