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A Few Reasons You Wake Up In The Middle Of The Night + What To Do About 'Em

Teenager Up Late At Night Looking at a Screen
Image by Addictive Creatives / Stocksy
September 24, 2020
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If you have a hard time getting a good night's sleep, you wouldn't be alone. Research indicates 60% of American adults experience a sleep problem nearly every night, including issues like snoring, feeling groggy in the morning, and of course, waking up in the middle of the night.

If waking up during the night is an issue for you, there are a few factors to consider. Here are a couple of reasons you might be waking up, plus what to do about each one, from experts.

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Nightly wake-ups have a lot to do with stress, hormones, and bedroom conditions.

According to functional medicine gynecologist Wendie Trubow, M.D., levels of cortisol (known as the stress hormone) have a big impact on your sleep1. "Inappropriate secretion of cortisol can cause you to wake up in the middle of the night," she says. "Hormonal imbalances can also throw off your sleep—progesterone, in particular—and hypoglycemia can make you wake up."

Closely related to that is stress and anxiety, which can also cause you to wake up during the night, Trubow notes. Wonky levels of melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate your sleep-wake cycle, could also contribute to unwelcome wake-ups. And according to sleep researcher and co-author of Sleep for Success! Rebecca Robbins, Ph.D., the conditions in your bedroom matter, too.

"We see experimentally that individuals sleeping in warmer rooms (70°F or higher) are more prone to worrisome dreams and fitful sleep," Robbins previously told mbg.

This is in addition to more obvious culprits, like needing to use the bathroom or having a diagnosed sleep disorder such as sleep apnea. And the older we get, the more likely we are to experience these issues (particularly the bathroom one). Luckily, all of these things can be mindfully managed so you can sleep through the night.

How to help your body sleep through the night.

If sleeping through the night is a real struggle for you, Robins recommends addressing the easy stuff first: "Limit water intake close to bedtime, and avoid blue light, choosing instead a relaxing bedtime routine," she says. "Keep your bedroom cool, and find ways to deal with negative stressors, such as news or exposing yourself to stressful discussions or images close to bedtime."

If you still struggle after cleaning up your sleep hygiene routine, it might be time to try a magnesium supplement like mbg's sleep support+.

"Magnesium is a relaxant," Trubow says, "and can relax muscles, assist with anxiety, improve sleep, and support the adrenals by helping your body relax."* It's also critical for a ton of processes within the body, and many people don't get enough of it from food, she adds. mbg's magnesium supplement is enhanced with other natural sleep aids like jujube and pharmaGABA. They combine into a formula that is super popular among people looking to fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer, and wake up feeling more refreshed.*

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The bottom line.

Waking up in the middle of the night can be frustrating—especially if you struggle to fall back asleep afterward. Keeping factors like temperature, stress, and mineral and hormone balance in mind can help you make it through the night catching as many zzz's as possible.