How To Stay Asleep All Night
Waking up in the middle of the night is sometimes called insomnia. It is a common problem. Waking up in the middle of the night can often be due to stress.
If you’re suffering from disrupted sleep, there are things you can do to help stay asleep. You may be wondering How can you keep yourself from waking up in the middle of the night?
Read our guide to learn more about the reasons you may keep waking up and how you can stay asleep all night.
How Much Sleep Do You Need?
The average adult needs 7 to 9 hours per day of sleep for good health. There are several factors that can affect the amount of sleep you'll need. Here's a quick explanation of the most common ones.
- Aging: Studies find that as we age, we experience more sleep disruptions. We also have more difficulty going to sleep. This can make it more challenging for older adults to get adequate sleep hours.
- Menopause: The hot flashes and hormonal changes that come with menopause can lead to night sweats and sleep interruptions. As a result, women going through menopause may struggle with poor-quality sleep.
- Pregnancy: Pregnant women experience physical discomfort and hormonal changes, which can make it hard to get adequate sleep.
- Sleep deprivation: If you didn't get enough hours of bedtime the night before, you may find that you need more sleep the next night.
- Sleep quality: Those who suffer from light sleep could find themselves sleeping for more hours so they can feel rested.
Getting less than 7 hours of sleep time has been linked by several studies to many chronic health issues. These include:
- Mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression
- Cardiovascular disease
If you have trouble getting adequate sleep, it can have long-term consequences for your physical and mental health. Improve your sleep environment and maintain a regular bedtime routine so you can get higher-quality, uninterrupted sleep hours.
What Causes Waking Up In The Middle Of The Night?
Some causes for waking up in the middle of the night include the following:
- Taking alcohol or caffeine hours before bedtime
- The need to urinate
- A bad sleep environment
- Night terrors
- Indigestion or heartburn
- Screen use
- Sleep disorders
Many people may wake up once or twice in the middle of the night. But if it happens too frequently, it can interrupt your sleep rhythm and make it harder to feel rested.
What Are The Symptoms Of Sleep Disorders?
These are some symptoms of sleep disorders like insomnia and restless legs syndrome.
- Irregular sleep and wake cycle
- Difficulty falling asleep
- Increase in movement during sleep
- Daytime sleepiness
- Irregular breathing while asleep
Sleep disorders can change the way you sleep and leave you feeling tired in the morning. Sleep disorders can also increase the risk of developing other health problems like high blood pressure and acid reflux. If you think you may suffer from a sleep disorder, visit your healthcare provider for diagnosis and treatment.
How Are Sleep Disorders Diagnosed?
Sleep disorders are diagnosed by a series of questions by a medical professional. Your doctor may perform a physical examination and examine your medical history, including any medications that could be causing your sleep problems.
They will likely ask questions about your sleep history to get a better sense of how often you suffer from poor sleep. Some doctors may also ask you to keep a sleep diary for more information about this.
If your doctor sees fit, they may recommend that you take certain tests. Here are some common tests used to diagnose sleep disorders.
This is a non-invasive sleep study conducted in a laboratory. A polysomnogram can give more information about eye movement, sleep stages, sleep position, heart rate, and general sleep behavior.
Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT)
An MSLT determines your degree of sleepiness. This is an overnight sleep study that monitors your movement and sleep quality while you nap several times.
Maintenance Of Wakefulness Test (MWT)
The MWT examines your ability to stay awake. During this test, you will be offered opportunities to nap but asked to try to stay awake. Those who nap very readily during this test may struggle with excessive sleepiness.
What Are The Treatments For Sleep Disorders?
These are some common treatments for sleep disorders.
- Adjustments to sleep hygiene: Good sleep hygiene refers to keeping bedtime routines and a sleep environment that promotes uninterrupted, sufficient hours of sleep. These may include introducing relaxation exercises, minimizing light exposure with blackout shades, and ensuring a comfortable temperature for sleep.
- Medication: Some doctors may prescribe sleep aids such as melatonin, modafinil, or gabapentin depending on the type of sleep disorder you have.
- Counseling: If your sleep disorder is linked to stress, anxiety, or other mental health issues, you may be asked to seek counseling. This treatment may help you recognize which thought patterns could be interrupting your sleep.
- Exercise: Studies have shown that regular exercise can improve sleep quality. Your doctor may recommend doing moderate aerobic exercise or stretching to help you sleep. However, note that you shouldn't exercise too close to your bedtime as this may hamper your ability to drift off.
Tips To Help You Sleep Through The Night
Although an occasional restless night can happen to anyone, frequently losing sleep can lead to a chronic sleep problem. Ongoing sleep disruption can wreak havoc on your health and even cause a sleep disorder.
Don’t let yourself succumb to the ill effects of poor sleep. Here's a breakdown of our seven tips to relax and enjoy restful, uninterrupted sleep all night long.
Create A Relaxing Bedtime Routine
Take some time to examine your pre-bed habits. Conduct your own little sleep study, of sorts. Are you going to sleep at different times or in different locations regularly? Do you engage in stimulating activities just before bed?
Factors like these can send your body mixed signals and cause a sleep problem, but a calming bedtime routine can help you develop a more stable circadian rhythm.
Reduce Fluid Intake Before Bed
Don’t consume too many fluids too close to bedtime. A good rule of thumb to follow is to avoid drinking water at least two hours before you turn in.
Optimize Your Sleeping Environment
Create an optimal sleeping environment for yourself. This can include things like an ideal sleeping temperature, a comfortable mattress, less light, and noise.
Avoid Stimulating Food
Feel like having a bedtime snack? Don’t just grab the first thing you see in your fridge or cabinet. Certain foods can overstimulate your body and make it difficult to drift off. When exploring ideas to learn how to fall asleep and stay asleep, examine your evening eating habits.
Sometimes the best sleep medicine is to get moving. Staying active is critical for a good night’s sleep. Make time to exercise within your ability.
Limit Caffeine Intake
Limit caffeine before bed. This can especially keep you up at night.
A lack of sleep can make you feel tired and unfocused for the day's tasks. If you suffer from interrupted sleep, you may need to make changes to your bedtime routine. Simple changes such as following a regular sleep schedule and doing relaxation exercises may make it easier to enjoy a restful night of sleep.
If you still suffer from fragmented sleep despite these adjustments, underlying health conditions may be the culprit. Consult a doctor to see if you need treatment for medical issues that could be disrupting your sleep time.
Frequently Asked Questions About Staying Asleep At Night
Why do I keep waking up at night?
You may keep waking up at night for the following reasons:
- Drinking alcohol or caffeinated beverages too late in the day
- Sleep disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea, chronic insomnia, or narcolepsy
- Indigestion and/or heartburn from eating spicy, fatty, or heavy meals before bedtime
- A poor sleep environment
- Using electronic devices late at night
Occasionally waking up isn't always a sign of disorders in sleep. However, if you find yourself waking up too frequently at night, you need to address this to stay in optimal health.
Why can’t I stay asleep for long?
You may not stay asleep for long because you might suffer from some form of insomnia. Disturbed sleep may be caused by insomnia or underlying medical conditions such as depression or anxiety.
How can I stop waking up multiple times at night?
You can stop waking up multiple times at night by improving your sleep hygiene and creating a more restful sleep environment. If you still have problems getting normal sleep, it may be advisable to consult a doctor. With their help, you may be able to determine if physical or mental health issues are the root cause.