Moody, listless, and groggy in the morning? Perhaps you’re getting junk sleep.
Not every middle-of-the-night pillow adjustment counts as junk sleep — it’s normal to awaken every so often.
"Humans were designed to wake up occasionally at night,” says neurologist and Sleep.com advisor and “Sleep Solution" author Dr. Chris Winter. “That's part of normal sleep and nothing to be alarmed about.” The goal is to spend about 85% of the time you’re in bed actually sleeping — any more, and you’re probably compensating for lack of sleep; any less, and you’re likely not getting enough sleep. And in those cases, sleep disruptors could be to blame for junk sleep.
Sleep disruptors can prevent your ability to complete sleep cycles. Without truly restorative rest over time, research points to increased risk of more serious health issues, including high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes.
“If you feel these awakenings are becoming more frequent, more disruptive, and leading to higher amounts of sleepiness during the day, it may be time to address them,” Winter adds.
If you’re suffering from sleep disruptions, there is some good news: Most sleep disruptors can be addressed with effective, sleep-restoring solutions.
Read on to learn 14 of the most common reasons Americans wake up in the night. Plus, see expert-approved solutions for each disruption that can help ensure you get quality rest.