Did you know that waking up several times at night wreaks more havoc on your body than sleeping for a few hours at a time ?
Well yes, researchers at Johns Hopkins University Hospital, USA, discovered that interrupted sleep has consequences that accumulate with the passing of days, in mood, energy, body and health.
In this article we will tell you its possible causes, what to do about it, and what to avoid in order to fall asleep in bed until the next day. You will also know what is behind waking up at 3:00 am.
Why interrupted sleep appears
There are physical, psychological, hormonal reasons and some habits; here the most common.
stress and anxiety
These ills of modern life don't just upset your emotions by day. Also, they create a physiological reaction that keeps you alert at night and makes it difficult for you to relax to sleep.
During the climacteric this can be aggravated, since women undergo hormonal, physical and brain changes that affect their mood. Therefore, they are more prone to interrupted sleep.
Perhaps you have experienced that unpleasant sensation of being asleep and waking up in the middle of the night drenched in sweat and with your heart beating a thousand miles an hour.
Those responsible are the hot flashes that occur due to the hormonal changes of middle age, both day and night.
It is a sleep disorder where breathing stops for a few seconds and is reactivated repeatedly.
It can appear at any age for various reasons, but during the climacteric it is more common because estrogen and progesterone levels drop.
In middle age, it is usual to urinate more than normal, since the decrease in estrogen secretion weakens the muscles that control the bladder and urethra.
Also, urinary infections are frequent , since the pH of the vagina increases, causing an imbalance in the vaginal flora.
Everything around you can have an effect on your sleep patterns.
If you stay in front of TV, computer and mobile screens, especially before going to bed, your brain will be hyperactive and you will not secrete melatonin, the sleep hormone.
Also, find a suitable temperature in the environment, avoid noise, have a comfortable mattress and pillow, and wear cool sleeping clothes that don't bother you.
what you put into your body
Going to bed with a too full stomach, eating dinner late at night or choosing the wrong foods can be the spark to trigger your interrupted sleep.
The same goes for your drinks, liquor, coffee and other stimulants can ruin a good night's sleep, as well as drinking a lot of water after 6 pm because you will have to get up several times to pee.
Also, you should pay attention to some medications that can have the same effect. If it happens to you, consult your doctor to find another option.
Healthy habits for sleeping
Everything you practice every day, both good and bad, will end up becoming a habit.
Therefore, repeating these actions before going to bed can make the difference between sleeping like a baby or spending the night with your eyes open like an owl.
Here are some habits you can start with:
Go to sleep and get up at the same time. Changing your bedtimes makes it harder for you to keep your internal clock aligned.
If you wake up in the middle of the night and have trouble falling asleep for the next 20 minutes, don't stare at the ceiling. Go to another room, read something light, listen to relaxing music, or take deep breaths until sleep returns.
Eliminate spicy or very large dinners, as they can cause indigestion, heartburn or gas that can wake you up in the middle of a deep sleep.
Try not to drink fluids after 7 pm to avoid waking up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom.
Use a supplement to sleep naturally, if it contains melatonin much better because it is the ingredient most recognized by science to regulate sleep patterns.
Avoid consuming coffee, alcoholic beverages or nicotine in the afternoon or evening, they are all stimulants to the nervous system.
Do exercises, preferably in the morning or in the afternoon, you will generate endorphins and that will give you a relaxation effect. It is not recommended at night because it can generate unnecessary energy at bedtime.
Visit a doctor who tells you what to do to reduce the symptoms of menopause that scare you of sleep.
Waking up at 3:00 am, science or spirituality?
Maybe it happens to you too. You wake up suddenly, look at the clock and it is 3:00 am.
Theories abound. Some say that it is the hour of the devil, others that the angels wake you up to pray and some numerologists say that it is the hour to visualize what you want.
But what does science say? Odile Romero, head of the Neurophysiology Section of the Sleep Unit at the Spanish Vall d'Hebron Hospital , gives a different explanation.
He says that people have two to three deep sleep cycles that last three hours. In the following hours, sleep is more fragile and you are more sensitive to waking up.
For example, if you go to bed at 11:00 p.m. at 3:00 a.m., you hardly have deep sleep anymore and enter a more active phase called REM sleep. If it happens to you, do not give it so much importance, the most likely thing is that in a few minutes you will fall asleep again.