Is waking up in the middle of the night bad for you?

Must See 01/08/2018

No-one likes waking up in the middle of the night. But is it really that bad to have an interrupted sleep? 

According to Dr. Sujay Kansagra, director of Duke University’s Pediatric Neurology Sleep Medicine Program, there’s nothing to worry about if you’re waking up in the middle of the night.

He believes that your body is probably doing it for a good reason: to receive more circulation.

Waking up is not an abnormal part of sleep. In our light stages, as we begin to become restless and shift positions, we are actually protecting ourselves, he tells Elite Daily

Apart from regaining circulation, the most common reason you’re probably waking up is that you need to use the bathroom. 

Unfortunately, because it takes roughly 90 to 120 minutes for your body to go through one full sleep cycle, if that time is interrupted, your body is essentially forced to start that cycle over.

So how can we help our sleep patterns?

"A common bedtime mistake people make is eating snacks that are primarily processed carbs, like cereal or crackers," sleep science coach, Chris Brantner.

You do need to eat though, as a drop in blood sugar levels throughout the night can also cause you to wake up and have night sweats. Snacks that are rich in protein are recommended or drinking a creamy glass of warm milk to help beat the hunger and encourage peaceful slumber.

And when should we worry?

Doctors say that your body has a few tell-tale signs let you know your sleep schedule isn't working. If you wake with a gasp, a headache, dry mouth or throat, or your partner tells you that you snore loudly throughout the night, there is a chance you have sleep apnea.

Overall, the worst thing you can do is let yourself be anxious about getting back to sleep. Worrying won’t make things better, and instead, you should distract yourself. This could mean watching a lighthearted video or TV show.

Elizabeth Trattner, a Chinese and integrative medicine expert, suggests massaging your feet for about 3 minutes before heading to bed as it will stimulate circulation, helping you get a happy and full rest.