Reasons for Waking Up in the Middle of the Night and Solutions for Better Sleep

Reasons for waking up in the middle of the night

Initially falling asleep is a challenge for many people, but another type of sleep disorder involves waking up throughout the night. Many people wonder how to stop waking up in the middle of the night, but the answer usually involves getting to the root issue of what is causing sleeplessness in the first place. The main concerns with regard to waking up at night are disruptions in the natural sleep cycle and the inability to fall back to sleep again after waking up.

This article addresses the question of “Why do I wake up in the middle of the night?” and offers solutions of how to stay asleep all night long.

Environmental Discomfort

Some of the most common reasons to wake up at night are environmental distractions, but these are among the easiest causes to remedy. It is very difficult to sleep if your bedroom is too hot, cold, noisy, or bright. Adjust the room’s temperature and use earplugs or an eye mask to promote sleep. Natural-acting melatonin supplements, like NiteThru, also help adults stay asleep because of the long-lasting supplement beads contained in these easy-to swallow capsules.1

Uncontrolled Anxiety

Anxiety keeps many people up at night, and it is often impossible to stay asleep when the mind is racing and worrying. When anxiety impacts sleep, it often happens multiple nights per week. This leads to sleep deprivation and most people report this increases their anxiety levels.4 Talk to a trusted medical professional about anxiety symptoms to determine whether prescription anxiety medications, natural relaxation techniques, or lifestyle changes may reduce feelings of anxiety at night.

An Overactive Bladder

Feeling the urge to urinate in the middle of the night is one of the most common reasons to wake up and get out of bed. An overactive bladder could be caused by an enlarged prostate, diabetes, or simply drinking too many fluids before bedtime. Try to restrict fluids an hour before bedtime, and if you do need to get up, avoid looking at the clock and use nightlights so that you won’t have to flip on overhead lights.3

Alcohol and Caffeine Intake

Alcohol and caffeine can take a major toll on the body, especially when consumed in the evening before bed. A simple solution for how to stop waking up in the middle of the night is to simply avoid these substances or limit your intake of them in the hours leading up to an established bedtime routine.3

Diet and Nutrition

Some people experience waking up at night because their bodies are hungry and too much time has passed between dinner and breakfast. Plan to eat a low-fat dinner with minimal spices and then later a pre-bedtime snack of fruit, yogurt, or cereal about an hour before bed to avoid waking up throughout the night.5

Sleep Apnea

Serious sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea, can also cause a person to experience waking up in the middle of the night on a regular basis. This condition involves intermittent pauses in breathing for typically a few seconds at a time. For conditions like this, it is recommended to consult a sleep specialist to get an accurate diagnosis of the problem and participate in a sleep test. If sleep apnea is the cause for sleeplessness, a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine may help regulate proper airflow throughout the night and prevent waking up.6



  1. Johns Hopkins Medicine. Melatonin for sleep: Does it work? Retrieved December 11, 2018 from
  2. National Sleep Foundation. How Much Sleep Do We Really Need? Retrieved December 11, 2018 from
  3. Sleep Education. Healthy Sleep Habits. (February 9, 2017). Retrieved December 11, 2018 from
  4. Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Stress and Anxiety Interfere with Sleep. Retrieved December 13, 2018 from
  5. DiGiulio, Sarah. (October 19, 2017) How What You Eat Affects Your Sleep. NBC News. Retrieved December 11, 2018 from
  6. Mayo Clinic. Sleep Apnea. Retrieved December 13, 2018 from
“Please note, the material located on our site is for informational purposes only, is general in nature, and is not intended to and should not be relied upon or construed as a therapeutic claim or medical advice regarding any specific issue or factual circumstance.”

most recent