Why do I wake up at 3am every morning?

+98 votes
asked Aug 29, 2015 in Health & Wellness by LashaySpeer (240 points)
edited Sep 18, 2015 by Morgenstern
I have suffered from insomnia for a long time, and now I am really fed up. I always go to bed on time, and only find myself wide awake at around 3 a.m. almost every morning. Then I could hardly ever fall back to sleep again. This has been going on for almost half a year now. I am literally on the verge of a breakdown…I don’t know what to do. I don’t like the idea of taking sleeping pills. But is there really any other way out for me?

2 Answers

+26 votes
answered Sep 18, 2015 by LottieNunan1 (360 points)
Hey, no need to be so pessimistic. Almost everyone has some sort of sleeping disorder nowadays. But nevertheless, I think in your case, instead of just posting a question here, you really should also consider seeking medical advice, since this problem has been with you for quite a while now. However, as someone who has gone through about the same in the past, I do have my own suggestion for you. I think early morning awakening is most often due to low blood sugar or hypoglycemia as professionals would like to call it, which is just another way of saying “hunger”. If you feel hungry during sleep, then chances are that you are more likely to wake up early. This might sound like my own home-brewed theory, but my personal experience definitely attested to it. I did feel hungry every time I woke up early in the morning. And if I eat something one hour before sleep, I seldom have the same problem anymore. Maybe you should try that too before you go to the doctor, it doesn't cost you much extra effort anyway.
+9 votes
answered Sep 1, 2015 by Warner44P164 (360 points)
Yes, this is not some home-brewed theory; there is actually science behind it. When you are asleep, most parts of your body are at rest, but your brain is busy working. The brain transforms short-term memory collected during the daytime into long-term memory, and it does that during the evening, when you are asleep. Therefore, your brain still needs its fuel, glucose. If you are in a state of hypoglycemia, the glucose level in your blood is low, so your brain cannot function efficiently, and sometimes, it would prompt you to wake up.

For this reason, don’t go for the foods that will peak the blood sugar level in a short time before sleep, you need something that will maintain the blood sugar at a constant level. The thumb of rule is: the more sweet, the higher and quicker the blood sugar level. So try something like buttered bread or eggs rather than fruits or chocolate bars.
commented Sep 9, 2015 by Wilmer02T225 (140 points)
Many many thanks! That explains why do I wake up at 3am every morning.
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