Mental Health

6 Reasons Why You are Waking Up Mid-Sleep

Sleep helps restore our mind and body. Disturbed sleep can hinder the same. While needing to urinate is a common and uncontrollable reason, there are several other factors which can be controlled. Know the reasons affecting your sleep quality.

By URLife Team
22 Nov 2023

The average human sleeps 25 to 30 years throughout their lives. But if good sleep is hard to attain, you might be asking yourself— why do I keep waking up at night? This experience is known as sleep maintenance insomnia, where staying asleep for individuals becomes challenging. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 35 per cent of adults don’t get adequate sleep.

When interrupted sleep becomes a chronic condition, the repercussions are not just feeling lethargic during the day, but also increased risk of serious health conditions. To ensure proper sleep management, it is important to understand what is causing you to wake up in the middle of the night in the first place. Here are common reasons for your interrupted sleep


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Non-Conducive Sleeping Environment

During sleep, your body cycles through stages of sleep: 1, 2, 3, 4, and rapid eye movement (REM). The initial most stage of the sleep cycle is the lightest, making you more susceptible to waking due to door slams, light from passing cars, or variations in room temperature.

The ideal sleeping environment should be dark, peaceful and cooler than it is while you are awake. Also, hot showers before bed could be relaxing but they can elevate your body temperature, making it difficult to keep your body cool. While it may be impossible to control everything, you can take measures such as ear plugs, noise cancelling curtains, or eye masks, to reduce exposure to disturbing noise, light, or extreme temperatures.


Related story: Yoga Postures For good Sleep



An overactive thyroid gland called hyperthyroidism can ruin your sleep. Elevated thyroid hormones can cause symptoms such as restlessness, anxiety, and difficulty falling or staying asleep. Individuals with this condition may often be awake throughout the night, making restorative sleep difficult.

The effects of hyperthyroidism on sleep go beyond just restlessness and anxiety. Hyperthyroidism not only suppresses sleep onset but also affects sleep duration and quality. Sleep is fragmented, and the person wakes up repeatedly during the night, hindering deep sleep, which is critical to overall well-being. This constant interruption of sleep often leads to fatigue, even after seemingly spending sufficient hours in bed.


Restless Legs Syndrome

Restless Legs Syndrome triggers uncomfortable sensations in the legs, often described as tingling, crawling, or aching sensations. Individuals dealing with RLS have an indescribable urge to move their legs. These sensations usually worsen during the period of inactivity, especially when you are sleeping, compelling you to move your legs, which can disrupt sleep. Constant movement or leg discomfort makes it challenging to stay asleep and contributes to episodes of waking up in the middle of night.

The reason behind RLS could be many such as hereditary factors, or iron deficiency. Blood work is required to make a diagnosis and manage the underlying cause accordingly.


Related story: How To Calm Mind And Get A Good Night's Sleep


Sleep Apnea

If you find yourself jolting awake and feeling like struggling to catch your breath, sleep apnea might be the reason behind this. Sleep apnea is characterised by interrupted breathing during sleep. These pauses can be brief but are frequent, shaking you awake as your body fights to resume normal breathing. Individuals with sleep apnea may wake up gasping for air or feeling suffocated, disrupting their sleep cycle, which eventually leads to daytime fatigue.

To diagnose sleep apnea your doctor needs to do an overnight sleep study that monitors your breathing. The most common treatment is use of a CPAP machine, which is basically a mask  worn during sleeptime. This will help keep your airways open and restore normal breathing patterns.



Eating heavy or spicy foods close to bedtime can cause indigestion or acid reflux, which can cause nausea and interfere with your sleep. Try to avoid eating before bedtime and avoid spicy or sugary foods that can trigger indigestion. Giving yourself a few hours between dinner and bedtime can help alleviate digestive issues.

Additionally, eat consciously, considering the ingredients in your food you consume before going to bed. Adding foods that are easy to digest, such as lean proteins, vegetables, or whole grains, can help improve digestion and reduce the frequency of waking up in the middle of the night.


Related story: 6 Viral Life Hacks To Sleep Better


Alcohol Consumption

While alcohol might help you fall asleep initially, it can disrupt your sleep cycle when worn off. Consuming alcohol causes frequent awakenings, which prevents you from reaching deep, restorative sleep stages.

Limit alcohol consumption, especially in the hours close to bedtime. Opt for adaptogenic or non-caffeinated beverages to ensure better sleep quality. Replacing alcoholic beverages with non-caffeinated options or herbal teas before bedtime can have a positive impact on your sleep quality. By keeping alcohol intake in moderation and opting for hydrating, calming beverages instead, you create a conducive environment for more uninterrupted and restorative sleep, allowing your body to naturally progress through the essential sleep stages for optimal rest.

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Identifying the factors disrupting your sleep is the first step toward reclaiming restful nights. By addressing the above mentioned reasons with the right set of techniques, you can pave the way for uninterrupted and rejuvenating sleep.

Understanding and addressing these triggers can enhance your sleep quality, leaving you refreshed and energised for the day ahead.
Regular health checks are essential for everyone, but they are particularly important for individuals who are at risk of or already have any underlying condition. Taking regular health checks can help detect the conditionat an early stage when it is easier to manage and treat. With the UR.Life HRA, we help you to invest in your well-being through seamless interventions and targeted medical treatments. Our holistic wellness approach caters to all aspects of your well-being. We ensure that you can bring your whole self to work.

With our medical professionals by your side, routine health check-ups will never be an issue. Advanced laboratory technologies back UR.Life’s Occupational Health Centers (OHC), and with highly qualified experts/technicians, we’re committed to delivering trusted and quality recommendations, modifications and advice to you.


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