Do you find yourself waking up every now and then in the middle of the night? You most likely don’t have anything to worry about. It happens to everyone every now and then. If you find yourself waking up in the middle of the night 3 or more times a week, for more than three months, then you might have a problem.
Around 40 million American suffer from one form of insomnia, though women seem to suffer from it more. If you find yourself waking up constantly in the middle of the night, and find you have trouble falling back asleep, you might be suffering from Sleep Maintenance Insomnia (SMI).
Why Does it Happen?
No one is fully sure just what causes sleep maintenance insomnia, or SMI. There are any number of reasons why you might be affected by SMI.
As the night moves on, your body naturally moves into lighter sleep stages, and makes it easier to wake up. This is one of the reasons that wake ups are more likely to happen in the early morning hours.
Poor sleep habits can be a cause as well. Caffeine too late in the evening can prevent you from sleeping deeply. A drink before bed might help you fall asleep quickly, but the chances of waking up as the night wears on is higher as your body metabolizes the alcohol in your system. Your room might not be idle for sleeping. Maybe it’s too cold, or too hot. Is there a noise problem in your room, or do you have issues with keeping the room dark enough?
Various conditions can cause you to experience sleep maintenance insomnia as well. If you suffer from sleep apnea, for example, you experience shallow breathing, or even pauses in your breathing, your body can try and wake itself to make sure you aren’t in danger of dying. Learn More About How To Stay Asleep. Restless Leg Syndrome, and chronic pain can also be an underlying cause of SMI.
5 Symptoms of Sleep Maintenance Insomnia
- Sleeping for a few hours, before waking up, usually in the early morning. This happens 3 or more times a week, for at least 3 months.
- Waking up suddenly, and being unable to fall back asleep no matter how hard you try.
- An in between stage where one feels half awake while sleeping.
- Waking up too early and not being able to fall asleep according to a normal diurnal sleeping pattern
- Waking briefly, but frequently, thought the night
What Can I Do?
A strict sleep schedule can work wonders for those suffering from SMI. If you DO find yourself waking up in the middle of the night, avoid your phone or tablet. They emit a blue light, which over stimulates your body, and makes it difficult for you to fall asleep again.