The Reason Why You Wake Up Sleepless Between 3 and 5 am

sleepy woman reaching for her phone in bed

Sometimes going to sleep after a long, hard day isn’t what it’s cracked up to be. There are times when we lie awake in bed until the wee hours of the morning and others when we wake up from a deep sleep, hours before sunrise. The latter, in our opinion, is the most troublesome!

Nonetheless, if you suffer from this aggravating issue, don’t fret. There’s most definitely help for you out there in the form of knowledgeable health professionals, sleeping aids, or even changes to exercise and diet routines. But first, let’s identify what may be disturbing your natural sleep cycle in the first place.

So, if you find that you fall asleep easily, but wake up in the middle of the night, you’re not alone. In fact, the malady is so common that sleep doctors even have a name for it—sleep-maintenance insomnia. Here are some reasons why you may be tossing and turning in the first place.

 

You indulge in a nightcap

Dr. Anthony Komaroff of Harvard Medical School explains that this type of insomnia can be the annoying consequence of several unhealthy habits or lifestyle choices. For instance, if you are someone who is used to enjoying a glass (or three!) of wine after putting the kids to bed, you may actually be disrupting your natural sleep cycle.

Dr. Komaroff describes alcohol as something that makes “people sleepy and helps them fall asleep.” Sounds about right! But, once the snoozing starts, the body does not always want to stay that way, partially because alcohol is a natural stimulant. As the good doc says, “alcohol becomes a stimulant to the brain and causes people to awaken easily.”

 

You bring your phone with you to bed

As we all live in the 21st century, it’s safe to say that our phones are sometimes the last things that we look at before getting some shut-eye for the night. And, though the content on said phones can be mentally distracting, there may be more to it than “social media rubbernecking induced-insomnia!”

Researchers from Michigan State University have compiled a report that states that sleeplessness or general fatigue the next day could be due to the blue light that is emitted from phones. To get the rest you need, the lead study author, Dr. Russell Johnson, recommends turning off electronics between 30 to 60 minutes before bed time.

 

You haven’t sought medical help

Do you frequently wake up in the middle of the night from a deep sleep, gasping for breath? If so, you may have a common sleep disorder called sleep apnea. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute defines this condition as “chronic,” but there is plenty of help out there for sufferers.

If you think that you might be afflicted with this condition, be sure to set up an appointment with your doctor right away. Left untreated, sleep apnea can increase your risk of heart disease and work-related accidents.

 

You haven’t looked into alternative medicine

If you’re more into treating your physical troubles from a holistic perspective, then it may be worth looking into how your lung function plays into your overall quality of sleep. Additionally, there may even be a spiritual factor that provokes this type of insomnia.

Maybe you’ve already consulted with your doctor and are interested in learning more about how to shake your sleep issues on more of a transcendent level. If so, be sure to read The Hearty Soul’s article on traditional Chinese medicine here. Interesting stuff!

Are you a sufferer of sleep-maintenance insomnia? If so, have you found anything that has helped? Tell us all about your thoughts and experiences in the comments section below!