Last Updated on October 9, 2022 by theworldofsleepstaff
Do you ever get stuck being awake in the middle of the night? You’re lying in bed, but you’re wide awake. If so, you’re not alone.
But being awake past midnight is no fun. It can be frustrating and exhausting, and it leads to more trouble than just not being able to sleep. Exhaustion can affect your ability to study, perform well on your job, and maintain good relationships with friends and family.
The good news is there are techniques to help yourself get better-quality sleep when you have difficulty falling asleep.
In this guide, we’ll cover some of the reasons why you are still awake at 1am or 2am and what you can do to address them, and give you tips on how to sleep better so you can awaken feeling rested and prepared to face the day.
- 15 Reasons Why You Are Still Awake At 1am Or 2am & Solutions
- 10 Tips You Can Do Now To Fall Asleep Instantly
- 5 Tips On How To Get Better At Falling Asleep Earlier
15 Reasons Why You Are Still Awake At 1am Or 2am & Solutions:
We all know that naps help us rest, recharge, and feel better. However, people who take long naps and nap later in the afternoon are more likely to have trouble falling asleep at night because that rest throws off their circadian rhythms.
It can result in a vicious cycle where we keep trying to sleep but can’t because our bodies are fighting against themselves.
Sleep Solution: Make sure your naps don’t last more than 30 minutes and schedule them early in the day, so they don’t throw off your sleep cycle later. Also, don’t try to sleep in later in the day, hoping it will help you fall asleep earlier at night, because it won’t.
Anxiety doesn’t just make it hard for us to fall asleep. It also makes it hard to stay asleep once we’ve fallen asleep. When we’re anxious, our brains are actively trying to keep us awake by thinking about all the terrible things that could happen if we fall asleep.
Sleep Solution: Try to find ways to relax before bedtime. You can use breathing exercises or mindfulness techniques like focusing on your breath or counting backwards from 100 by 7s. You can also try reading a book or watching television until your mind begins to slow down enough for sleepiness to overtake it.
If none of these things works for you, consider seeing a therapist who can help identify triggers for your anxiety and help you learn how to calm yourself down when those triggers occur so that your body can get more restful sleep each night.
Read our previous article on tips to help you get to sleep if suffering with anxiety.
Caffeine is a stimulant that affects the central nervous system and can make you feel more awake or alert. The problem is that it also makes it harder for your body to relax, so even if you doze off in the evening, your body won’t be able to relax and let go of its tension entirely.
As a result, you might stay awake for hours after your head hits the pillow.
Sleep Solution: If you’re drinking a cup of coffee every morning and another cup at lunchtime, try reducing those amounts by one or two cups daily until they’re gone.
You may also want to switch out coffee or energy drinks for tea when you need an extra boost of energy in the evening hours. It contains less caffeine than coffee but still has many health benefits.
Recommended: Is Late Night Coffee Really That Bad For You?
Depression is a severe condition that can be debilitating to those who suffer from it. It can make it challenging to get through your day, let alone keep up with work, school, or relationships.
It can feel like you’re swimming against the current of everything around you, and even though you know that there are people who would love to help pull you out of the water, sometimes it feels like there’s no one who understands.
Sleep Solution: Try meditation and mindfulness exercises. They’ll help calm down some of the stress hormones in your brain so that they don’t keep you awake at night anymore.
You can practice meditation or mindfulness by sitting quietly and focusing on breathing deeply for 10 minutes every day before bedtime. It will help calm down any racing thoughts or worries about tomorrow’s plans so that they won’t keep you awake.
If you think you may be depressed, then you must contact your doctor. Depression isn’t a life sentence and you can feel better.
5. Screen Time
Blue light from screens directly affects your circadian rhythm, the internal clock in your brain that regulates things like sleep and wakefulness. Blue light suppresses melatonin production, the hormone that makes you sleepy, so it keeps you awake later than you’d otherwise be able to stay awake.
Sleep Solution: Take a break from screens an hour before bedtime by reading a book or listening to music in a dimly lit room instead of on your phone or tablet screen. It will help reset your body’s internal clock so that when it comes time for lights out, you’ll be able to fall asleep more easily.
6. Bad Diet
Eating certain foods can also make it harder for you to fall asleep. Overeating sugar before bedtime will give you a boost of energy while your body metabolises it. That extra energy can keep you up longer than usual, and if that happens regularly, it will eventually start affecting your sleep patterns.
Sleep Solution: Make sure you’re eating enough throughout the day. Also, minimise the amount of sugar in your diet. Sugar causes blood sugar spikes, making it hard for your body to relax and fall asleep. Try cutting out processed sugars altogether and replacing them with natural sweeteners like honey or maple syrup. Lastly, drink plenty of water.
Recommended: Foods To Avoid With Insomnia
7. Sleep Disorders
The most common disorder that causes people to stay awake at midnight is insomnia, which means they can’t fall asleep or stay asleep.
Other sleep disorders that can cause you to stay awake at midnight include Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS), a condition where your legs feel tingly and uncomfortable when you try to sleep. Sleep Apnea is another sleep disorder associated with snoring and daytime sleepiness.
Sleep solution: If your melatonin levels are low, you may be unable to fall asleep or stay asleep through the night. You can take melatonin supplements to help boost your body’s production of this vital hormone. You can also try other natural remedies such as lavender oil or chamomile tea to reduce stress levels which may make it harder for some people with sleep disorders, causing them to stay awake at midnight.
Stress makes us more alert, which keeps us from falling asleep at night. It also makes it harder to get back to sleep if we wake up at night. Stress also affects our bodies. High cortisol levels, the stress hormone, can keep us awake by increasing blood pressure and heart rate.
Sleep Solution: Try not to worry about not sleeping. It’s hard, but it does help a lot if you don’t stress it too much. Try meditation or deep breathing exercises before bedtime if you can’t fall asleep or stay asleep because of stress. These are both known to help calm down your mind before sleep.
9. Disturbance From A Bed Partner
If your partner makes too much noise while they sleep, it could cause you to stay awake at midnight. Sometimes our partners’ snoring or restless movements can disturb our sleep and cause us to feel tired during the day. It can lead to many other problems, like depression and weight gain.
Sleep Solution: The first thing is to talk with your partner about it. While it may seem like an awkward conversation at first, talking about snoring can help people feel closer and more connected. And if your partner agrees with this idea, then maybe try out earplugs or an eye mask. These can help block out any sounds or light that might keep you awake at night.
Recommended: How To Stop Someone From Snoring Without Waking Them Up
10. Outside Noises
With so many distractions, finding the quiet space that lets you drift off into slumber land can be tricky. Even if you’re a light sleeper, you may wake up in the middle of the night because of sounds outside your bedroom, like traffic noise, thunderstorms, dogs barking, sirens, and even noisy neighbours.
Sleep Solution: The first thing to try is closing your windows and turning on a white noise machine. A white noise machine will help mask the sounds of traffic or other loud noises that can keep you awake at night. You can also consider investing in some earplugs and an eye mask instead. These items will help block out any nighttime noise so that it doesn’t keep you awake all night long.
11. Hot Room
A hot room is any room that has been heated above 75 degrees Fahrenheit for more than six hours and is still at a temperature over 70 degrees. When your body temperature rises above 98.6 degrees, it’s harder for you to fall asleep. It is because your body produces more heat when it’s warm, so even if you’re not feeling too hot, your body will work harder to cool itself off.
Sleep Solution: The best thing you can do is create an environment where it’s easy for your body to cool down after getting too warm by using an electric fan, air conditioner, or opening windows for some fresh air. You should also avoid drinking alcohol before bedtime, eating spicy foods, and taking showers before bed.
12. Getting Older
One common cause of sleeplessness is ageing. As we age, our bodies naturally produce less estrogen, a hormone that helps relax muscles and relieve pain, and more cortisol, a stress hormone that suppresses immune function and increases appetite. Our brains also become less effective at producing delta waves during sleep, which are the brain waves associated with deep and restful sleep.
Sleep Solution: Don’t try to force yourself off your schedule too quickly. It will only make things worse. Instead, try gradually shifting your bedtime by 15 minutes each week until you reach your goal of falling asleep before midnight. This way, you won’t feel overwhelmed and frustrated by the changes happening in your body, and you might even find yourself enjoying an earlier bedtime.
13. Drinking Too Much Alcohol Before Bed
Alcohol can make it harder for you to fall asleep. The reason is that alcohol disrupts the natural process of falling asleep. Alcohol can make it hard for your body to produce melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate your sleep cycle. So if you drink before going to bed, your body will be unable to produce melatonin as well as it usually does, which will delay your ability to fall asleep.
Sleep Solution: If you have a big day tomorrow and still want to enjoy a nightcap, try limiting yourself to one drink and making sure you drink plenty of water throughout the evening. It will help prevent dehydration while allowing you to unwind after a long day.
Recommended: How Alcohol & Snoring Are Linked
14. An Overactive Bladder
Most people with an overactive bladder don’t experience symptoms at night when they go to bed, but some might have trouble falling asleep because they need to use the bathroom too frequently. It can cause them to wake up several times during the night and may even prevent them from getting enough sleep.
If this happens often, it can lead to daytime sleepiness and fatigue, making it difficult to function normally throughout the day.
Sleep Solution: Drink less water before bedtime. Drinking too much water before rest can cause an increase in urination during the night. If you drink too much water before bed, you could be up several times throughout the night because of the need to urinate.
15. Vitamin D Deficiency
Vitamin D is essential for good health and regulating your circadian rhythm, the biological clock that tells our bodies when to eat, sleep, and be awake. If you don’t have enough vitamin D in your body, you may have trouble falling asleep at night or staying asleep through the night, as well as waking up too early in the morning because your bodies aren’t getting enough rest from their daily slumber.
Sleep Solution: If you’re having trouble sleeping due to low vitamin D levels, you can eat foods rich in vitamin D, like salmon or tuna, or take supplements if necessary. It would help if you also walked outside during the day, as sunlight naturally helps your body produce vitamin D.
10 Tips You Can Do Now To Fall Asleep Instantly:
You’re probably reading this article late at night because you can’t sleep, and you’re still wide awake, even if it’s already past midnight. So, we have compiled some of the things you can do so you can now head to dreamland instantly.
Try to get out of bed for a few minutes and engage in these calming activities that may help you get to sleep.
1. Take A Hot Shower Or Bath
A warm bath will help relax our muscles, calm our minds, and help lower our heart rate and blood pressure, making it easier for us to fall asleep. Our minds are so preoccupied with the sensations of being soaking wet and warm that they don’t have space in their thoughts for anything else, which is what we want.
2. Listen To Soothing Music
Soothing music is the key to falling asleep instantly. You can choose a song or two you love and repeat them in bed. The music will soothe your nerves and help you relax if you get too excited or anxious.
3. Read A Book
Reading a book before bed can help you fall asleep more quickly and stay asleep longer, even if you’re someone who typically struggles with insomnia.
When we read something, our brain relaxes because it has been focused on that book for so long. It means we start producing chemicals called endorphins that lead us into a deep state of relaxation and calmness, which helps us fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer than usual.
If you find yourself awake at 1am or 2am, then reading a book is likely going to help you drift off.
4. Do Some Light Stretching
Light stretching is what it sounds like, stretching that’s not too intense or vigorous. When you stretch your muscles, they release a chemical called serotonin and norepinephrine into your bloodstream. These two chemicals help relax and calm your nervous system so that it isn’t as stressed out or wired up as it usually is when you try to sleep.
5. Drink Warm Milk With Cinnamon
If you’re having trouble falling asleep, try drinking a warm glass of milk with a teaspoon of cinnamon. It’s an age-old trick used for centuries to help people fall asleep fast.
The combination of warm milk and cinnamon promotes relaxation and improves sleep quality. It’s also believed that the antioxidants in cinnamon can help reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer.
If you find yourself awake at 1am or 2am, then having a warm milk and cinnamon is a great idea.
Meditation is a practice that trains your mind to focus on one thing for an extended period. If you want to fall asleep instantly, you must take some time to meditate. The key is to focus on your breathing and clear your mind. With practice, you’ll be able to quiet your mind so that you can drift off into dreamland without any effort.
7. Play A Sudoku Puzzle
Playing Sudoku puzzles before bed is an effective way to get some shut-eye. The game requires you to use complex problem-solving skills and focus on only one thing at a time, both of which are conducive to falling asleep quickly.
When you play this game for long enough, your mind will become so tired that it stops trying to process anything else around you.
8. Write Down Your Thoughts In A Journal
Keeping a journal helps you shut out the noise and get some rest. It’s easy. Just write down your thoughts in a journal before you go to sleep. When you wake up in the morning, you’ll be able to read through it and see everything on your mind as it happened. You might be surprised how much sense it makes when written down.
9. Adjust Your Sleep Position
If you want to fall asleep instantly, try lying on your side or stomach. If you wake up in the middle of the night feeling unrested, try moving into another position. It is because our bodies are naturally comfortable in certain positions and not others. The best way to ensure that we get the deepest sleep possible is by providing our bodies with their most natural position.
10. Visualise Things That Make You Happy
Visualising things that make you happy can help induce sleep by helping relax your body and quiet your mind. Just start picturing yourself doing something relaxing, like reading a book, in a place where you feel safe and comfortable, like your own bedroom.
Your brain will start associating this visualisation with falling asleep, which will help prepare it for the job ahead when the time comes.
5 Tips On How To Get Better At Falling Asleep Earlier:
There are so many benefits of getting good sleep. If you follow these five tips on how to get better at falling asleep earlier, you’ll be able to reap those benefits too.
1. Develop An Evening Routine
Create an evening routine that helps guide your body into slumber mode as soon as possible after work or family time is over. An evening routine is a set of activities to help calm your mind and body before bedtime.
You can choose any activities to include in your evening routine, from yoga or meditation to reading or listening to music. You might even want to do some light housework before hitting the hay. Whatever works for you is fine.
2. Maintain A Consistent Sleep Schedule
Establishing a regular sleep schedule is the first step to getting better at falling asleep earlier. It means going to bed and getting up simultaneously every day, even on weekends and holidays. Establishing this routine will help regulate your body’s natural sleep cycles and prepare you for falling asleep earlier.
3. Exercise Regularly
If you’re looking for an easy way to improve your quality of sleep quality and feel more energetic during the day, consider adding some physical activity to your routine.
Exercise affects your circadian rhythm and helps you fall asleep earlier. It helps regulate your body temperature and heart rate, improving sleep quality. Additionally, regular exercise increases your time in REM sleep, which is considered one of the most vital stages of sleep.
4. Create A Soothing Bedroom Environment
A soothing bedroom environment can be as simple as using an essential oil diffuser or placing calming and eye-pleasing decor around the room. You can also remove any electronic devices from your bedroom, including TVs and computers. You can also declutter your space, so you will not be stressed out when you’re there. Make sure your bedding feels soft and comfortable.
5. Try A Natural Sleep Aid
Natural sleep aids tend to be safe and effective, so they’re the perfect solution if you’re looking for something that won’t leave you feeling groggy or sluggish in the morning.
Natural sleep aids come in many forms, from herbal teas to medications, and be effective in getting people better at falling asleep earlier than they usually would. And the best part is you don’t have to worry about side effects or long-term effects on your health.
However if you choose to try a new food or supplement then consult your doctor first as only they will know the effects – good and bad – it could have on you.