Have you ever found yourself wide awake in the middle of the night, wondering why you can’t seem to stay asleep until morning? If you’re dealing with the frustration of waking up at night: don’t worry, you definitely aren’t alone– in fact, most people are likely to experience some form of insomnia, at some point during their lives.
This phenomenon can be attributed to many different factors. However, with a little insight, you’ll be able to discover exactly why it is that you’re waking up at night, and what to do about it.
Stress and anxiety
Stress and anxiety are some of the most common culprits of waking up at night, or having difficulty falling asleep. When you’re stressed or anxious, your mind can become overactive, making it difficult to relax enough to fall asleep.
Worries, racing thoughts, or unresolved issues can keep you awake at night. In order to address this and get a good night’s sleep, try out some deep breathing exercises, meditation, or journaling before bedtime to calm your mind. It may sound silly, but jotting down your worries can help you put them aside for the night– and tackle them again in the morning, when you’re well-rested.
Poor sleep hygiene
Sleep hygiene doesn’t have anything to do with taking a shower before bed, or washing your sheets. It’s actually about the practices and habits you’ll need to follow in order to enjoy healthy and restful sleep.
Having good sleep hygiene can help you to fall asleep easily and stay asleep– no more waking up at night! On the other hand, poor sleep hygiene can leave you tired and definitely not feeling like your best self in the morning.
Poor sleep hygiene habits include excessive screen time before bed. Yes, it’s tempting to look at your phone right before you go to sleep, but doing so can actually disrupt your circadian rhythm, keeping you awake or preventing you from falling into deep, restful sleep. Irregular sleep schedules and a cluttered bedroom can also disrupt your sleep patterns.
In order to improve your sleep hygiene, create a comfortable and relaxing environment for yourself. That means a dark, cool, quiet room. If you live in a place where noise is inevitable, invest in some quality earplugs or a white noise machine to keep the noise consistent.
Avoid screens before bed– try reading or journaling instead. Work on establishing a consistent sleep routine to keep your body regulated, too– going to bed at the same time every night, and waking at the same time each morning.
Eating and drinking before bedtime can have an effect on your sleep. Consuming caffeine or alcohol close to bedtime can interfere with your ability to stay asleep. Plus, heavy or spicy meals may lead to indigestion and discomfort, causing you to wake up at night.
Try caffeine-free herbal tea and a light snack, instead– these will fill you up without causing sleep issues.
If you struggle with sleep apnea, acid reflux, or chronic pain, you might experience disrupted sleep. If you suspect that you’re dealing with one of these issues, speak to a healthcare professional to get an evaluation and some appropriate treatment options to improve your quality of sleep.
Similarly, hormonal fluctuations– particularly those that occur during menstruation– can lead to changes in sleep quality and increased likelihood of waking up at night. If you’re experiencing extreme hormonal fluctuations, you might benefit from speaking with a doctor.
Lack of physical activity
Living a sedentary lifestyle can cause many problems; poor sleep is just one of them. Incorporating regular physical activity into your life can improve your sleep quality and help you stay asleep at night.
Understand the causes
Waking up at night is frustrating, but it’s likely that you’ll be able to resolve the issue once you understand where it’s coming from. If you’re stressed out, dealing with medical conditions, or aren’t getting enough exercise, the solution is right there!
If your sleep issues are coming from a deeper issue– like anxiety, excessive stress, or depression– you might benefit from getting in touch with a mental health professional. Give Chenal Family Therapy a call today; we’re here to help.
SPP is a subset of Chenal Family Therapy, PLC, ACEP Provider Number: 7233