Constantly waking up at night isn’t healthy. It doesn’t matter how many hours of sleep you’re getting; if your sleep is heavily interrupted, you’re not getting good quality sleep.
Most people wake up two to three times at night. If you wake up more frequently or take ages to get back to sleep, its worth considering why. Below are ten possible reasons why you may be waking up so often.
1. You’re too hot or cold
A common reason for a restless night is being too hot or cold. If you wake up shivering or sweating, consider whether it’s time to switch your bedding to something more insulating or breathable. Check out this seasonal guide to bedding for more advice.
2. Waking up at night because of noise
Are you being kept awake by things that go bump in the night? If you live in a noisy area, consider using earplugs.
Investing in sound insulation for your bedroom is another option. Some people even find that white noise helps drown out sounds, although others may find the sound keeps them awake.
3. Too much outside light
Most folks need a dark environment to stay asleep. Car headlights or street lighting could be keeping you awake at night. If so, blackout blinds and curtains are a potential solution.
4. You’re not in a comfortable position
Are you waking up with cramps or aches? It could be worth changing your sleeping position. Using pillows to support certain parts of your body could help.
Don’t also forget to consider whether you need a new mattress. It might be time to replace a lumpy or sagging bed.
5. Too much food (or not enough) before going to bed
Try not to go to bed straight after a heavy meal as doing so can cause indigestion and acid reflux that disturbs sleep. Similarly, you don’t want to wake up hungry at midnight because you didn’t eat dinner.
Preventing these issues can be as simple as eating dinner about three hours before bed. You can eat a small snack an hour before bed if you start getting hungry again.
6. You’ve been drinking alcohol
Alcohol can disrupt your sleep cycle by making you thirsty and preventing deep slumber. You may also make more trips to the bathroom. If you drink alcohol each night, consider abstaining for a few days to see if it makes a difference to your sleep quality.
7. A medical condition is causing you to need the toilet
If you find yourself constantly getting up to go to the toilet, consider whether a medical condition could be the cause. Frequent urination is a possible sign of diabetes, for example.
It could also be a sign of kidney disease, which may require kidney disease management. If you experience pain while urinating and a frequent need to go, it could be due to a urinary tract infection (UTI).
8. Sleep apnea keeps waking you up at night
Do you occasionally wake up feeling breathless? Sleep apnea affects many people who don’t even realize they have this condition.
It causes breathing to stop and start while sleeping and can be potentially fatal. So, it is worth looking into sleep apnea if you think you may have it.
That could be why you keep waking up. If so, your doctor might recommend using a CPAP machine.
9. Restless leg syndrome
Do you have a constant need to move your legs while in bed? If so, it could be a sign of restless leg syndrome.
This can keep many people up at night. Read more about restless leg syndrome, and consider seeing your doctor if you think you have it.
10. Waking up at night with anxiety
Anxious thoughts can prevent you from getting to sleep and disturb your sleep quality. How? By causing nightmares and pumping your body with cortisol, making you more alert.
It could be that you have health anxiety, for example, and it triggers hypochondria. If that’s the case, learning ways to relax that work well for you is essential to getting rest. Avoid online searches before going to bed and consider reaching out to a professional for therapy to find other coping mechanisms and strategies.
Do you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep? What is keeping you up in the evenings?