Waking Up Too Early? 11 Common Reasons Explained
Waking up too early can be caused by a variety of factors, from circadian misalignment to wearing the wrong clothes to bed. So if you’re wondering why your baby is waking up too early, or if your dog is waking up too early, learn more about 11 reasons that could be the cause of waking up too early and simple measures that can be taken to create the right sleep environment night after night.
The human circadian system is controlled by a central master clock in the brain and peripheral clocks in organs such as the liver, heart, pancreas, muscles.
Changes in meal and snack timings can lead to circadian rhythm disruption.
Calming pre-bedtime routines like reading/journaling can help you destress and stay asleep longer.
Did you know?
Insufficient sleep and circadian misalignment are important metabolic stressors and are associated with weight gain and increased energy expenditure.
Do you find yourself constantly waking up early? Whether you're lying in bed feeling wide-awake when the sun is barely up, or if you're jolted out of sleep before your alarm goes off, it can be incredibly frustrating. You may be asking yourself, “why do I keep waking up too early?” It’s a common problem that can be caused by a variety of factors with 1 in 3 American adults not getting enough sleep on a regular basis, according to a new study in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
11 Reasons Why You Are Waking Up Too Early
Let’s take a look at 11 common causes of waking up too early and explore helpful strategies on how to fall and stay asleep longer. From your daily sleep schedule to your baby waking up too early, or if your dog is waking up too early, you’ll find all the answers you’re looking for here.
1. Circadian Misalignment
The first common cause of waking up too early is circadian misalignment. Your circadian rhythm is your body’s internal clock that regulates your sleep-wake cycle. When your circadian rhythm is out of sync, you may find yourself waking up too early. This can be caused by a disruption of your normal sleep schedule, such as when you travel to a different time zone or work night shifts. In the United States alone, insufficient sleep has an estimated economic impact of over $411B each year.
How Do I Stop Waking Up Early Due To Circadian Misalignment?
If you’re waking up too early due to circadian misalignment, the best way to get back on track is to reset your body’s internal clock. Stick to a consistent sleep schedule, avoid exposure to bright lights in the evening and get enough sleep each night. To get the restorative and mind-boosting benefits of deep sleep and REM, it is recommended for adults to get 7-9 hours of sleep each night.
2. Wearing The Wrong Clothes To Bed
Another common cause of waking up too early is wearing the wrong clothes to bed. If your pajamas are too tight or too loose, or if they’re made of a material that’s not breathable, this can cause you to wake up too early due to discomfort.
To prevent waking up too early due to wearing the wrong clothes, make sure you’re wearing comfortable, breathable sleepwear to stay asleep longer. Although there’s no ‘one size fits all’ approach to what you wear to bed, look for breathable and moisture-wicking fabrics like organic cotton, TENCEL, linen and flannel.
3. Melatonin Cycle
Melatonin is a hormone that helps regulate your sleep-wake cycle, and when your melatonin cycle is out of balance, it can cause you to wake up too early. This can be caused by not getting enough exposure to natural light, or by consuming too much caffeine late in the day.
How Do I Stop Waking Up Early Due To A Disrupted Melatonin Cycle?
To keep your melatonin cycle in balance and prevent waking up too early, try to get at least 20 minutes of natural light exposure each day. Additionally, try to avoid caffeine consumption within 6 hours of bedtime.
One cozy way to increase your natural melatonin production is by using a natural and breathable weighted blanket. The extra weight applies Deep Touch Pressure on your body, leading to an uptake in serotonin production, which is a precursor to melatonin, helping you sleep better through the night.
4. Sleep Pressure
Sleep pressure is the term used to describe the body’s need for sleep. When your sleep pressure is too low, you may find yourself waking up too early. This can be caused by not getting enough sleep each night, or by consuming too much caffeine or alcohol through the day.
The need for sleep accumulated over time could lead to sleep pressure, so make sure you’re getting enough sleep each night (ideally 7–9 hours for adults). Additionally, be mindful of your caffeine and alcohol consumption, as they can interfere with your sleep pressure.
How To Stop A Baby From Waking Up Too Early?
Babies need about 14-17 hours of sleep in every 24-hour cycle including naps. Sleep pressure in babies is usually a measure of how tired your child is. The longer your child is awake, the sleepier they become. Your baby will also typically experience the highest sleep pressure at bedtime. As your child has naps throughout the day or when they sleep at night, sleep pressure wears off a bit, and then again they can stay awake for another stretch of time, and often the length of time your child sleeps matters: the longer a baby has been asleep, the longer they will stay awake. This is why it’s important to create a calming sleep environment and routine for babies so that early wake-ups, in the middle of the night and early-morning can be prevented.
5. Bedroom Too Warm
If your bedroom is too warm, this can cause your body temperature to rise, which can make it difficult to fall and stay asleep. Sleepiness is strongly influenced by our circadian clock and most commonly by that of our core body temperature.This can also lead to waking up too early due to discomfort.
Making sure that your room is at a comfortable temperature (ideally between 60–67°F) could help you prevent waking up too early due to a warm bedroom. Additionally, try to avoid using blankets that are too warm or made from artificial fillers, as this can further increase your body temperature.
Our cooling weighted blanket the Tree Napper is made from TENCEL and can help hot sleepers sleep better through the night and the benefits of Deep Touch Pressure on the body can help you fall and stay asleep longer.
6. Substance Or Medication-Induced Sleep Disorder
Certain medications and substances can cause a disruption in your sleep-wake cycle, which can lead to waking up too early. This can include medications for depression, anxiety, or high blood pressure, as well as alcohol.
If you think you’re waking up too early because of a medication or substance you’re taking currently, talk to your doctor about alternative treatments. Additionally, be sure to avoid drinking alcohol close to bedtime, as this can interfere with your sleep-wake cycle.
7. Anxiety & Stress
Anxiety and stress can cause a disruption in your sleep-wake cycle, which can lead to waking up too early. This can be caused by worrying about your day ahead, or by ruminating on your worries and anxieties.
The quality of sleep you get essentially sets you up for the day ahead. So there are a few simple changes which could help tackle anxiety and stress which may cause you to wake up too early. Starting a pre-bedtime routine that involves calming activities, such as reading, journaling, or meditation can help calm your mind and help you sleep better. You can also try practicing mindfulness throughout the day and focus on the present moment through the day.
Insomnia is a sleep disorder that causes difficulty in falling asleep or staying asleep. It’s often one of the most common, yet one of the most neglected conditions with long-term and serious effects on the health of adults. Various studies worldwide have also shown the prevalence of insomnia in 10%–30% of the population, with some even as high as 50%–60%. If you’re suffering from insomnia, this can lead to waking up too early as well.
For chronic insomnia, it’s important to see your doctor for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. By trying to stick to a consistent sleep schedule, using non-medical aids such as weighted blankets, avoiding caffeine and alcohol close to bedtime, and practicing calming activities before bed could also help you stay asleep longer if you’re suffering from insomnia.
While pregnancy may be one of life’s most precious moments, pregnancy often comes with a lot of ups and downs and pregnant women may find themselves waking up too early due to hormonal changes, changes in their sleep-wake cycle, or anxiety and stress.
If you’re pregnant and waking up too early, try to stick to a consistent sleep schedule and practice calming activities before bed. Additionally, talk to your doctor about your sleep concerns and ask for tips on getting a better night’s rest.
Extra support while you sleep when you’re pregnant may also help. Body and pregnancy pillows such as our satisfyingly squashy, breathable, and ergonomic Cuddler is designed to support you comfortably throughout your pregnancy. It molds to your body shape and keeps you aligned so that tension can melt away, helping you sleep better through every trimester.
10. Age-Related Sleep Changes
As we age, our sleep patterns can change, which can lead to waking up too early. This can be caused by hormonal changes, changes in our circadian rhythm, or disruptions in our sleep-wake cycle.
If you’re waking up too early due to age-related sleep changes, the best thing to do is to stick to a consistent sleep schedule and try to get 7–9 hours of sleep each night in a calming and comforting sleep environment.
11. Environmental Disturbances
Finally, environmental disturbances, such as noise or light, can disrupt your sleep and cause you to wake up too early. This can include loud noises from outside, such as traffic or construction, or bright lights from street lamps or electronic devices. Before bedtime, it’s recommended to avoid any screen usage, especially ones that emit blue light.
To prevent waking up too early due to environmental disturbances, try to create a dark, quiet and comforting sleep environment. This means blocking out light from outside and avoiding electronic devices in the bedroom. Additionally, if you’re a light sleeper, consider using a chunky knit weighted blanket to help you fall asleep and stay asleep.
Why Does My Dog Wake Up Too Early?
Just like humans, your best friend’s sleep can be impacted by environmental disturbances and make them wake up early. From a comfortable dog bed such as our Pupper Pod that keeps them cool as they drift off to sleep, to making sure that their room is as dark and unentertaining as possible, a better night’s sleep for your pup is well within reach by creating a calming environment free from stimulation.
Try A Weighted Blanket
Even the most ideal sleep setup may lead to some early wake times, and sometimes you may need a little extra help to fall and stay asleep longer
Try non-medicinal and natural sleep aids that have the potential to be a long-term solution and can help you sleep better and feel calmer.
Weighted blankets promote deeper, more restful sleep and stress relief through Deep Touch Pressure (DTP). Like a big hug from a loved one, a weighted blanket lowers cortisol (the stress hormone) and raises melatonin and serotonin, helping people fall and stay asleep longer.
Our cooling Tree Napper made of TENCEL is a breathable, sustainable alternative to traditional weighted blankets that helps hot sleepers stay cool, delivering DTP with layers of weighted yarn instead of plastic/glass beads.
Silky-soft, airy comfort
Made from natural eucalyptus
Ultra breathableGet Cozy
Whichever weighted blanket you choose, we recommend starting with one that weighs about 10% of your overall body weight for the right balance to help you stay comfy and avoid waking up too early.
Waking up too early can be incredibly frustrating, and it can be caused by a variety of factors.
By sticking to a consistent and calming sleep schedule, avoiding caffeine and alcohol close to bedtime, and creating a dark, quiet sleep environment, you’ll be drifting off to dreamland in no time and stay asleep longer in alignment with your body’s circadian rhythms. Additionally, consider using a breathable weighted blanket to help you fall and stay asleep longer.
If you’re still having trouble staying asleep, it could be beneficial to speak to a medical representative for more tips and advice
With the right tools and strategies, you’ll be sleeping through the night in no time and waking up at the right time feeling more calm and refreshed.