One minute you’re snoozing peacefully, the next you’re wide awake. Sound familiar? So, what’s causing you to wake up in the middle of the night, and how can you stop it from happening? Here are six common reasons, plus what you can do to get a good night’s rest.
1. You’re anxious. – Trouble sleeping is common with anxiety disorders. Nocturnal panic attacks, nightmares, and a rapid heartbeat can wake you. – Even if you don’t have those, racing thoughts can keep you up. – If anxiety wakes you up often, talk to your doctor.
2. Your environment’s out of whack. – Loud noises, bright lights, and hot temperatures can startle you awake, so keep your room dark, cool, and quiet. – For things you can’t control, try a sleep mask, ear plugs, and/or a fan.
3. You really need to pee. – Nocturna, a condition where you get up to pee at least once a night, can be caused by drinking fluids before bed, UTIs, or bladder infections. – Cut back on liquids in the evening. If that doesn’t help, talk to a doctor to rule out other conditions.
4. You had some booze. – Alcohol might help you doze off, but it causes a longer period of stage 1 sleep, the lightest phase of rest, which means you aren’t getting the good, restful kind that blocks out disruptions. – Try to stop drinking a couple of hours before bed.
5. Your eating habits keep you up. – Avoid heavy meals before bed. Acid reflux and stomach pain can lead to tossing and turning. – Skipping meals during the day causes cramping and low blood sugar that keeps you restless. Blood sugar lower than usual? Consult your doctor.
6. Something else is going on. – Disorders and conditions like sleep apnea, overactive thyroid, and restless legs syndrome can disrupt sleep. – If you continue to have sleepless nights, talk to your doctor about getting tested for any underlying issues at play.
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