There are countless reasons as to why we might not be able to sleep properly during the night, some more easily fixable than others. While most of us wake up at least 1-2 times a night, we usually drift back off quickly, sometimes without even remembering that we woke in the first place. For others, waking up during the night can be accompanied by a struggle to get back to sleep and this could be caused by a number of different things. Here, we’re taking a look at just some of the most common reasons you might be waking up during the night.
You Have Anxiety Or Are Anxious
Anxiety, particularly in today’s world, is an increasingly common issue and it can really affect how you sleep at night. Trouble sleeping is one of the most common symptoms of anxiety, usually triggered by nightmares, irregular or racing heartbeats and in rare cases, nocturnal panic attacks. These are panic attacks that occur while you are asleep but that will wake you up in intense panic. If you feel that your anxiety is waking you up during the night, it’s advised to speak to your GP for help and advice.
Your Room Isn’t Quite Right
While we all have different preferences when it comes to falling asleep, the state of your room could be affecting your ability to stay asleep. Studies suggest that your bedroom should be dark, a comfortable temperature that’s leaning towards cool, and of course, quiet. Any noises, too much light and even too much heat can make us restless and wake us up at night, particularly in the lighter stages of the sleep cycle. If you are waking up regularly during the night due to noise or light, you could invest in earplugs or an eye mask.
Your Bed Isn’t Quite Right
If your bed isn’t right for you, you could be experiencing disturbed or poor sleep as a result. An old bed that doesn’t have the right support could be causing you discomfort or pain, which means it’s definitely time for a new one! Similarly, a new bed that’s too firm or too soft for your sleeping position or preferences could be creating an uncomfortable environment for your sleep. For help choosing the right bed and mattress, feel free to get in touch with our team.
You Need The Toilet!
Most of us can get through the whole night without needing to go to the bathroom, but there are a few conditions which mean you can’t quite hold it that long. Nocturia is less of a condition and more of a symptom – if you’ve drunk too much before bed, or have an overactive bladder or a UTI, you could suffer from Nocturia. This is a condition which sees people needing to use the loo at least once or twice a night. You should consult your doctor if this is the case.
You’ve Been Drinking
While alcohol might help us drift off faster, it can cause restless sleep too. Alcohol can keep you in Stage 1 sleep, which is the lightest stage and the easiest to be woken up from. This ultimately means that any environmental factors could wake you up multiple times during the night, reducing how much sleep you get. Limit your alcohol intake before bed where possible to improve sleep. If you’re still struggling, speak to your doctor.
You May Have Sleep Apnea
If you’re waking up during the night in a bit of a jolt or feeling out of breath, you could be suffering from Sleep Apnea. People with Sleep Apnea will have slow breathing or stop breathing entirely at points during the night, which could have lasting health effects if left untreated for too long. The lack of oxygen to the brain could cause damage, so it’s important to speak to a healthcare professional if you suspect you might have this condition. They will likely run some tests and you may be assigned a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine to keep your airways open and clear during the night. Some alternatives may be available depending on the situation and severity.
You Have Restless Leg Syndrome
RLS, or Restless Legs Syndrome, is a frustrating phenomenon that affects a fair amount of people across the country. This condition can make your legs feel itchy or achey, or even give you sensations like throbbing, pulling or crawling to name just a few. You’ll get an uncomfortable and often irresistible urge to move your legs, which could be affecting your sleep. For some, it’s hard to fall asleep at all because of this condition. If you suffer from RLS, it’s important to visit your doctor, who may be able to find a solution for you. This could include dopamine-related medications or muscle relaxants to give you back your peaceful nights. You could also try warm baths to relax the muscles, weighted blankets or discuss with your doctor for other home remedies.j
You Ate Just Before Bed
Eating just before bed can make it difficult to both fall asleep, and stay asleep. Food that causes acid reflux or gas is particularly to blame in these situations – acid reflux is when the acid in your stomach moves up to your throat and triggers heartburn, while gassy foods could give you a stomach ache throughout the night that makes it difficult to stay asleep. Avoid eating too close to bedtime and where possible, stick to the right foods to prevent any stomach aches or irregular digestion.
You Haven’t Eaten In A While
While eating too close to bed can cause problems with sleep, there’s a possibility that not eating could be affecting your sleep too. If you’re hungry when you go to bed, a growling or cramping stomach could be causing you enough discomfort in the night to wake you up, or a lack of food could even be messing with your blood sugar levels. Diabetes sufferers in particular need to find the perfect balance of when to eat before bed to prevent blood sugar drops, which could cause a restless night. This drop, also known as hypoglycemia, isn’t just something that people with diabetes experience, however – anyone could have this drop so it’s important to pay attention to your food in the evenings and what might need to change.