3 Reasons You’re Waking Up Too Early

It’s 3 a.m. and your alarm will go off in 3 hours. But you’re already awake.

You have woken in the middle of the night, again, and you’re finding it impossible to get back to sleep. Frustrations kick-in, and the last few hours of much needed rest are spent rolling in bed, lamenting about how exhausted you’re going to be tomorrow. 

But, why are you waking in the middle of the night in the first place? 

  1. You’re deficient in magnesium 

Magnesium is an essential nutrient involved in over 300 biochemical reactions, including those involved in sleep regulation. 

Unsurprisingly, a deficiency has been associated with insomnia – including ‘middle-of-the-night’ insomnia.  

What to do: 

A study has been published in the Journal of Research in Medical Sciences that found 500 mg elemental magnesium supplementation improves sleep efficiency, sleep time, early morning awakening and insomnia. 

Dr. Anton Janse van Rensburg, general practitioner in Randburg, South Africa, says 600 mg a day can help to replenish your stores and maintain the necessary functions that require this nutrient. 

Speak to your doctor about the suitability of magnesium supplementation for you.

  1. You’re not sleeping at the right temperature  

If you toss and turn because you’re ‘too hot’ and then ‘too cold,’ this may be because of the effect of your thermal environment on sleep. 

Temperature is one of the key determinants of sleep, says research in Journal of Physiological Anthropology, and for some, the temperature of the room must be just right for an ideal night’s rest.

What to do: 

The National Sleep Foundation suggests the ideal bedroom temperature should be 15 – 19 °C, this is because your body temperature drops when it is preparing for sleep. Lowering your room temperature at night may facilitate a more restful slumber. 

  1. You often need to pee

A highly underreported, undertreated, yet widespread condition, ‘nocturia,’ can have a profound impact on your sleep quality and overall health. 

It may just be that you drank too many fluids before bedtime. Or, you may have an underlying medical condition. 

Urinary tract infections, enlarged prostates, diabetes, or kidney infections are, among others, potentially responsible for frequent night-time bathroom breaks.

What to do: 

If you are simply drinking too much fluid before you sleep, try restricting fluids in the evening, particularly coffee and alcohol, recommends Cleveland Clinic. 

If you have an underlying medical condition, your treatment may need to be tailored by your healthcare practitioner based on the cause, explains a 2017 review in the International Journal of Clinical Practice.