Problems Staying Asleep: Why You're Waking Up In The Middle Of The Night

You drifted off to sleep easily enough. But all of a sudden, it's 4 a.m. and you're wide awake. What gives?

To an extent, this phenomenon -- called middle insomnia, or difficulty maintaining sleep -- is normal. After all, sleep goes in cycles throughout the night, moving from deeper, slow wave sleep to lighter sleep, explains James Findley, Ph.D., CBSM, clinical director of the Behavioral Sleep Medicine Program at the University of Pennsylvania. But as the night goes on, "we're moving toward lighter stages of sleep, so we're more likely to have an awakening," he tells HuffPost. For that reason, many people are more likely to experience fragmented sleep in the morning.

Age can also be a factor; Findley notes that people tend to wake up more often during the night as they get older.

"Usually it's one of those 'you wake up, you roll over, you fall back asleep' kind of awakenings, and those are fine," Findley says. But when your middle-of-the-night-awakenings end up being more than 30 minutes per night for three or more days a week, it's a sign there could be a deeper problem at play. It might be...

…a sleep disorder.

Read full article at The Huffington Post...

Author of the article: 
Amanda L. Chan
The Huffington Post