From marumo

Question

Hi Dr lately I’ve been waking up in the middle of the night around 2am and 3 am I don’t know why?and it doesn’t matter how late or early I go to bed is there a reason is my body trying to tell me something?

Submitted by Marumo on 30 May 2019

Answer

There are several possible reasons why you may be waking up between 2 and 3am. The most common reason would be increased stress. Our stress hormone Cortisol is normally at very low levels at night, which allows us to sleep peacefully. If you have recently had higher than normal exposure to  stress, you may have increased Cortisol levels at night which is  disrupting your sleep. There are many stress management techniques such as meditation and breathing exercises that can help you manage stress. There are also many supplements that can lower high Cortisol levels and promote better deep sleep such as L-Theanine, GABA, adaptogenic herbs such as Ashwaganda and more.

Your sleep may also be disrupted by certain medications, and ironically often the ones that are used to promote sleep, such as tranquilizers, antihistamines, sleeping pills and antidepressants. These medications may make you fall asleep but they disrupt deep sleep and may cause you to wake up at night. Alcohol consumption at night can also cause restless sleep and cause you to wake up.

According to the Chinese body clock used in Chinese medicine, the liver is most active between 1 and 3am. Waking up frequently at this time could mean that your liver is sluggish or toxic, and in need of detoxification. Herbs such as Milk thistle can assist the liver with detoxification.

If you have paid attention to all these areas and you are still experiencing problems, make an appointment with a doctor that practices Functional Medicine so that the cause of the problem can be identified and treated.

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