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Why do I wake up at 3 a.m. every night?

·1 min

Better Understanding Nocturnal Awakenings and Tips for Better Sleep

Many people experience waking up several times during the night, which is a natural occurrence related to the stages of sleep. Experts explain that these awakenings, typically lasting a few seconds to a few minutes, are not concerning unless they happen too frequently or prevent falling back asleep. Sleep architecture refers to the four stages of sleep, including light sleep, deep sleep, and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. Waking up during the night is often more likely during the second half of the night, when longer REM and light sleep stages occur. Emotional responses to awakenings can affect sleep continuity. Factors like circadian rhythm and age can also affect sleep patterns. Maintaining consistent sleep and wake times, exposure to natural light, and creating a comfortable sleep environment can help improve sleep quality. It is advised to avoid looking at the clock when waking up and to engage in relaxing activities if unable to fall back asleep within 15 minutes.