Constantly waking up at night isn’t healthy. It doesn’t matter how much sleep you get; 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, it’s 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 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 improves your sleep quality.
7. A medical condition is causing you to need the toilet
If you constantly get 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 mask.
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 worry you may have this issue.
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, that 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 contacting 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?
22 thoughts on “Keep waking up at night? 10 possible reasons why”
I sleep walk eat condiments. It’s crazy. I can’t have little jars or tins of anything in the fridge.
Out of caution, I have NOTHING in little jars or cans: includes cleaning products, polishes, etc.
It is so weird to wake up in the morning and find a jar of mustard scraped clean, with a licked clean spoon inside.
Peanut butter is another one. xo
Ohhhh you are the condiment queen by the sounds of it! And you do this while you are asleep? I do like peanut butter…
Mine is because of my newborn baby. I wish i can sleep straight for 24hours without disturbance.
Congrats on your newborn, Kally! I hope you are able to sleep more in the coming months as your little one eases into a sleep schedule xx
Keeping both my fingers and toes crossed!!!
Hi. Dogs bark in my neighborhood as early as 5:15 AM. Their owners are to blame. My wife and I have a fan on a timer in our bedroom. It comes on at about 5:00. Its noise helps to block out the dogs’ noise.
That’s a great strategy to drown out those dogs!
Such a common issue. Thanks for the info, Christy!
It’s true that sleep is something that so many of us struggle with. Thanks Becky xx
Excellent pointers. I have a problem with being hot, but at my age, it’s natural. 😉 Thanks for sharing Christy. 🤗🙏🏼🥰
Hi Kym, last night was a hot summer night so I was tossing a bit in bed – I felt how you might feel sometimes, I think! xx
Can you say HOT FLASHES boys and girls? LOL 😝🥵🤪 Christy, my husband sleeps with a quilt over him while I am on top of the covers! Guuurrrrllllllll 😂😆🤣 and with the hot summer nights on top of that….disco inferno ladybug! 🔥🔥🔥 Whew!
I burst out laughing at “disco inferno ladybug” ;) You’re so cute, Kym!
Thanks Christy. I have to keep some sense of humor so I won’t be going crazy like the Tasmanian Devil. 🌪🌀😲 UGH!!! The HEAT is on (channeling my inner Glenn Frey)! 😎 Ciao!
Worry, for sure!
I find it helps me to write things down on a piece of paper as they come to me so I’m not replaying them again and again in my mind all night…
I’ll try that!
As an established fussy sleeper, you’ve hit my biggest distractions. My wife is the opposite and can go to sleep anywhere in a matter of a few minutes. When I was working, I know anxiety was an issue because I was worrying about kids I taught. I like it dark, noiseless, and cool. (told you I was fussy) What works best for me is to read until my eyes get heavy, whatever time that may be.
Hi Pete, I’ve started reading before bed too. There’s something about the ritual of it that is comforting. I’m glad you’ve found what works well for you when it comes to sleep. My husband is similar to your wife – He can literally sleep anywhere!