If you find yourself awake in the wee small hours on a regular basis, you might want to consider the actual reasons you wake up in the middle of the night. Insomnia is one of the most frustrating things to deal with, but there could be some legitimate reasons why you either can’t go to sleep, or you wake up every night in the middle of the night. You need your sleep and waking up each night is not normal on a regular basis. Consider some of the reasons you wake up in the middle of the night and if they sound familiar, take charge of our rest today and sleep better tonight!
1. You’re Hungry
Let’s start with the obvious reasons you wake up in the middle of the night. Are you hungry? If so, make sure you eat enough for dinner, and not just quantity, but quality. Are you getting nutrients from whole foods, or depriving your body of nutrients with junk foods? Be sure you get real, whole foods into your diet each day, and especially at dinner. It’s important to eat regular meals through the day so at night your body gets used to digesting whole, real foods on a regular basis, and you’ll sleep better when your metabolism is on key. If youre going to bed without a proper dinner, or eating junk, most likely, you’re waking up because your body is starving.
Melatonin is the hormone that regulates when we go to sleep and when we wake up. When it gets out of balance, our sleep suffers big time. It can lead you to oversleep, or wake up in the middle of the night every night, at the same time. The reason is because your melatonin levels have been messed up, altering their natural rhythm. This can happen from a poor diet, lack of rest, stress, or a change in the seasons. Be sure your melatonin levels stay at optimal levels by going to bed at the same time every night and getting up at the same time each day, even on the weekends. If you still have trouble, consider taking a melatonin supplement, which is completely natural, and will help reset your body’s natural levels. Take it for a week and you should be back to normal. After that, you can most likely quit taking it.
3. Heavy Dinner
Just like not eating enough at dinner can make you hungry, so can eating too much. Be sure you don’t starve yourself all day and then gorge at dinner. Your body can’t digest and sleep at the same time. Let it do one or the other, not both, or most likely, you’ll wake up in the middle of the night sick from pain, or just because you can’t sleep efficiently.
Your body is smart, and senses stress in multiple ways. One way it will continue to wake up in the middle of the night on a regular basis is because your cortisol levels are constantly on the rise due to stress. Cortisol sends your body into flight or fight mode, keeping you awake, even if you’re tired. This can even come from physical stress from a poor diet, or lack of quality calories. If you’re chronically stressed and can’t sleep, sip chamomile tea at night after a wholesome dinner, and try taking a magnesium supplement at bedtime that can help your body physically and emotionally cope with stress, along with helping you sleep.
If you wake up in the middle of the night with a certain craving night after night, you could actually be pregnant, or it might just be a factor of pregnancy you weren’t aware of. This is a common issue in pregnant women, and it’s all due to hormones. If this is the case, get up and have a glass of almond milk or skim milk and try to go back to bed. The calcium will help calm your mind, body and fill your stomach. It’s never a good idea to get up and eat a meal in the middle of the night, unless you’re absolutely starving. If you’re pregnant and feel you need to do this, go ahead, but try to choose something healthy and light, not heavy and spicy.
Another issue that could cause you to wake up in the middle of the night is hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar. Hypoglycemia can occur from the body being chronically low in blood sugar, due to many carb restrictions, or eating high processed carb foods. Both extremes can cause blood sugar surges and the body often wakes up in the middle of the night as a result out of hunger, and falling blood sugar. I actually dealt with this in my early 20’s when I was heavily dieting, along with during my teens when I binged on carbs at night. I later learned my nightly ritual of waking up every single night at 3:30 a.m. starving was simply due to blood sugar swings. When I balanced my meals better, I never had a problem, and slept like a baby.
Waking up at the same time every night for several weeks can actually condition your body to do so on a regular basis. The body is fascinating in the fact it learns habits quite quickly, and just like it learns to wake up at the same time each day, or crave breakfast at the same time, it can also learn to wake up in the middle of the night after doing it so many nights in a row. If you find yourself constantly waking up at the same time, a nighttime sleep aid might help you break the cycle. I suggest a natural option like melatonin as I mentioned earlier, or opting for a homeopathic supplement like Calms Forte, which is also very effective, with no groggy after effects the next day.
Have you ever experienced waking up at the same time in the middle of the night before? It seems to have only happened to me when I’ve been stressed or haven’t been eating well. What about you?