Early awakening - why a person wakes up at 5 am and cannot sleep

Early awakening is considered one of the most common sleep disorders. This condition is also called morning insomnia. Doctors say that this is a symptom that can either signal a serious illness or simply be a sign of emotional fatigue. The problem occurs when a person constantly wakes up in the early morning hours and is unable to fall back to sleep. Lack of sleep leads to weakening of the entire body. A person suffering from insomnia feels depressed and his performance is significantly reduced. Modern medicine will help cope with the problem.

What is insomnia?

There are more than a hundred different sleep anomalies and disorders, they can be very diverse. In healthy people, the cause of insomnia can be a change in sleep pattern, stress, depression, anxiety, or heavy physical activity.

Insomnia can be caused by poor sleep hygiene: drinking tonic substances in the afternoon, smoking before bed, eating a large late dinner, an unventilated room, an uncomfortable bed or pillow.

Also, the reason why insomnia torments may be mental disorders or neurological diseases, diseases of internal organs, consequences of traumatic brain injury, and intoxication.

According to the course of insomnia, acute, subacute and chronic forms are distinguished. By degree of severity - mild, moderate and severe.

Insomnia is divided into three groups:

  • difficulty falling asleep (most common);
  • disruption of sleep maintenance;
  • early final awakening, in which there is no feeling of freshness and rest.

In medicine, insomnia is considered to be a condition in which the biological rhythm of the body is disrupted and a person cannot fall asleep for a long time. Usually there are many reasons for this, which is why different doctors deal with this process.

It has been diagnosed that when there are problems with a person’s mental state, sleep disturbances often occur. Stress, depression, and frequent bad mood can cause such disorders. It can easily go away on its own, but sometimes the help of an experienced doctor is required.

In alcoholics

Alcohol addiction is the cause of many diseases of the human body, both physiological-pathological and neuropsychic. Therefore, it is not surprising that alcoholics have sleep disturbances.

The first hours of severe intoxication practically turn off consciousness; a person falls rather not into sleep, but into oblivion. Depression, irritability, apathy or aggressiveness, obsessive states, inadequate perception up to hallucinations lead to disturbing nightmares, which can be interrupted immediately after the effect of alcohol subsides.

A person who is under the influence of alcohol is not allowed to fully rest:

  • intoxication of the body;
  • ulcers, pathologies of internal organs;
  • accumulation of gases due to malnutrition;
  • headaches and pressure surges;
  • heart and muscle spasms;
  • renal colic;
  • convulsions;
  • vomit;
  • frequent urge to urinate.

With the onset of a hangover, the body of an alcohol-dependent person requires a new dose to calm the nervous system. Therefore, by the morning a restless search for her begins, sleep disappears. The circle closes, and the person continues to be in a long-term binge. There is a kind of double destruction of the body - bullying with alcohol and the impossibility of relaxation due to the lack of proper sleep.

Main reasons for waking up early

First of all, early awakening should not alarm a person at all times. However, you still need to find out why this happens. Perhaps the matter lies in harmless physiological factors, or the provocateur of this phenomenon is an asymptomatic pathology that requires urgent treatment.

Basically, the reasons for waking up early in the morning can be varied. At the same time, they can be symbolically divided into three categories:

  • physiological disturbances;
  • psychological factor;
  • pathological reasons.

To understand how to properly eliminate the provocateurs of early waking up, you should analyze each of the points in detail, which we will do below.

What could be the consequences?

Early awakening and lack of sleep, which occur over a long period of time, can lead to quite serious consequences. Brain activity decreases, a person begins to perceive information worse and reacts slowly to everything that happens around.

As a result, he has problems in the labor sphere. As a rule, after sleep there is no feeling of cheerfulness. On the contrary, irritability and nervousness are noted. A depressive state is also possible.

Physiological factors

Sleep is a physiological state, and it can be interrupted due to a number of external pathogens:

  • too bright lighting from a lantern or sunlight penetrating through loosely drawn curtains;
  • lack of clean indoor air due to rare ventilation;
  • dry air or high temperatures in the living room;
  • powerful foreign sounds from outside;
  • uncomfortable bed;
  • pregnancy, due to a huge belly, a woman often has difficulty sleeping;
  • stage of menstruation;
  • eating fatty foods before going to bed to rest.

Important: If a person begins to worry about waking up at 5 o’clock in the morning, then first of all it is worth looking around and analyzing what could become a factor in interrupting sleep.

And finally, a person can often get up ahead of time if he is bothered by snoring. In this case, the quality of night's rest deteriorates not only for the patient, but also for his relatives. For this reason, a doctor's visit cannot be delayed.

Psychological factors

People often wake up early in the morning due to accumulated stress. If you don’t fight this feeling, neurosis and depression arise. The quality of night's rest deteriorates, and due to prolonged lack of sleep, a person's functionality significantly decreases, difficulties begin in professional and intimate life, and as a result, psychoneurosis occurs.

In addition, early waking up can cause vegetative-vascular dystonia. The following symptoms are considered its constant companions:

  • chronic feelings of anxiety that have no basis;
  • panic attacks, which often lead to neurosis;
  • sudden changes in blood pressure;
  • a nagging sense of horror of death;
  • tachycardia.

If you start healing therapy in a timely manner, you can get rid of this condition with light sedatives or folk methods. Otherwise, neurasthenia, which accompanies the disease, is formed.

Important: Insomnia often worries expectant mothers and women approaching adulthood. In this condition, it is recommended to consult a psychoanalyst. In addition, it is very cool to do massage, gymnastics and qigong meditation.

If the reason for waking up prematurely lies in a psychological moment, the first thing the patient must do is visit a psychotherapist.

How to eliminate the disorder

If you are concerned about why waking up became premature, first of all, it is better not to self-medicate, but to visit a doctor. Remember, it is not recommended to ignore this problem or try to treat it with traditional methods. Since not only will you not be able to achieve the desired result, this approach can also create additional difficulties:

  • high probability of increased stress due to failed attempts to normalize night rest;
  • By using drugs that activate brain activity, you risk becoming addicted to them;
  • Early awakening is a consequence of the development of a certain pathology; if it is not identified, there can be no talk of successful treatment.

How to deal with this problem correctly? First, it is necessary to exclude physiological factors. If nothing has changed, this is a good reason to visit a doctor. In the absence of serious pathologies, a psychologist can help solve the problem. He will recommend effective techniques on how to fall asleep faster, get a good night's sleep, and cope with stress in the future.

Pathological causes

Pathological causes include diseases of internal organs that are in acute or protracted form. If you wake up early in the morning with symptoms such as:

  • accelerated heartbeat;
  • pain in the head;
  • difficulty breathing;
  • pain in the back and joints;
  • discomfort in the area of ​​the heart muscle.

You should visit a doctor right away. He will order an examination and, based on the data received, make a diagnosis. It is important to realize that a visit to the doctor should not be postponed, since the above symptoms indicate the development of such ailments:

  • reflux disease;
  • bronchial asthma;
  • arthrosis or arthritis;
  • ischemic disease of the heart muscle;
  • spinal cord damage;
  • brain neoplasms.

The sooner the examination is performed, the greater the likelihood of curing these ailments. Do not avoid warning signs of the development of serious pathologies; visit a doctor on time.

In older people

Most often, older people (men and women) suffer from various types of insomnia, including morning insomnia. It has been proven that some of them receive it at the genetic level “inherited”. An elderly person's sleep is usually very light and fragmented. Biorhythms are shifted, the period of falling asleep is increased.

USEFUL INFORMATION: Sweating in a dream, reasons for women: why at night you wake up all wet in sweat

A sedentary lifestyle, lack of mental and physical activity, limited flow of information and communication, as well as disruption of the daily rhythm (when older people often fall asleep while sitting during the day) lead to persistent chronic insomnia.

There are many reasons for them:

  • Pathologies of internal organs, cardiovascular system and joints acquired during life, which make themselves felt by pain. This is especially true for the state of sleep and horizontal body position.
  • Disorders of the nervous system, manifested by excessive anxiety, suspiciousness, depression, fears. To these are added age-related mental disorders - atherosclerosis, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, dementia, osteoporosis, diuresis and others.
  • The use of many pharmacological drugs that stimulate the central nervous system, as well as antidepressants, medications for bronchial asthma and the cardiovascular system, can lead to insomnia.
  • The body perceives the surgery as particularly severe stress and deprives patients of normal sleep for a long time.
  • Senile insomnia is caused by constant worries about the fate of relatives and friends. Older people become overly sentimental and worried.

Advantages and disadvantages

In principle, it is possible to make early morning awakening your ally, even when it has pathological grounds.

There is practically no point in lying there and freaking out because you are unable to fall asleep again - this will become additional stress and will only worsen the problem. Therefore, it is easier to tune in to the positive, get up and take care of personal matters.

Here are the benefits that getting up early can bring if you approach it wisely:

  1. More time arises. Who hasn’t complained about not having time to do their favorite hobby, reading or family matters? Now you have an extra couple of hours to spend on this. Freelancers are especially lucky - by starting their workday early, they can be free by 3-4 p.m. and use it at their own discretion throughout the evening.
  2. Brain activity is stimulated. The morning hours are recognized as the most fruitful. It is advisable to devote this time to studying or solving issues that require logical thinking and seriousness. According to studies, many people's ability to work in the morning is 20–40% higher than in the afternoon.
  3. The body rejuvenates. It is not for nothing that our ancestors rose at dawn - at this time the restoration processes are especially active. If you constantly get up at 5–6 o’clock in the morning, after a couple of months you can notice how the surface of the skin is rejuvenated, wrinkles are smoothed out and complexion is restored.

The difficulty is that the benefits of waking up early will only manifest themselves if it is natural, or such a habit is created consciously. It should be taken into account that for a good rest a person needs at least 7–8 hours of sleep.

For this reason, even if you involuntarily get up at 5 am, try to go to bed early - no later than 21-22 hours.

If you don’t go to bed before midnight or are unable to fall asleep, or are unable to stop being nervous due to forced early awakenings, their negative consequences very soon begin to be revealed: constant fatigue due to lack of sleep; high fatigue, nervousness due to prolonged stress; decreased functionality and distraction.

Revising the regime: useful tips

You can often see questions on the Internet like these: “I can’t wake up in the morning, what are the reasons?” To help yourself with this, you should first of all establish the correct daily routine. People go to work and do a number of obligatory tasks during the day. It is better if these events are subject to a specific schedule.

You cannot postpone the start of your working day or school. This means you need to get up at a certain time in order to feel alert and rested.

Good sleep is especially important for people in professions where special attentiveness is required; it is difficult to drive if you feel drowsy. This can be dangerous for the driver and passengers. When arranging the order of affairs, the following facts should be taken into account:

  • mechanical memory is most active from 5 to 7 am;
  • logical chains are best built from 7 to 8;
  • associations are clearly visible in the period of 8-10 hours.

Active performance during the day is wave-like. Its peak occurs in the periods of 10-13 and 15-18 hours. During the recession, a lunch break should be planned.

Advice! The duration of the working day after 19:00 is not advisable; many people note a decrease in energy during this time period. Evening time should not be loaded with hard work.

You should have dinner no later than 1.5-2 hours before bedtime. Food should be light and not cause heaviness in the stomach. Rest will be more complete if the hours fall between 10 pm and 6 am. At this time, the following happens:

  • From 22 to 24 in the deep sleep phase the best recovery of the body is noted;
  • in the period from 0 to 2 o'clock the brain best processes the information received;
  • From 2 to 4 the best relaxation of the body occurs.

If you follow this regimen, you will be able to wake up in a good mood, rested, and full of energy. This is an approximate schedule, each person adjusts it to their needs. But the general requirements should be taken into account for proper rest, then it will be easy to wake up.

Waking up at 4 am - reasons

Human physiology is organized in such a way that it takes 7–8 hours to rest at night. A small amount of sleep inevitably affects the general position of the body and functionality.

Quite often, people go to bed at the right time in the evening, but wake up in the morning at 4 am. Moreover, this is noticed every day. Such expressions of insomnia can be caused by psychological and physiological reasons, but often signal pathological changes in the body:

  • high acidity accompanied by heartburn;
  • cardiopalmus;
  • migraine;
  • pain in the joints and back area;
  • difficulty breathing;
  • tingling and burning sensation in the heart area.

What time is best to wake up

To understand what time is best to get up in the morning, listen to the experts.

If you are a morning person

This type of person has a very close relationship with the sunrise and sunset.

The easiest time for larks to wake up is at six in the morning; in winter, the time can shift by an hour. Such people also go to bed early, of course, not literally at sunset.

Larks perform best before lunch or from four to six in the evening. Between one and three o'clock they are advised to take a short nap to replenish their strength.

It is recommended to go to bed at nine or ten in the evening. The later, the more broken they will feel.

If you are an owl

For this type of people, getting up early is a real painful torture.

The best time to get up is nine in the morning. These people only fully awaken and can get down to business around 11 am. It is owls who often buy coffee to cheer themselves up before work.

The optimal time to carry out important errands is in the evening, or at least around two o’clock in the afternoon.

Owls can easily stay up until 11 pm. But at midnight their performance decreases and it is better to go to bed before this time.

Treatment and prevention

In order to eliminate the problem, doctors advise first of all to identify the root cause that led to premature awakening. Only after the provoking factor has been eliminated will the treatment be effective. During treatment and in order to prevent such disorders, the following recommendations should be followed:

  1. Go to bed at the same time every day. It has been found that if people go to bed earlier or later, this negatively affects the quality of sleep. When you follow the regimen, an original reflex is developed, and activity gradually decreases by the time you usually go to bed.
  2. More body movements during the daytime. If you don’t spend all your energy during the day, you will certainly have problems falling asleep.
  3. Be outdoors more often. Evening walks have a healing effect on the body. After them, you notice a quick fall asleep and healthy sleep. It is also extremely important to ventilate the room in preparation for the night's rest.
  4. Remove alcohol and nicotine in the evening, or better yet, forever. Under their influence, sleep will be of poor quality, and waking up too early is possible.
  5. Eliminate gluttony at night. Excessive amounts of food swallowed before going to bed will lead to rapid activity of the gastrointestinal tract.
  6. Use of sleeping pills. They should be used only on the recommendation of a doctor. Medicines in this group can be addictive and cause side effects.
  7. Evening rituals. Before going to bed, it is advisable to take a bath, have a relaxing massage, and read a book. Such actions will help the body prepare for rest and guarantee reliable and healthy sleep.

Early morning awakening is often a severe problem. Getting up every day without a watch at 4 or 5 o'clock negatively affects the general condition of a person and the nervous system. Therefore, it is so important to immediately detect the reason that led to such changes and eliminate it as soon as possible.


Morning exercises will help you wake up quickly.

Movement accelerates the blood, awakens the muscles and brain to activity, and improves metabolic processes.

The effect will be greater if the exercises are performed before breakfast.

If it’s difficult to force yourself to do physical exercise right away, then walking to work would be an excellent workout.

If you do this daily, it will keep you in excellent shape, your muscles will tighten, and your weight will drop.

The stress on the heart and the whole body will also have a rejuvenating effect.

Walking should be at least 3 km per day; it is useful to do without an elevator.

Those who live on the last 5 floors without an elevator are usually rarely full.

Sleep hygiene

Sleep hygiene plays a big role in the fight against early awakenings, the observance of which strengthens the nervous system and heals the entire body. If the sleeping conditions are uncomfortable or the body does not feel well, there is a very high probability of waking up early or tossing and turning all night.

Here are its basic rules:

  1. Constant bedtime. In this way, a conditioned reflex of falling asleep is developed, and the body itself reduces activity shortly before the usual time of night rest.
  2. The bedroom is a place to sleep. This is especially true for a bed on which you don’t need to get used to working with a computer, reading or doing hobbies.
  3. High daily activity. Each of us has a certain amount of energy. If you do not use it up before evening, it will be difficult to fall asleep.
  4. Fresh air. With a lack of oxygen, drowsiness occurs and the person begins to yawn. But it’s difficult to get enough sleep in a stuffy room and you’ll most likely wake up early. The bedroom must be well ventilated before going to bed.
  5. No naps! This is a case where short-term sleep deprivation can be beneficial. After getting enough sleep during the day, you will not be able to fall asleep quickly again at night, which means your sleep cycle will not recover.
  6. Cigarettes, coffee and alcohol are prohibited in the evening. Nicotine provokes vascular spasms, alcohol poisons and dehydrates the body, coffee stimulates brain activity. In the evening, all this is useless if you want to get a good night's sleep.
  7. No overeating. At night, the digestive system needs rest. Therefore, dinner should be light but nutritious. Half an hour before bedtime, it is useful to drink a glass of warm milk, kefir or natural yogurt.
  8. Sleeping pills - only as prescribed by a doctor. Some drugs become addictive after just a few uses, and then without them you will not be able to sleep normally.
  9. Comfortable bed and quality bedding. Without them, your sleep cannot be comfortable. The bed should provide good support for the spine, and the bed should allow air to pass through and absorb moisture. Don't forget about comfortable, beautiful pajamas.
  10. Ritual for falling asleep. It is usually practiced for children. But it can also bring considerable benefits to adults. A sequential chain of relaxing actions (warm shower-massage, stop reading, etc.) helps you quickly fall into a sound sleep.

And more positive things! Most sleep problems arise from stress. They cannot be avoided in modern life. But it is extremely important to learn how to react correctly to unpredictable situations, and before going to bed, throw all the day’s problems out of your head. It’s not for nothing that they say that the morning is wiser than the evening!


What about the weekend?

It all depends on personal preference. In the beginning, when you are just getting used to it, I suggest sticking to the regimen every day. Later, when you get used to it, you can sleep one to two hours longer on the weekends.

How many times can I miss waking up early?

When trying to develop this habit, be careful about easing yourself: with two or three breaks a week, it will be difficult to return to waking up early. But when you can get up at the appointed time for 30 days in a row, you will begin to feel all the benefits of this approach. And if you miss two or three days, then you can easily return to the routine, because you have already gained control over yourself and know how important it is.

What about travel or a change of environment?

This is always difficult. Don't be merciless to yourself. Try to stick to your habits, if it doesn’t work out, just try to do what you want well.

Here are tips to follow your travel habits.

A sudden party has arrived...

Just have fun. Don’t force yourself to wake up at the appointed time, sleep as much as you need, and then return to your usual routine.

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