When was the last time you had an uninterrupted, peaceful night of sleep? Can’t remember? You may be one of the 30% of reported adults that suffer from bad sleep, more specifically waking up multiple times during the night. It can be incredibly frustrating that once you’ve fallen asleep, you know you are going to have to do it again and again throughout the night. You wake up tired and you can barely keep your eyes open during the day. But why is this happening to you? And is there any way that you can stop it from happening? We’ve come up with a list of 10 possible reasons as to why you wake up so often during the night, as well as a few tips to help you get back to sleep.
10 Possible Causes
1. Uncomfortable Mattress - The first reason that you might not be getting a good night's sleep is because of the quality of your mattress. Let’s be honest, sometimes spending a little more money on a good-quality mattress is a good investment to make. We use it every single day, for pretty much half the day, so it best well be comfortable to sleep on. If you have a cheap or old mattress, you may find it uncomfortable, the springs poking into your skin and you will just never be able to get a decent night’s sleep upon it. Try out some other mattresses, like ones made from memory foam, for a comfier bed, and hopefully uninterrupted sleep.
2. Temperature - Let’s say you have the best mattress on the market, yet you still find yourself waking up every hour or so. Have you ever considered that it may be because of the temperature of your room? If our bodies are too hot or too cold they can become agitated and it can be increasingly difficult to fall asleep. As we fall into a deeper sleep, our body’s temperature rises, thus waking us up when we are too hot.
3. Bad Diet - Another reason that you are not sleeping straight through the night can be because of the food you eat. Those with a bad diet are more likely to suffer from sleeping issues than those who have a more healthy and balanced diet. Food such as chocolate and candy, as well as fizzy drinks and drinks that contain caffeine can keep you from sleeping well. It is important not to ingest foods and drinks such as these too close before you go to bed, as they are likely to keep you up.
4. Screen-Time - We all know how tempting it is to have a quick check of all your social media before sleeping, but did you know it can contribute to a terrible night of sleep? Every time you look at a phone screen, or laptop you are exposed to blue light, which is something that slows the progress of melatonin production which helps you sleep.
5. Anxiety - If you have something that has been playing on your mind, or that you are worried about, it may have a direct effect on your sleeping pattern. Being kept up worrying is very common amongst adults, and the stress of which can cause you to keep waking during the night. Even simple, daily tasks can become a huge worry during the night, so it is important to try and relax and take your mind off of anything worrying before you go to bed.
6. Nightmares - It doesn’t matter how old you get, anyone can experience a nightmare. And let’s be honest, they only get scarier the older that we get. Nightmares will wake you abruptly and after you can be so shaken that it is difficult to fall back asleep. Bad dreams can be caused by a lot of things, but are usually a reflection of what is going on in your real life. They can be triggered by trauma, or even something as simple as ingesting caffeine or alcohol.
7. Panic Attacks - This coincides with both anxiety and nightmares. If you wake from sleep and suffer from a panic attack it can take a very long time for you to settle down once again to sleep. Panic attacks are most often when you feel you can hardly breathe, your chest is tight and you are shaking uncontrollably. Calming down after experiencing a panic attack can be difficult, especially attempting to calm down enough to sleep once again.
8. Circadian Rhythm Disorder - If you have had a recent change in routine, for example, you work evening shifts or you have been on a flight, then your natural body clock may have adapted itself so that it is no longer tired at night time. To fix this you should try waking up earlier, depriving yourself of sleep, and then going to bed at a reasonable time that night. Your body must have a routine so that it can recognize when it is time to sleep.
9. Sleep Apnea - If you think you may be suffering from sleep apnea, then it is recommended you go to your doctor, as it can sometimes become life-threatening. Sleep apnea is when the body stops breathing during your sleep, causing you to suddenly wake up gasping for air.
10. Restless Leg Syndrome - This is a disorder that can be very disruptive as you are sleeping, although there is no known cause as to why it happens. This condition is the tingling, itching, or aching of the leg that is so intense it troubles your sleeping pattern.
Top Tips to Get Back To Sleep
Reading - Reading before bed helps to relax your brain, and also tires your eyes.
Meditation - Relaxing your body before sleeping will help you to fall into a deeper sleep.
Turn On a Fan - This can help both with the temperature of the room and also the sound can be very relaxing.
Change Sleeping Position - Sometimes it can be as simple as changing your sleeping position to something more comfortable.
Turn Down Lights - Lower the lights 10 minutes before you want to go to bed, as your brain will associate darkness with sleeping