Uninterrupted sleep is hardto come by nowadays. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, about 40 million people in the United States suffer from chronic long-term sleep disorders each year and an additional 20 million people experience occasional sleep problems. On top of that, our smart devices make it easier than ever to consume contents, making us sleep later than ever. When sleep is so precious, waking up in the middle of the night, especially when it happens often can be downright irritating!
Our mission is to help you sleep better and to resolve this issue, we've put together a comprehensive guide that goes over the top 6 reasons on why you are waking up at night and what you can do about them to improve the situation.
Wake Up Reason #1 - Insomnia
Insomniacan make it difficult for you to sleep. Even if you do fall asleep, it might be difficult to achieve deep sleep or stay asleep. Insomnia can be an occasional problem for some, but for others, it might be chronic problems. Although many things can cause insomnia, it mostly boils down to four things: medications, stress, caffeine, or medical conditions.
We suggest you consult your doctor regarding medication & medical condition induced insomnia for treatment. For others, we have our Pro Tips below.
Pro Tip 1:Avoid Naps -Fight the temptations to nap as to prevent a disruption to your sleep routine. If you need to take a nap, limit it to 10~20 minute power naps to minimize the effect it has on your nighttime rest.
Pro Tip 2:Avoid caffeinated Drinks after 6 -Cut down on tea and coffee consumption as you approach the evening. Excess caffeine intake late at night can lead to too much excitement or jittery for your body to prevent it winding-down for bedtime.
Pro Tip 3:Don't eat large portion meals before bedtime -Try to eat on time and in appropriate portions. Eating large meals just before you sleep may induce Gastroesophageal Reflux, also known as stomach acid reflux, causing irritation and discomfort, the opposite of relaxing.
Pro Tip 4:Always wake up at the same time-By making it a habit to wake up at the same time every day you will be training your body to calibrate its biological clock. Once established, your body will operate to the tune of your biological clock and naturally urge you to wake up or go to bed even without an alarm clock.
Sleep apneais a common and potentially serious disorder. People who experience sleep apnea during their sleep either have shortness of breath or trouble breathing. It is most common amongst back sleepers. Snoring is usually the first symptom of sleep apnea since it is caused by breathing through a collapsed airway. The reason for the airway collapse can be due to obesity or a neck kink caused by the wrong pillow height. If you have severe sleep apnea where you briefly stop breathing you should consider consulting a doctor for possible treatments.
We will stick with the basics of trouble breathing and what we can do to remedy it.
Pro Tip 1:Select the right pillow-You want to maximize the airflow of your airways so your breathing can be unrestricted and free-flowing, This can be achieved by carefully selecting the correct pillow height with built-in neck support. You would want to look for a pillow height and contour that cradles your neck without inducing your chin to dip into your neck, our ergonomic pillow, for example, does an excellent job offering great neck support while keeping your airway parallel to your chest for easy breathing. Our shredded memory foam pillow is adjustable so you can achieve your ideal pillow height by following the instruction in the box as well. Based on our lab research, the perfect pillow height for neck support should be around 4.2 inches for men and 3.5 inches for women.
Pro Tip 2:Use either decongestants or nasal strips to help open up your airway passages. -In a test published by the American Journal of Rhinology, researchers evaluated the effect of nasal strips on improving respiration. Of the 26 test subjects, 19 participants experienced a noticeable improvement in breathing. We suggest using the nasal strip with the pillows recommended above for optimum effect.
Wake Up Reason #3 - Anxiety
Anxietycan be the underlying culprit of a sleepless night. An anxious mind will wonders constantly when you are lying in bed with zero distraction. It can become a vicious cycle, your awareness of your inability to sleep can further increase your anxiety to the point where you are too alert to sleep.
Without resorting to medications, we have some suggestions for you to try to calm your anxiety.
Pro Tip 1:Have a wind-down bedtime routine-Create your ownbedtime routine,this articlewill teach you how. The goal is to have a mental wind-down sequence through a series of mellow routines such as reading or meditation to signal to your brain to relax and prepare for bedtime.
Pro Tip 2:Don't force yourself to sleep-Only go to bed when you are sleepy. Sleeping before you are tired will likely increase your anxiety if you can't fall asleep right away. If you can't fall asleep in 15 to 20 minutes, leave the bedroom and repeat your routine until you genuinely feel sleepy.
Pro Tip 3:Try a weighted blanket - The concept behind weighted blanket is to recreate the calming feeling of a warm hug by covering yourself with a blanket that weighs around 10% of your body weight. It works as a deep pressure touch stimulation, not unlike a deep massage which stimulates your brain to release serotonin and dopamine, in other words, making you calm & relaxed.
What doctors say about weighted blanket:
After several months of research & development, our all-new weighted blanket that's designed to help you sleep better is finally available.
Pro Tip 4:Exercise-Exercise can be a potent remedy for anxiety and other disorders - just five mins of exercise can trigger anti-anxiety responses in the body. Try starting with 15 mins of daily exercise and work your way up to 30 min. You should be able to see gradual improvements in your ability to relax and sleep after a couple of days of keeping up with exercising.
Wake Up Reason #4 - Bathroom Break
We've all been there, having a subconscious urge to wake up to go to the bathroom, in the middle of the night. Some people go through this on a daily basis. There are several reasons why you may feel the urge to go to the bathroom at night: Excessive water intake, enlarged prostate, to name a few. Here are a couple of our pro tips on how you can reduce this from happening.
Tip 1:Don't look at the clock -Most alarm clocks are backlit and can be too bright for your eyes in total darkness, furthermore, learning the time might trigger a series of mental calculation on the number of remaining hours left to sleep, causing anxiety and mental alertness to make it more difficult to go back to sleep. Just do your business and go back to bed.
Tip 2:Don't turn on the light -Bright light is a clear signal to your brain that it is daytime and it's time to wake up and smell the coffee! Therefore, you should have night lights in place, so you don't have to turn on the overhead lights to go to the bathroom. By maintaining a dimly lit surrounding, it will be much easier for you to fall back into sleep.
Tip 3:Limit fluid intake before sleep-The main reason why you feel the urge to wake up to pee is due to excessive fluid intake before sleeping. Try having your last fluid intake two hours before sleep to allow your body to work through the excess fluids before bedtime.
Waking up to sweat because it's too hot is something we have all experienced. According to doctors, 68 degree is the ideal temperature for comfortable sleep. Anything significantly hotter can cause night sweats. Experts agree that the temperature of your sleep environment has a tremendous effect on how long and how you well you snooze!
When you are sleeping, your body temperature will progressively decrease, and the mild drop in body temperature induces sleep. However, if your body begins to heat up and deviate from the ideal temperature, your body will struggle and experience discomfort that will cause you to exit deep sleep. We suggest you be mindful of the four areas where the temperature can affect you: Room temperature, sleepwear, comforter, & pillows.
Pro Tip1:Set an ideal temperature -Set room temperature to 68 as the basis and adjust according to your preference. If you sleep with a partner with a different temperature preference, try setting the temperature between both of your preferences and individually compensate through sleepwear or comforter.
Pro Tip 2:Wear breathable sleepwear -Look for sleepwear made with cotton and adjust according to seasons; short sleeves & shorts during summer, long sleeves, pants, & maybe socks in the winter. Breathable material such as cotton allows the body to regulate the body temperature within a small margin.
Pro Tip 3:Use cotton duvet covers -Comforters can get quite expensive depending on the materials. Therefore, we suggest our readers focus more on using cotton or bamboo fiber duvets. The breathable nature of these duvets can help prevent heat buildup as you sleep through the night. You can work out a balance between your comforter and sleepwear to achieve ideal body temperature.
Pro Tip 4:Choose cooling pillows -Sleep on pillows with a bamboo fiber cover or one that features cooling cover design or gel-infused technology. Both of our pillows have these features and are designed to sleep cool. Steer away from generic pillows with polyester fills as they usually trap heat and sleep hot. Use cotton pillowcases can further improve breathability and help heat escape.
Most of us are guilty of using our intelligent devices just before sleeping. Researchers have found that smart devices with displays such as smartphones, tablets, laptops can hurt your ability to fall asleep. These displays emit blue lights that can limit the production of melatonin, the hormone that regulates your brain's ability to sleep & wake up, making it difficult for you to fall asleep.
Pro Tip:No smart devices usages prior to sleep -Establish a 30 minutes tech-free wind-down period before bedtime. Try reading a book or magazine instead to prepare your brain to relax and wind down mentally.
Living in an urban area where it's noisy or having a partner who snores can also hurt your sleep, especially on your ability to enter deep REM sleep. Your sleep environment won't always be entirely silent, but it can be made to be more tolerable, here is how.
Pro Tip 1:Earplugs & white noise machines-If your partner snores, earplugs are a great option to block out the noise. However, if you don't like sticking things in your ears, we highly recommend trying a white noise machine. The sound is naturally soothing and serves as the sound anchor for you to focus on, lulling you to sleep while blocking out external noises.
Pro Tip 2:Get your partner a new pillow-As we discussed earlier, snoring is the result of breathing through a constricted or collapsed airway due to unnatural bending of the neck. This is usually caused by having a generic pillow with too much or too little neck support. Try swapping out his our her pillows with one that can adequately support the neck without inducing his or her chin to dip into the neck. Our new ergonomic pillow can help with that.
Wake Up Reason #7 - Lack Of Proper Body Support
One of the most common reason that you wake up during midnight is your body signaling to you thatyour sleeping posture is causing itto feel uncomfortable. If you are a side sleeper, as are 70% of Americans, then you have probably experience waking up midnight, hunting for a better leg position because your back muscle is sore. The way you position your leg will directly affect your hip and its pull on your spine. When your legs aren't perfectly stacked, your pelvis will be contorted which will tug on your lower back muscle, creating muscle fatigue and back pain. This can be remedied with the right support, here is how.
Pro Tip 1:Use a knee pillow-Knee pillows are leg pillows that fit between your thighs that helps you perfectly stack your legs, upright your hip, andrelease lower back pressure.By incorporating a knee pillow, you can expect spine alignment as well as better blood circulation. And because it helps you stack your legs perfectly, you can reduce restless leg syndrome and fall asleep faster & deeper.
Pro Tip 2:Use an ergonomic pillow-Neck support is crucial to comfortable sleep, many times, side sleepers have been woken up by excruciating neck pain due to lack of proper neck support. Side sleepers should look for a tall pillow while back sleepers should look for a medium height pillow, you can read about how to pick the right pillow for your sleep position here, or see ourhighly popular ergonomic pillow here,designed to help you seamlessly reposition from back to side sleeping while providing you pressure -relieving neck support.
We hope you enjoyed our guide and it was able to help you gain a better understanding of why you would wake up in the middle of the night and give you a better idea of what you can do to improve the situation.
Give them a try and let us know how they work out for you, happy sleeping!
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