Why do I wake up in the middle of the night when I have to get up early?


Today is a commuting day, which means a 115 mile drive, which means I have to get up at 0430. So naturally I wake up before two :rolleyes: Toss and turn, and give up at 0315.

I sleep like a rock. But a little too often I’ll wake up in the middle of the night and toss and turn until an hour or half an hour before the alarm goes off. Finally asleep, I’m awakened too soon. I hate it when that happens. I think tonight it was just a little too warm in my room. My fan died the other day, and the one I have in there now doesn’t put out a lot of air (and I had it set lower than I thought.) So now it’s 20 to four and I’m drinking coffee. The cat is snoring over my shoulder.

Heh. I was just wondering the same thing. I had to get up this morning by 5:30 and I woke up at 4:00. I gave up at 4:45.

IME it helps not to have a visible LED clock next to your bed or on the way to the bathroom. If you see what time it is (often subconsciously) your brain apparently makes the connection to having to get up early and keeps you awake.

You wake up because the your pineal gland reduced the amount of melatonin it was producing. :smiley: No help? Sorry.

I woke up early because my husband, “Didn’t have anyone to talk to.”

That was at 11:30 PM. We went to 7-11 for ice cream. I went back to sleep, he ate ice cream.

Then it happened again at 3:15 AM. No ice cream this time. I fixed his covers, brought him an ice pack and a drink of water.

The phone woke me up at 8:30 AM He’s still asleep. :smack:

This is why I will never, ever live with someone else again. :dubious:

I have this problem. It’s such a pain in the arse. In my case, I’ve always assumed it’s caused by a combination of fear I’ll oversleep, and my hatred of rising early causing me to attach too much significance to the time I have to get up, meaning my brain doesn’t shut down as much as it should.

It’s nature’s way of telling you something’s wrong
It’s nature’s way of making day way too long
It’s nature’s way of deceiving you
It’s nature’s way of depleting you
It’s nature’s way of dressing you in a thong

*It’s nature’s way of felling you, to your knees
It’s nature’s way of pelting you, with no ZZZZs
It’s nature’s way of defeating you
It’s nature’s way of de-sheeting you
It’s nature’s way of helling you all night long

It’s nature’s way, it’s nature’s way
It’s nature’s way, it’s nature’s way*

This happens to me when I know I have to wake up earlier than normal. It’s like my brain knows I have to be up, so I sleep more lightly than normal, and wake up more alertly than normal.

Kinda like when you’re expecting a phone call, and you doze off but are able to bolt awake as soon as you hear the phone.

This ↑ ↑ ↑ X 42

I have terrible insomnia. I have always taken the phone off the hook overnight, until phones that could be turned off were invented. If the phone wakes me up in the middle of the night, I CANNOT get back to sleep. I have never once in my life gotten an important call in the middle of the night. Every middle-of-the-night call I have ever gotten has been a wrong number, some jerk acquaintance with no manners or ability to know when to stop drinking, or a phantom ring (something that used to happen occasionally with landlines). Now that there’s caller ID and voice-mail, I don’t miss someone trying to get in touch with me in the middle of the night.

When my husband was in Iraq, I left the cell phone on at night, and only my mother, my aunt, DH, and the Army had the number, so if something had happened to DH, I could get a call.

The OP might try popping 3mg of melatonin and a Benadryl when he wakes up with enough time to sleep for another 2.5 hours. Driving 115 miles on not enough sleep is dangerous, and 2.5 hours is enough time to get the meds out of your system. Or you might even try taking them at the beginning of the night when you know you have to get up. I caused an accident once, driving on not enough sleep (and no other type of impairment). I refuse to drive on low sleep anymore.

‘Johnny! Pick up the phone! I know you’re there, you Nazi!* I know you’re not asleep!’

  • Yes, I had a friend who would call me at 2:30 in the freakin’ ayem, drunk, and depressed over his divorce, when he knew I would not pick up the phone after nine o’clock and after I told him to knock it off, and one time he did call me a ‘Nazi’.

I’ll throw a log on the fire and say it is a form of anticipatory anxiety. (See listed symptom “Changes in sleep patterns” near the bottom of the cite.)

That was… That was just beautiful!

Thong, huh?

Something similar happens to me quite often.

I’ve had trouble falling asleep for years. It can take me anything between one and eight hours. Sometimes I go to bed at 10, fall asleep around 3 or 4 and wake up for good around 5-5:30 although I could still sleep for at least one more hour as I only have to get up at 6:30.

It drives me crazy.

If it’s taking me a long time to fall asleep, it’s like 20 minutes. Typically I’m out about five minutes or less after my head hits the pillow.

I have a similar problem. It’s most apparent when I have to work a night shift. I will attempt to have an afternoon nap at say 3pm. I know I have to start getting ready for work at 5:30 and leave at 6pm, so I know I’ve got 2:30 available for sleep. I also know it is very important to get some sleep because it is apparently dangerous to operate heavy machinery while tired. What then happens is that I get anxious about not getting enough sleep. The longer it takes to get to sleep, the less sleep I know I’m going to get, so the more anxious I get and the harder it is to fall asleep. Once I do fall asleep it doesn’t last long because when I wake up my brain becomes immediately active and I want to know the time so I know if I’ve had enough sleep yet. I know I’m doing this as it happens but I can’t stop it.

Of course if I don’t have to work that night then I can have an afternoon nap with no problems at all.

I’m thinking in your case that, whereas you’d normally easily drift back to sleep after briefly waking up, your anxiety about having to get up early means you wake up fully. Once fully awake it’s nearly impossible to get back to sleep, particularly if you are conscious of the diminishing time available for sleep.

Get thee from our insomnia thread, heretic!

“I can’t sleep, because I’m worried about getting enough sleep” is a well-documented factor in severe insomnia. Some insomniacs do well with short-acting sedatives, because it shuts their brain down during the “trying to get to sleep phase,” and lets them fall asleep. It’s cleared their system in a couple of hours, but they stay asleep, and wake up with no residual tiredness or “hang-over.”

Monday night - 2.5 hours sleep
Tuesday night - 2 hours sleep
Wednesday night - 3.5 hours sleep

It’s 4:10 AM and I have to be up at 5:30. I’m not getting back to sleep. In 3 nights now I’ve had 8 hours sleep total. I am under so much stress I just cannot sleep.

Oh, and every day is 100 mile commute day for me.

Leaffan, any chance you could call in sick today? 8 hours in 3 days is deadly dangerous. Do you still carpool? Have someone else do the driving if you really have to go. Please don’t drive today. You are the equivalent of drunk.

I can’t call in sick, and it’s my turn to drive.