Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night and found it near impossible to fall back asleep? We’ve all been there. In fact, most people have about two to three observable wakeups per night. Unfortunately, too many sleepless nights can cause a variety of adverse effects.
Without enough uninterrupted sleep, you will likely wake up irritable, grumpy, and have trouble focusing throughout the day. Lack of sleep can also impair your critical thinking and even impact your body’s ability to heal. Luckily, there are steps you can take to get more uninterrupted sleep and a better night’s rest.
Why Aren’t You Sleeping Through the Night?
We all wake up several times a night, and most of the time, we go right back to sleep without even realizing it. However, if you have difficulty falling back asleep, you may begin tossing and turning, experiencing worry and frustration, and essentially sending your body into ‘fight or flight’ mode. When this happens, your heart rate increases, your blood pressure raises, and you will likely feel unable to sleep.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make after waking up in the middle of the night is to check your phone. Being exposed to artificial light from electronics will only make it more challenging to relax and fall back asleep. A helpful tip to remember is to get out of bed if you’ve been awake for more than 20 minutes. Avoid lying awake in bed for too long, as it could cause your brain to associate your bed with wakefulness instead of sleeping.
How to Get More Uninterrupted Sleep
There can be many reasons why a person has trouble sleeping, ranging from physical to mental. In many cases, making small but highly effective changes to your sleep schedule and routine can make a huge difference:
- Follow a sleep schedule. Go to sleep and wake up at the same time each day, even on the weekends.
- Avoid electronics before bed. Artificial light from electronics (like your phone, television, or tablet) can trick your brain into thinking you should be awake.
- Cut alcohol and caffeine. Avoid drinks like coffee and alcohol close to bedtime. Instead, choose a non-caffeinated tea or warm milk to help you relax.
- Upgrade your bedroom. Invest in a high-quality mattress along with comfortable sheets and pillows, and keep your bedroom temperature at a cool 65-70° F.
How We Can Help
Waking up once or twice a night is fairly common, but if you’re waking up multiple times a night, several days a week, it may be a sign of a more serious sleep disorder. Complete the form below to apply for a sleep study and start the process to get better quality sleep tonight!