Is Waking Up at the Same Time Every Night Insomnia?

misc image

Is Waking Up at the Same Time Every Night Insomnia?

Up to 15% of adults in the United States report insomnia affecting their daily lives. This common sleep disorder makes it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep and sometimes causes you to wake up too early. And for some people, sleep interruptions happen around the same time most nights.

Insomnia can happen independently or stem from an underlying condition, including several significantly impacting your mental health. And regardless of the cause, sleep loss can make ongoing emotional issues all the more challenging. Thankfully, you can turn your sleep loss conundrums around. 

At her practice in Chicago at One Magnificent Mile, board-certified psychiatrist Dr. Amanda S. Kleinman can help you manage sleep loss related to emotional challenges so you can lead a more fulfilling life.

Let’s delve into why you may lose sleep each night, including ways to break the pattern. 

What causes mid-sleep wakeups

If you regularly wake up during the night without an obvious cause – say, an infant crying – you meet the diagnostic criteria for insomnia. A range of factors can cause nocturnal wakeups at various or consistent times each night. 

Lifestyle factors that can fuel sleep troubles and offset your body’s “clock,” or circadian rhythms, include:

  • Inconsistent bedtimes
  • Napping during the day
  • A sedentary lifestyle
  • Drinking fluids before bed
  • Shift work
  • Smoking and alcohol
  • Sleeping in a bright or overly quiet or noisy room
  • Using a smartphone or tablet before bed

Health matters that can stand in the way of lasting, restful sleep include:

Aging may also play a role in altered sleep rhythms that fuel insomnia. Especially from age 60, you may notice shortened sleep duration and waking up more often at night.

What to do about sleep interruptions

The best ways to manage or minimize sleep interruptions depend on the underlying cause. If you’re dealing with sleep apnea or a hormone imbalance, appropriate medical treatment for the condition should reduce your sleep issues as well.

The same goes for mental health conditions that fuel insomnia, although you may need treatment for both. In some cases, for example, antidepressants sufficiently improve your sleep. In others, better sleep habits or medication, when necessary, greatly improve moods, which may suffice if your emotional symptoms stem solely from sleep loss. Or you may need to address your mood and sleep challenges simultaneously. 

Tending to one issue can help the other in all cases, given that sleep loss exacerbates anxiety and depression and vice versa. Habits that promote restful sleep include:

  • Maintaining consistent bed and waking times.
  • Sleeping in a dark, cool room.
  • Limiting caffeine late in the day.
  • Avoiding digital screens before bed. 

Dr. Kleinman can help you work through emotional challenges to rest easier by drawing on her holistic approach to psychiatry and psychotherapy specializations. 

To learn more about mental health and sleep problems or get started with the care you need, call our office or request an appointment through our website today.