What to Do When You Keep Waking Up at Night
By Sandy Schroeder
If you are wide awake at 3 a.m. every night, life is not good. A nightly pattern of waking up can leave you exhausted, and frustrated, trying one sleep solution after another as you struggle through your daytime routines.
Waking up is considered normal, but waking up and not going back to sleep is not normal. According to Jose Colon MD, author of The Sleep Diet, you should be able to go back to sleep. If you can’t, there are some possible reasons that do have solutions.
Check the Reasons and Try the Solutions
See which sleep demon is keeping you awake.
Too much heat– Room temperature, choice of pajamas and blankets all keep you comfortable, or not. Doctors say 60 to 65 degrees is about right for the room temperature, and a warm bath before bed can be a sleep cue. As you cool off after the bath, the body sees that as a sleep signal. Keep adjusting everything until you get the right comfort level for you.
Alcohol near bedtime – A couple of cocktails will put you to sleep, but as the alcohol is metabolized it can interfere with healthy REM, rapid eye movement sleep. Then you are in for a restless night. Confine alcohol to the cocktail hour before dinner, and quit drinking a few hours before bedtime to allow the body to rest well.
Need to urinate – The body always seeks to balance water and electrolytes. If your body does not have enough salt, it may wake you up to urinate. About 30 minutes before bedtime, drink a small glass of water with a pinch of unprocessed sea salt. The salt will help water get into all of the body's cells and restore a normal balance.
Blue light stimulus – Playing with tablets and smartphones before bedtime exposes the eyes to blue light that inhibits the making of melatonin, the sleep hormone. The stimulus of email messages and reminders of work can also keep the brain awake and the body tense. Hold all of the messages until morning, dim room and electronic lights, and shut everything down an hour before bedtime.
Stress devils – Daytime worries quickly become sleep stealers. Mindfulness meditation or yoga can help you wind down and sleep better. Working to solve family, financial or other worries can help. If serious stress issues persist, psychotherapy may be needed. Cognitive behavioral therapy can improve sleep as the brain takes control of stressful thoughts.
Once you eliminate your sleep demon you may be amazed at the difference.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Atlanta, Ga.