There's no getting around it. Waking up in the middle of the night can be incredibly frustrating – especially if you're someone who feels sleepy, but wakes up and has trouble falling asleep afterward. You toss and turn, and no matter what you do, you just can't get a nice deep sleep. As you get older, it can become even more difficult to go to sleep and stay asleep, so how can you avoid waking up in the middle of the night and get the sleep you deserve?
What Causes You to Wake Up During the Night?
There are several sleep disorders or natural reasons why you might be waking up in the middle of the night. Here are some that could be affecting you.
You might be waking up in the middle of the night because of sleep apnea. Sleep apnea involves shallow breathing, which can cause you to wake up multiple times in the night. Many treatments can be used to fix sleep apnea, such as airway pressure devices or oral appliances.
Anxiousness and/or depression
If you're someone who experiences anxiousness or depression, it could be the reason you're waking up. It can be difficult to shut down your mind and relax your body when you're anxious or depressed. There are many natural ways to help increase the hours of sleep you’re getting. We’ll get into those in just a few minutes.
The need to urinate
Of course, it's normal to have to go to the washroom in the middle of the night every once in a while, but if it's something that's becoming more frequent, it could be worth looking into. You might try reducing your liquid intake at night or look at other possible factors.
Insomnia can make it difficult for you to fall asleep and stay asleep. It's something that is often linked to depression and anxiety and can make the daytime extra difficult due to a lack of sleep. If you believe you may have insomnia, it is worth seeking medical advice from a professional.
Being too hot
While you might love to be warm and cozy when you fall asleep, the body relaxes and sleeps best when it's cool. If your bedroom is too hot, it could cause you to overheat and experience night sweats.
Screens can have a big impact on your ability to sleep through the night. If you watch TV before bed or spend time mindlessly scrolling on your phone, it's possible that your mind and body aren't going to properly relax before you try to doze off.
How to Avoid Waking Up in the Middle of the Night
While some of the reasons you may be waking up in the middle of the night may include more work than others, there are some things you can do right now to lessen the chances of waking up in the middle of the night. Here are some of our favorite tips!
Reduce blue light exposure
When you're exposed to blue light at night, it can trick your brain into thinking it's daytime. Blue light is the light that's emitted from screens such as those you're exposed to when watching TV, using your computer, or spending time on your phone.
It's common to use these electronic devices before bed, but it doesn't help your body to relax. Try picking up a book before bed or going out on a nice evening walk before you tuck yourself in.
Increasing bright light exposure
Opposite to reducing blue light exposure at night is increasing your bright light exposure during the day. Doing so can help to keep your natural body clock balanced. Daylight helps your body to stay away during the day and then sleep better at night.
You can even increase the amount of sleep you get each night by exposing yourself to more bright light during the day. Try getting outside for a walk or investing in artificial bright light to help you get the exposure you need.
It's amazing what technology can do for you when it comes to relaxation—particularly the Xen by Neuvana headphones. The headphones deliver gentle micro pulses directly to the vagus nerve that is located in your ear. These micro pulses stimulate the vagus nerve, which helps you to relax.
This technology helps to improve the quality of your sleep as you wake up less at night. You can even avoid waking up in the middle of the night at all with consistent use! The more relaxed you are, the better sleep you'll end up having.
Lowering the temperature in your room
As discussed earlier, it's not likely that you'll get a good sleep or sleep through the night if you're too hot. Your bedroom temperature needs to be set appropriately so your body temperature can also be at the proper level.
Try setting your bedroom temperature to somewhere around 70 degrees so you can ensure you stay cool while you doze off.
It may be tempting to sneak in a nap here and there, but it could cause you to wake up in the middle of the night. That's because when you sleep during the daytime, you can disrupt your internal clock. This disruption confuses the body and can cause problems when it comes time to sleep at night.
Reduce the number of naps you're taking or try making them shorter to improve your sleep in the evening.
Avoid having caffeine later in the day
If you're a caffeine lover, then it's possible you love to indulge in a warm cup of coffee in the afternoon or early evening. You might also be a soda lover who loves to have a fizzy beverage with dinner. Regardless of how you get your caffeine, it's possible that having it later in the day is affecting your sleep.
Caffeine can stay in your bloodstream for anywhere between six to eight hours. Try to keep your caffeine intake to before 3:00 pm each day or reduce the amount you consume in a day altogether.
Get into a sleep schedule
The saying is true that consistency is key! Your routine is going to play a big part in whether or not you're going to get a good night's rest.
To ensure your body's circadian rhythm is regular you should try to get into a routine for waking up and going to sleep each day. Sleep patterns can help your body to become more aware and help you develop more consistency with your internal clock. If your body expects to sleep at a certain time, it will be easier for you to fall asleep and stay asleep.
You might also try incorporating some relaxation into your routine. Such as writing in your journal as soon as you wake up or practicing meditation before you sleep.
Avoid consuming alcohol
While it can be nice to enjoy an alcoholic beverage from time to time, alcohol can have more of an effect on your sleep than you might think. Alcohol has been known to cause problems in sleep patterns and can even cause sleep apnea.
Alcohol can throw off your system in general, which ultimately takes away from your ability to sleep well. Cut down on the alcohol or try removing it from your diet altogether.
Eat earlier in the evening
Eating late in the evening and then attempting to have a good night's rest can be difficult. That's because your body stays awake digesting your food and the natural release of HGH and melatonin becomes weakened.
The type of food you have late at night can also affect your sleep. Foods higher in carbohydrates have been shown to harm the quality of sleep.
Take a hot bath or shower
As a part of your routine, you might try adding a hot bath or shower into the mix. Doing so can help to improve the overall quality of your sleep and has been shown to help you fall asleep faster. Sometimes even soaking your feet in warm water before bed can help you to feel more relaxed and, therefore, more ready for a great night's sleep when the time comes.
Having a solid nighttime routine, in general, is a great way to clear your mind and get yourself ready for bed. Think about what types of activities are going to relax you, whether it's a massage or simply reading a book, and stay consistent in doing them every evening.
Take Action Towards a Regular Night's Sleep
If you've noticed that waking up in the middle of the night is something that's become more and more consistent for you, then it's time to take some action. Pick one or a combination of a few of these tips, and get started on working towards a better night's sleep.
If using technology and vagus nerve stimulation sounds like something that could help to improve your sleep, be sure to give Xen by Neuvana headphones a try! This technology provides an incredible way to effectively stimulate the vagus nerve and is something easy to do just about anywhere.
Learn more about the Xen by Neuvana headphones here!