Sleeping uninterrupted for 7-8 hours will help you wake up refreshed and allow your body to recover from the previous day.
Unfortunately, some people often wake up in the middle of the night and have their sleep disturbed.
We look at the most common reasons why people experience disturbances in their sleep and how they can address the problem. If you’re having trouble sleeping, this article’s for you!
One of the most common sleep disorders, sleep apnea, is a medical condition where sleepers sometimes find themselves suddenly gasping for air during their sleep.
It may sound like a loud snore, or like you’re choking. The sudden breathing starts and stops during your sleep can cause jolts that may wake you up in the middle of the night.
The loss of breathing is caused by your throat muscles relaxing and inhibiting normal respiratory function, which may cause health issues apart from preventing you from getting enough sleep for the next day.
If you’re showing signs and symptoms of sleep apnea, it’s best to visit your doctor to be correctly diagnosed if you’re suffering from a sleep disorder.
Sleep medicine practitioners may prescribe using a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine, which allows your airways to remain open as you sleep.
Poor Sleep Hygiene
Sleep hygiene is all about creating healthy habits that allow us to fall asleep better and stay asleep throughout the night.
Poor sleep hygiene means having bad habits such as staying up late, drinking caffeinated beverages before sleep, or trying to sleep in an environment not conducive to sleeping. Basically, you’re not doing yourself any service.
Creating a consistent bedtime routine by sleeping and waking up at the same time every day allows you to get a decent amount of sleep. This can also help train your body to remain asleep through the night.
Your sleeping conditions and environment are super important. Sleeping in a dark, quiet and calm environment can reduce any interruptions to sleep.
Keeping all lights, even electronics, turned off inside your room enhances melatonin production, particularly by avoiding the blue light emitted from phones and other devices. Turning off all these lights can also help improve your biological clock.
Your circadian rhythm is your body’s way of managing your sleep cycle and your awakening. How does it affect your sleep habits? It regulates how your mind perceives light and prevents you from getting quality sleep.
Making sure your room is quiet also reduces the chances of you waking up in the middle of the night because of loud noises.
Likewise, ensuring that your room’s temperature isn’t too high allows your body to get into a deep sleep, leading to better sleep quality and avoiding night sweats.
Some of these may be out of your control, so you can wear an eye mask or earplugs while sleeping to avoid being awoken.
You Have a Full Bladder
We’ve all experienced having to wake up in the middle of our sleep to run to the loo. It’s not fun, and honestly, it can easily be avoided.
Hydration is essential, but we should limit the volume of fluids we intake before bedtime as this can cause our sleep to be interrupted. You wouldn’t want some midnight urination spelling the end of your rapid eye movement or REM sleep.
In some cases, even if you reduce your fluid intake and still wake up needing to go to the bathroom, you might have nocturia.
Nocturia is a condition often associated with an overactive bladder. This can be caused by urinary tract infections, diabetes and other health issues.
If nocturia is a persistent issue that occurs, pay a visit to your doctor to seek medical advice and necessary treatments.
Your Mental Health
Different mental health issues such as stress, anxiety and depression can cause struggles with sleep or insomnia – the difficulty of falling asleep, staying asleep, and returning to sleep once awake.
People with mental health issues may struggle to “switch off” and keep overthinking and stressing at night, keeping them awake.
Conversely, having insomnia can also cause problems to your mental health, which is why seeking professional advice for these issues is vital.
Visiting a therapist can help you with your sleep issues, whether through medication for sleep assistance or a therapeutic approach to your anxiety or depression.
Your therapist may also advise you to practice relaxation techniques and meditation to help you get into a calm state that can aid with sleep.
Research has shown the effect of restful sleep on our physical and mental wellness. If that isn’t enough reason for you to try and create a better sleep pattern, we don’t know what will.
You Had Alcohol
While drinking alcohol before bed can be fun and might quickly put you to sleep, the quality of sleep you will get is much worse than when you don’t drink.
Being inebriated stops your body from going through the rapid eye movement (REM) sleep phase. This can lead to a restless sleep where you might wake up throughout the night.
If you feel like a drink, have it earlier in the evening and give yourself enough time to rehydrate before bed. By doing this, the alcohol metabolises while you’re awake and will not disturb your good night’s rest.
You Are Struggling with Acid Reflux
Acid reflux is a condition where acids from your stomach back up into your esophagus due to a sensitivity to acidic food. This can include fruits, fried food, spicy food, and alcohol.
The constant backing up of acids can cause you to feel heartburn, which can disrupt sleep. Likewise, the muscular reflex from your esophagus can jolt you into waking up.
It has been clinically proven that people with acid reflux are likely to experience sleep problems and interrupted sleep.
The good thing about acid reflux is that it is quickly addressed. By making lifestyle and dietary changes, your condition can significantly improve.
Your doctor may also prescribe the use of antacids to help alleviate your problem. A non-medical approach you can also practice is making it a habit to sleep on your left side, making it more difficult for your stomach acids to back up.
Physical Sleep Disturbance
One last common cause of sleep disturbance is entirely out of our control – it could be your partner!
Sleeping beside a partner who moves around too much while in bed can cause you to wake up often in the middle of the night.
Consider investing in a mattress with zero motion transfer, meaning you won’t be able to feel any movement throughout the night.
The Ecosa Mattress does this job effectively with its ergonomic support foam designed with your best, undisturbed sleep in mind.