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5 Reasons for Waking up at Night & Tips to Avoid Them

  • 10 October 2019
  • By Preeti Shanmugam
  • 0 Comments

This is a common concern for many- how to avoid waking up at night and returning to sleep. According to sleep experts waking up once or twice at night is perfectly normal but anything more could indicate an underlying health problem. Multiple night-time awakenings also referred to as “sleep maintenance insomnia” require medical attention and can be managed. The most common reasons for a disrupted night are a disturbed state of mind, pain, sleep apnea, and acid reflux resulting into a sleep debt. So the reasons can vary from internal biological causes to external environment-related stress. In case of health issues, taking appropriate medication along with following a disciplined routine can help sleep better at night.

Here are some ways to help you from waking up at night and wake up fresh every morning:

  • Avoid liquids at least an hour before bedtime

As sleep is usually disturbed by the urge to visit the loo, try reducing your liquid intake as the evening progresses. Visit the loo before bedtime. Diuretics such as alcohol, coffee, and tea should be entirely avoided in the evenings. Caffeine stays in your system for about six hours while alcohol takes at least three hours to get completely absorbed. Also, alcohol negatively impacts your REM sleep, causing light, restless sleep.

  • Exercise Regularly

Working out on regular bases will help relax the body and help you sleep deeper at night. Just ensure you don’t work out too close to your sleep time. Exercise triggers an increase in body temperature and the post-exercise drop in temperature promotes falling asleep. Exercise is also known to reduce nighttime awakening by decreasing arousal, anxiety and depressive symptoms. 

  • Keep away gadgets

Our mobile and TV watching all keep our brain active. It is said what we read and watch especially a few hours to bedtime, stay in our mind subconsciously coming in the way of deep good sleep. What is obviously known is that the artificial blue light emitted from our devices plays with our mind, senses, and brain. Ensure you switch off your mobile at least an hour before sleep time and do not keep any of your gadgets too close to you while sleeping. 

  • Avoid day time napping

Day time naps if long can make it difficult for you to sleep deeply at night. Sleep experts caution against sleeping longer than 30 minutes in the afternoon. Sleeping too long in the afternoon can disturb your sleep cycle. Training your body to sleep once in for all at a fixed time at night is best to ensure you sleep at one stretch throughout.

  • Sleep in the right position

In case you are dealing with pain, remember while sleeping helps restore the body’s natural functions there is also a good chance of your pain flaring at nighttime.

Here is how you can sleep according to your pain points: 

Back pain: Sleep on your back or side with a pillow beneath your knees to take the pressure off from your spine.

Neck pain: Sleep on your side with a pillow that’s higher under your neck than under your head. Or, sleep on your back with a flat pillow.

Shoulder or hip pain: Lighten the pressure and sensitivity by sleeping on the side that’ s pain-free.

Heartburn: Sleep with a wedge pillow that is moderately firm or on your left side. 

Recommended blog: How to Sleep Well On a Holiday

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