Perhaps everyone has ever experienced the problem of waking up in the earliest morning, not being able to fall asleep again. For somebody it even happens regularly. What is the reason of it and how do you stop waking up each night?
Why Do I Keep Waking Up Early
Commonly, the problem we are about to discuss is manifested in waking up instantly in the morning (usually at the same time each day) without being able to sleep again. As the result, you cannot sleep well at all and get tired too fast. Such sleep disorders may be dangerous in some occasions, so it is important to find out the exact reason why it keeps happening.
The first thing you should consider when you keep waking up in the morning is insomnia. This illness is manifested in different ways. Some people cannot sleep at all, for others it is hard to get up. It is also possible that insomnia leads to waking up unconsciously.
During a day, hormone adenosine keeps accumulating in your body. As its amount rises, you want to sleep more and more. Eventually, when you fall asleep, adenosine is slowly cleared away, so you do not want to sleep when you wake up.
Insomnia, as a medical problem, leads to disorders in adenosine production.
Therefore, it is hard for you to fall asleep, as there is not enough quantity of the hormone. However, when you finally manage to sleep, any external irritant wakes you up. As there is no adenosine left, you cannot sleep again.
Depression or Anxiety
Any distinct changes in your mood may affect your sleep differently. Mostly anxiety and depression lead to problems with sleeping. When you are too concerned about something during the day, your brain tries to find the solution during the night. Of course, it leads to sleep disorders.
In general, depression can make you wake up earlier than you have usually done, as your brain keeps working hard and knows that it has to do something about the problems.
Therefore, if you set your alarm on 6.00, you may wake up at 4.30. It is so because a sleep cycle averagely takes 1.5 hours. You wake up in between two cycles, which is easy for your brain, but the amount of sleep is significantly decreased. So, you cannot fall asleep again, but you feel tired already.
Sleep apnea is a breathing disorder during the nighttime. It manifests in cessation of pulmonary ventilation during sleep for more than 10 seconds. Such problem has some medical reasons and you should consult with a doctor about it. However, how does it affect waking up?
There are two sleep stages: REM and Non-REM. First one is the stage when you see dreams (it lasts for 10-20 minutes each 1.5 hours). During REM sleep almost all of your muscles are paralyzed, so are throat muscles. Therefore, sleep apnea usually manifests at this stage.
As it is easy for your brain to wake up straight after REM sleep, it does, because it thinks you have stopped breathing.
As REM sleep takes only last 10-20 minutes of 1.5 hours sleep cycle, you keep waking up in the same time in the morning, when the exact regular cycle ends.
As you grow older, you will sleep less and less. From 40-50 years of age, you will definitely notice it. Your body simply does not need as much time to rest as it used to do. Therefore, your waking up in the early morning may be reasoned by aging.
Even though there is nothing bad in such changes, you should rearrange your daily regime to adjust. See the next paragraphs to learn how.
How to Wake Up Easier
Why Do I Wake Up After 2 Hours of Sleep
Another problem that may look similar to waking up in the morning is waking up after two hours of sleep approximately. Mostly, these problems are caused by the same reasons. However, they are manifested differently.
As we have mentioned before, there are two sleep stages in a sleep cycle: REM and Non-REM.
One sleep cycle takes 1.5 hours and they go one after another to form a sleep pattern. Usually, there are 5-6 sleep cycle in a pattern of a healthy person.
When setting your alarm, you should find the time when some cycle ends. It is right after a REM sleep stage. The thing is your brain wakes up after REM sleep a lot easier than it does during a Non-REM one.
The problem with waking up after a couple of hours is in these cycles. After 1.5-2 hours, the first cycle ends, so it is easy for your brain to wake up. If there are some external or internal irritants, it does unconsciously. However, it is hard to fall asleep again, because the brain simply does not need more time, only body does.
Talking about external irritants, the most significant ones are loud sounds or bright light. In fact, even a silent talk can wake you up during your REM sleep.
Internal irritants are mostly manifested in forms of some mental disorders or diseases. For example, sleep apnea, which we have considered before, or depression affect your brain. Therefore, as soon as it has a nice moment to wake up (the end of a REM sleep) it does.
How to Reduce Sleep Time
How to Stop Waking Up Early
Practically, it does not matter whether you keep waking up in the morning or after two hours of sleep. As we have learnt, both problems have similar reasons; and both of them occur at the end of a certain sleep cycle. Therefore, all the advices below work equally.
Rearrange Your Regime
In fact, almost every sleep problem has something to do with a time of waking up or going to sleep. If you always do it differently, your brain does not know when it gets time to rest. As the result, it works hard for the whole day, therefore getting tired a lot faster. On the other hand, if you always go to sleep at 23.00, your biorhythms are strict, so it is easy for you to rest. Therefore, you will less likely wake up unconsciously.
Get Enough Sleep
An adult person should sleep 6-7.5 hours a night. The less time you spend in bed, the more irritable your sleep is. As the result, you are more likely to wake up after a regular sleep cycle. Do not use polyphasic sleep techniques, when you divide your sleep time into short periods by 30 minutes. This is very dangerous for both mental and physical health.
Fight the Depression
Any mental disorders affect your health. Therefore, if you are usually in a bad mood, your sleep may be disturbed too. You should try to find things that make you happy and think about them as often as you can.
Before going to bed, spend five minutes on thinking about what makes you like your life, talk to your relatives. When you wake up, smile and do not concentrate on work immediately.
These simplest advices can help you fight depression and sleep disorders, preventing further development of potential diseases.
Get Rid of External Irritants
Even if the reason of your waking up in the morning is medical, external irritants only enhance it. Make sure it is dark in your bedroom when you sleep, and there are no sounds at all. Any sudden knock can make you wake up. It is also important that it is not stuffy in bedroom, so ventilate it before going to bed.
Go See a Doctor
If nothing have helped and you keep waking up, you should visit a doctor. If there is a medical problem, it is important to find it and cure it as soon as you can, so that to prevent further development of much more serious diseases.
If you keep waking up unconsciously, there is probably something that makes you do it. Just remove the irritant and the problem should disappear. Although, it might be hard to find this exact irritant. That is why it is important to have a strict daily regime and get enough sleep, so that you know the reason can be only medical.