Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night without any plausible reason? As in, just a moment ago you were fast asleep, but the next moment you are wide awake and there was nothing that could have woken you up – no loud noise, no banging doors, no rude shaking of the shoulders – just a sleepless you!
There have also been articles doing the rounds, which claim that only when someone is staring at you intently do you wake up in the middle of the night without any stimuli. Yikes! Sounds a lot like Paranormal Activity, doesn’t it? But don’t worry. It’s not always because of a paranormal presence that you suddenly wake up in the middle without reason. It could be because of a lot of other things. Here are a few!
1. Too Low Or Too High A Temperature
The ideal temperature in which the human body ought to sleep is said to be between 15 and 19 degrees Celsius (1). You may not have realized it, but you were probably either too hot or too cold, the last time you woke up in the middle of the night for no apparent reason.
If you sleep in an AC room, then it would make sense for you to keep the temperature at the ideal (as mentioned above) before you go to bed, in order to reduce your chances of being awakened in the middle of the night. Nevertheless, also be mindful that if you are used to sleeping with a blanket on, you might need to go lower.
2. Because Of A Medical Condition
How often do we wake up in the middle of the night because of an urgent need to go to the bathroom! I mean, once in a while, it is okay. We may have had too much water or tea before going to bed, or maybe we forgot to make that customary visit to the loo before hitting the sack. All that is normal and not something to be worried about.
But some of us may have a medical issue. Known as ‘nocturia’, when people have this condition, they feel the need to pee very frequently, especially at night (2). This condition occurs either because there’s some issue with the hormonal balance in your body or due to bladder problems. Either way, it is not wise to ignore this condition and you must visit the doctor.
3. Loud Noises In The Neighborhood
Many times, we do not realise it, but the failure to have an uninterrupted spell of deep sleep could also be because of living in a noisy neighborhood or home. Be it neighbors who love their music loud, howling dogs or even the motor of your own refrigerator, there is noise everywhere! And it affects our sleep patterns more than we can even imagine.
Some doctors recommend the use of earplugs, while others may recommend the playing of a white noise in the background. And in case you have a partner who snores, well, you can either choose to throw them out of the room or take them to the doctor and get their snoring issue sorted!
4. Too Much Partying Just Before Bedtime
Because of the adrenaline rush that happens, it is always a bad idea to involve any sort of activity that stimulates the brain that way, before going to sleep. Especially if you are at a party and have been consuming alcohol, you can expect your sleep to be lighter than usual.
This is simply because the alcohol present in your bloodstream needs to be processed by the body, which becomes an additional job for the body when it requires rest. So, yes, you will sleep in fits and turns, and not peacefully at all if you have been drinking.
5. Sleep Apnea
This condition is known to affect males over the age of 50 but it can happen to anyone. It mostly affects morbidly obese individuals and affects the throat muscles, thereby interrupting the flow of air into the lungs (3). When that happens, the body naturally reacts by jerking awake.
If left untreated, it can also lead to death. However, there are ways of correcting this by way of surgery or by using a certain kind of apparatus known as the CPAP machine while sleeping, which can be used to reduce the effects of this condition.
6. Psychological Conditions
When one suffers from anxiety or depression, the sleep pattern can get affected and sometimes rather severely. It is best to seek professional help in such cases because trying to solve the sleeping issue would just be addressing the peripherals and not the core.
As improbable as it may sound, there is actually a condition called ‘restless leg syndrome’, which causes one’s legs (and sometimes other muscles of the body as well) to experience weird sensations like crawling bugs or even throbbing and itching, which causes one to wake up in the middle of the night (4). This can be controlled by taking warm baths and massages. However, a persistent problem should be reported to a doctor immediately.
8. Acidity And Heartburn
More often than not, it is because of gas that our bodies become uncomfortable, which causes our sleep gets interrupted. So, the next time you are planning on having a pizza for dinner or any junk food for that matter, do not be surprised if you find yourself waking up in the middle of the night and not being able to get back to sleep.
Know anyone who is freaked out by the fact that they wake up in the middle of the night for no apparent reason? Share this article with them and set their fears at ease!