Why Do I Wake Up At The Same Time Every Night?
We delved into why we tend to wake up at the same time each night and how a weighted blanket can help.
Waking up at a similar time each night means every time you hit a lighter stage of a sleep cycle, something’s interfering. Common culprits include stress, anxiety and an irregular work schedule.
A pattern of interrupted sleep is detrimental not only to your overall health but also to your general demeanor.
Don’t be a grouch! Remedy regular rousing with a weighted blanket! And a little less screen time before bedtime can make a big difference in getting enough of that crucial deep sleep.
Did you know?
The state of finding it hard to get out of bed in the morning is called dysania.
We sometimes find ourselves waking up, night after night, at the same time. Why do we rouse at regular times? Is it affecting our health? Our happiness?
It’s normal to wake up during the night as we go through the various sleep stages. These are short awakenings and generally we don’t even recall waking up at all. It becomes troublesome when we’re waking regularly and struggling to go back to sleep.
Sleep deprivation makes it difficult to function properly during the day, and often makes us downright cranky. Being all about great sleep, and how it helps us feel happier, we delved into why we tend to wake up at the same time each night and how a weighted blanket can help.
To really get to the gist, it’s useful to first take a look at how our bodies process typical sleep patterns.
Synchronized Systems: Our Internal Clock And Sleep Drive
There are two main bodily systems that interact to govern our sleep and awake patterns. The first, circadian rhythm, is commonly referred to as our internal clock. This acts a bit like an alarm system that keeps us awake during the day.
Simultaneously, our sleep drive, a homeostatic system, is fueled by the amount of time we spend being awake. When the sleep drive signal eventually overpowers the alerts sent from our internal clock, we’re ready to fall asleep.
When these two systems are synchronized, we’re able to maintain prolonged periods of deep, uninterrupted sleep.
A sleep cycle consists of five stages. Depending on how many hours of shuteye you’re getting, a night of uninterrupted rest includes four or five repeats of an entire sleep cycle. The threshold for how easily we can wake up during each stage of the sleep cycle varies.
The first two stages of the sleep cycle are considered light sleep and we’re easily woken up during these stages. If you’re sticking to a consistent bedtime (a great sleep habit!), you’re probably falling asleep at a regular time. As the sleep cycle repeats, you’re likely to then reach the lighter sleep stages at about the same time during night.
So if you find yourself checking your phone (a not-so-great sleep habit) at similar times each night, it’s likely you reached the lighter sleep stages at those hours. But, when we’re in those lighter stages of sleep, why do we sometimes drift back to sleep and other times we simply can’t? There are a couple of possible explanations.
Common Causes Of Regularly Waking
What wakes us up during lighter sleep stages? Here are some common causes:
Anxiety and depression
An anxious or depressed mind can make it difficult to stay asleep. If you often feel anxious or suffer from depression, this could be a likely explanation you often wake up at the same time every night.
Has something got you worried? Concerned? Feeling the pressure at work? It’s no coincidence we use the saying “it keeps me up at night” when talking about things that we’re stressed about. Whether it’s personal or professional, stress is a common culprit when it comes to compromised sleep.
It’s not uncommon for people with occupations that require shift work, to wake up at a certain time each night. If your career needs you to be up and at ‘em for night shifts, you’re likely no stranger to watching the clock at the same time on the nights you’re off duty.
Getting up at night to tend to the needs of little ones is a significant part of parenting young children. When we reach the stage where our children are starting to sleep through the night, some parents still find themselves waking up frequently. Our bodies tend to become conditioned to the demands of night-time parenting, so when the baby (finally!) drops that night-time feed, it can take a while for a parents sleeping patterns to adjust.
The kids are growing up and so are you! As we age, we‘re likely to spend less and less time in the deeper stages of sleep, ultimately feeling that we sleep lighter as we get older.
If we’re not sleeping in an environment that maintains a comfortable temperature, it’s likely we’ll wake from the discomfort as soon as we hit the lighter sleep stage.
Obstructive sleep apnea or certain types of insomnia could be possible medical explanations for regularly timed awakenings. Check in with your doctor to rule out any health conditions if you find yourself awake and unable to get back to sleep at similar times each night.
How It Affects Our Health
Enough sleep is essential for feeling refreshed, restored and rested. Research shows that interrupted sleep directly affects our happiness levels, perhaps even more significantly than too little sleep! Regularly waking in the lighter stages of a sleep cycle doesn’t just tank our energy levels but also our mood.
Beyond the obvious feelings of irritability, the consequences of inadequate deep sleep can include severe headaches, a tendency to gain weight and difficulty when it comes to controlling and coping with emotions. Sleeping under a weighted blanket helps us shift naturally, comfortably and uninterrupted between sleep cycles, getting us to those much-needed deep sleep stages.
How Weighted Blankets Help Us Get Deeper Sleep
The science behind sleeping under a weighted blanket shows that it increases our serotonin levels. This ultra-important hormone, that we all too often lack thanks to modern lifestyles, converts into the hormone directly related to sleep, melatonin. More melatonin means better, deeper sleep.
What else helps us get deeper sleep? A comfortable body temperature. Breathability is a key aspect of our design, solving the common issue that weighted blankets leave us way too hot to sleep comfortably. Made from a plant-based fabric called Tencel ™ Lyocell, the Tree Napper is any sweaty sleeper’s solution to deeper sleep.
Tencel ™ fabric is found to be cooler than linen and more absorbent than cotton. Coupling this unique fabric with a hand-knit weaved pattern that allows for plenty of airflow creates a beautiful, breathable weighted blanket. If feeling hot is on the list of things interfering with getting enough deep sleep, the Tree Napper can help you tick it off.
What Else Supports Natural Sleep Cycles?
Practicing good sleep hygiene enables good quality sleep. Here are some tips to help make it through sleep cycles naturally:
- Lessen screen time before going to bed
- Limit the intake of caffeine, excessive sugar and heavy meals close to bedtime
- Aim to maintain a regular bedtime
- Get the lighting right: the darker the better
- Exercise deep breathing or meditation before bedtime, or when you find yourself awake during the night