10 Diseases that Are Indicated by Constant Awakening In the Middle of the Night

If night awakenings do not allow you to get a full night’s sleep, you should definitely find out their cause. Let’s talk about 10 diseases that can cause this alarming symptom.

Not In One Eye: Why We Wake Up

Frequent awakenings at night are one of the most common problems associated with sleep disorder.  This condition is often caused by nervous overstrain, prolonged exposure to a stressful situation and anxiety.

However, in some cases, regular awakenings at night, combined with the inability to fall asleep quickly, are associated with certain diseases.

1. Anxiety Disorder

According to the Mayo Clinic, sleep problems are a common symptom of anxiety disorders. It may be accompanied by rapid heartbeat and the occurrence of realistic nightmares.

There are people who suffer from so-called night panic attacks. These are short-term episodes of severe panic that awaken you from sleep. To cope with them, try doing deep breathing exercises and practicing meditation. The doctor may also recommend cognitive behavioral therapy and anti-anxiety medications.

2. Sleep Apnea

If a person wakes up suddenly in the middle of the night and feels like they need to catch their breath, this may be a symptom of apnea.

If you know you snore, have shortness of breath, and feel like you’re suffocating, you should definitely tell your doctor. These are common signs of undiagnosed obstructive sleep apnea.

3. Hyperthyroidism

Frequent awakenings in the middle of the night can also plague people with an overactive thyroid gland. Experts at the Mayo Clinic note that when it produces too much of the hormone thyroxine, it affects the functioning of the entire body.

Hyperthyroidism is characterized by sleep problems, increased sweating (including at night), rapid heartbeat, severe anxiety and tremors. To improve the condition, the doctor may prescribe maintenance therapy.

4. Alcoholism

Mental and physical dependence on alcohol is another cause of sleep disorders. As well as the habit of drinking a glass of wine or other alcoholic drink as a “sleeping pill.”

On the one hand, alcohol causes mild drowsiness and can help you fall asleep faster, but it also prolongs the first phase of sleep, when it is easiest to wake up. In addition, alcoholic drinks have a diuretic effect, causing people to get up at night. Therefore, people who drink often suffer from interrupted sleep.

5. Restless Legs Syndrome

This is a neurological disorder in which there is an irresistible desire to move the limbs in order to get rid of unpleasant sensations, such as burning and tingling, goosebumps. They appear at rest and disappear during physical activity.

Doctors cannot say unequivocally what causes the development of the pathology, but there is an assumption that a significant role is played by a decrease in the level of dopamine in the body, a neurotransmitter necessary for muscles to function normally. Therefore, dopamine-increasing drugs are often recommended as therapy. Another good tactic is to take soothing, warm baths before bed. They help you sleep without waking up.

6. Prediabetes

Waking up in the middle of the night can also indicate problems with your blood sugar levels. These findings were presented in a study published in the journal Diabetes Care. Scientists note that both type 1 and type 2 diabetes can cause a wide range of sleep disorders.

To avoid overnight blood sugar fluctuations, diaTribe Learn experts recommend avoiding late dinners and limiting your intake of high-carb and starchy foods close to bedtime.

This macroelement is responsible for more than 300 metabolic reactions in the body, including sleep and wakefulness. To sleep better, include more foods containing it in your menu. And before going to bed, you can take baths with Epsom salts, which also contain magnesium.

7. Prostatitis

A man waking up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom can be a sign of prostate problems. An enlarged prostate can put pressure on the urethra, causing a frequent urge to urinate and a feeling of incomplete emptying of the bladder.

If a person often wakes up due to the urge to urinate, this may also indicate the development of hyperglycemia, overactive bladder syndrome and infectious diseases of the urinary system.

8. Pathologies of the Respiratory System

One of the causes of sleep disturbances, according to general practitioner Maria Kramarova, may be pathologies of the respiratory system – for example, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Nasal congestion due to a cold or seasonal allergies can also cause trouble falling asleep and waking up from sleep. A deviated nasal septum, the appearance of nasal polyps, and enlarged tonsils often disrupt breathing and interrupt sleep.

Thus, specialists from the Sleep and Human Health Institute in New York examined 20 patients with chronic insomnia and found that in 90% of cases, awakenings in the middle of the night were due to breathing problems.

9. Liver Dysfunction

Frequent awakenings may also indicate liver dysfunction. People with diseases of this organ may suffer from difficulty falling asleep, daytime sleepiness and overall sleep-wake disturbances, says a study published in the Journal of Thoracic Disease.

This is because the liver is central to the body’s metabolism. There is a close connection between the sleep hormone melatonin and liver function.

10. Obesity

Excess weight puts a serious strain on the cardiovascular system and can cause breathing difficulties. Therefore, obese people often experience sleep disturbances.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University found that there is a direct link between reducing belly fat and improving the quality of your night’s rest. To sleep better, you should reduce your calorie intake and increase physical activity.

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