Waking up in the middle of the night is natural, according to scientists. People who have difficulty falling back to sleep after waking might be diagnosed with the sleep disorder insomnia. However, historical findings suggests that prior to the Industrial Revolution and invention of the light bulb, humans naturally slept in two four-hour blocks, called segmented or biphasic sleep, with an hour or two of being awake in between. With the ability to turn lights on and continue productivity, human sleep patterns changed. Undeveloped countries still show segmented sleep patterns as the norm. Currently, scientists are finding that patients diagnosed with insomnia are much more likely to easily fall back to sleep when they are told that waking at night is natural.
More about sleep:
- Regular exercise can make it easier to fall asleep and sleep more soundly.
- According to the National Sleep Foundation, the best way to get a good night's sleep is to avoid alcohol and nicotine close to bedtime, don't eat or drink close to bedtime, use the bedroom only for sleep and sex, and keep a sleep diary to help identify sleep habits.
- For individuals who have difficulty falling asleep, they should go into another room and do something to relax them until they feel tired.