Top 8 causes of nighttime awakenings and how to deal with them

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“Time is our most valu­able resource. Spend­ing it on sleep is a mis­take!”, say sup­port­ers of polypha­sic sleep. They break the night’s rest into sev­er­al small inter­vals, reduc­ing the total dura­tion of dreams and stay­ing awake up to 20–22 hours.

Adepts of inter­mit­tent sleep claim that they not only get enough sleep (which is hard to believe), but are also full of vig­or and strength. But polypha­sic sleep also has many oppo­nents who warn that such a sched­ule will soon­er or lat­er under­mine health.

So how much sleep do you need and what to do if you can’t get enough sleep, says Healthy­in­fo.

How much sleep do you need?

A healthy per­son needs 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. At the same time, the younger the per­son, the more hours of rest he needs. For exam­ple, new­borns up to three months are shown 14–17 hours of sleep per day, and adults over 65 years old — about 7–8 hours. Such data was pre­sent­ed Nation­al Sleep Foun­da­tion.

But what do these hours of sleep give the body? And what awaits those who neglect them for the sake of their desires?

Sleep depri­va­tion impairs the func­tion­ing of organs and sys­tems. In sci­en­tif­ic exper­i­ments, it was found that with a lack of sleep, inhi­bi­tion of neur­al process­es is observed, which reduces the reac­tion rate. Accord­ing to sta­tis­tics, every fifth traf­fic acci­dent occurs due to the fact that the dri­ver fell asleep at the wheel.

Sci­en­tists note that an inad­e­quate night’s rest is fraught with a decrease in the cog­ni­tive func­tions of the body, a decline in strength and loss of effi­cien­cy, the for­ma­tion of bad habits, a decrease in immu­ni­ty, and a dete­ri­o­ra­tion in men­tal and phys­i­cal health.

And one study showed that lack of sleep leads to pre­ma­ture aging of the body. A per­son who sleeps lit­tle looks old­er and works poor­ly.

That’s why you should aim to get the rec­om­mend­ed num­ber of hours of sleep each night!

Did you know?

Peo­ple who expe­ri­ence sleep dis­or­ders are more like­ly to become depressed.

Why do we wake up in the middle of the night?

Why do we wake up in the middle of the night?

There is also a reverse sit­u­a­tion, a per­son would be hap­py to sleep well, but he does not suc­ceed. Hun­dreds of ways to fall asleep as soon as pos­si­ble have been stud­ied, the meth­ods of spe­cial ser­vices have been adopt­ed, but things are still there.

And if you still man­age to fall asleep, then soon­er or lat­er it hap­pens — a sud­den awak­en­ing.

Accord­ing to a study pub­lished in the jour­nal sleep­ing med­i­cine, about a third of adults wake up in the mid­dle of the night at least three times a week. How­ev­er, 40% of them find it incred­i­bly dif­fi­cult to fall asleep again.

What makes us wake up in the mid­dle of the night? Healthy­in­fo names 8 main rea­sons.

1. The room is too cold, hot, noisy or light

“How eas­i­ly you wake up, react­ing to the next stim­u­lus, depends on what phase of sleep your body was in,” says the doc­tor of sleep med­i­cine. Rita Auad. When you sleep, your body cycles through sev­er­al phas­es of sleep. The first stage is the eas­i­est. It is at this moment that the head­lights of a pass­ing car, illu­mi­nat­ing your win­dow, or some oth­er fac­tor, can wake you up.”

What to do? Take care of this in advance! The room should be dark, cool and qui­et. For bet­ter rest, you can use earplugs and a sleep mask, a fan and oth­er devices that give com­fort.

2. You are very anxious about something.

“Anx­i­ety can be the fac­tor that wakes you up at night,” says MD, MD. Okeke-Igbok­we. Sleep dis­tur­bances are a com­mon symp­tom of an anx­i­ety dis­or­der. You may also note symp­toms such as heart pal­pi­ta­tions or night­mares. Some peo­ple have night­time pan­ic attacks.”

What to do? Med­i­ta­tion and relax­ation tech­niques, yoga, deep breath­ing exer­cis­es can alle­vi­ate unpleas­ant symp­toms. A doc­tor may rec­om­mend cog­ni­tive behav­ioral ther­a­py, as well as anti-anx­i­ety med­ica­tions.

3. The bladder does not allow to wait for the morning

3. The bladder does not allow to wait for the morning

Research pub­lished in an author­i­ta­tive pub­li­ca­tion Inter­na­tion­al Neu­rol­o­gy Jour­nal, showed that of 856 adults sur­veyed, about 23% of women and 29% of men are famil­iar with noc­turia, a con­di­tion in which a per­son gets up to go to the toi­let at least once a night.

Accord­ing to experts Cleve­land Clin­ic, the caus­es of this phe­nom­e­non may be the use of large amounts of flu­id before bed­time, uri­nary tract infec­tions, over­ac­tive blad­der. Type 1 and type 2 dia­betes and high blood sug­ar can also con­tribute to noc­turia.

What to do? If reduc­ing the amount of flu­id before bed does not solve the prob­lem, you should con­sult a doc­tor to find out the exact cause of awak­en­ings.

4. You have sleep apnea

If a per­son sud­den­ly wakes up in the mid­dle of the night to catch their breath, sleep apnea may be the cause. With this dis­or­der, breath­ing can be very slow or even stop for a peri­od of time.

What to do? To diag­nose sleep apnea, the doc­tor may ask the patient to mon­i­tor sleep using a spe­cial device that mon­i­tors the res­pi­ra­to­ry rate. Depend­ing on the results obtained, the caus­es of the dis­or­der are estab­lished and ways to solve the prob­lem are out­lined.

5. You are sensitive to caffeine.

Some peo­ple have the CYP1A2 gene, which makes them more sen­si­tive to caf­feine. “If you’re one of them, you’d be bet­ter off not eat­ing with him in the after­noon line-up,” says the ER doc­tor. Michael Zelin­s­ki. But even healthy peo­ple who do not have sen­si­tiv­i­ty to caf­feine, one must exer­cise a sense of pro­por­tion in rela­tion to this brain stim­u­lant.

What to do? Con­trol your intake of caf­feinat­ed foods. Abuse of this sub­stance can cause rest­less, inter­rupt­ed sleep, cause night­mares, or con­tribute to insom­nia.

6. You have an overactive thyroid

6. You have an overactive thyroid

“This gland con­trols the func­tion­ing of sev­er­al oth­er organs,” says MD, internist Alex Gaffney Adams. — If it is hyper­ac­tive, in this case they speak of a diag­no­sis of hyper­thy­roidism — the gland pro­duces more than the hor­mone thy­rox­ine is need­ed. Oth­er symp­toms of hyper­thy­roidism are heart pal­pi­ta­tions, rest­less­ness, tremors, exces­sive sweat­ing.”

What to do? Con­sult a doc­tor to deter­mine the lev­el of hor­mones and make the cor­rect diag­no­sis. If the doc­tor detects hyper­thy­roidism, appro­pri­ate appoint­ments will be made.

7. You ate right before bed or skipped dinner altogether.

“If you eat short­ly before bed, it can make it dif­fi­cult to fall asleep. One cause could be acid reflux, where stom­ach acid backs up into the esoph­a­gus and caus­es heart­burn, says sleep MD. Rita Awad. — On the oth­er hand, long breaks between meals can also pro­voke insom­nia. Or a rum­bling emp­ty stom­ach can wake you up at night.”

What to do? Estab­lish prop­er nutri­tion. If nec­es­sary, see a doc­tor for treat­ment of eat­ing dis­or­ders.

8. You drank several glasses of wine.

In many cas­es, alco­hol can help you fall asleep faster, but it’s also the cul­prit behind inter­rupt­ed sleep. Some experts note that drink­ing alco­hol length­ens the first phase of sleep — the one when wak­ing up is eas­i­est.

What to do? If you’re hav­ing trou­ble sleep­ing, you need to pay atten­tion to the amount of alco­hol you’re drink­ing. Doc­tor Alex Gaffney Adams rec­om­mends that you stop drink­ing alco­hol at least three hours before bed to give your body a chance to process it.

Bet­ter yet, avoid alco­hol alto­geth­er. In a healthy body healthy mind! Good dreams!

Expert com­ment

Michael Zelin­sky, ER doc­tor

Good sleep not only refresh­es you, it is the key to good health. An ide­al night’s sleep is one in which you sleep sound­ly for about sev­en to eight hours. But the “cor­rect mean­ing” for each per­son is dif­fer­ent and may vary.

For exam­ple, in my prac­tice I met a patient who slept 6 hours a day and felt great. More sleep he did not need, and even was unde­sir­able.

To deter­mine the opti­mal amount of sleep for you, ask your­self how do you feel when you wake up?

But it’s not just the quan­ti­ty that mat­ters. Qual­i­ty is an equal­ly impor­tant fac­tor. Wak­ing up in the mid­dle of the night, even once, lim­its the amount of time you spend in deep and REM sleep, pre­vent­ing your body from ful­ly relax­ing and rest­ing. In addi­tion, noc­tur­nal awak­en­ings increase the con­cen­tra­tion of the hor­mone cor­ti­sol in the blood, which is a mark­er of stress. There­fore, it is very impor­tant to get enough sleep every day.

If you wake up in the mid­dle of the night, look for the “root of the prob­lem”! If nec­es­sary, the doc­tor will tell you how to deal with it.

The Preva­lence of Noc­turia and Noc­tur­nal Polyuria: Can New Cut­off Val­ues ​​Be Sug­gest­ed Accord­ing to Age and Sex? / Zum­rut­bas AE, Bozkurt AI, Alkis O., et al // Int Neu­rourol J. - 2016

By Yraa

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