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Three serious diseases that often wake up the body at 3 a.m.

The body’s natural circadian rhythm is responsible for several biological processes in the body, including sleep and wake cycles. Providing time for uninterrupted sleep, this rhythm governs several important bodily systems. Therefore, frequent nighttime awakenings can become a problem if left unchecked. Identifying the cause of a problem can also prevent serious consequences such as disability and death.

The Sleep Foundation explains that waking up in the middle of the night is medically referred to as “night waking.”

Studies in several European countries have shown that almost a third of people wake up three or more nights a week.

“While it’s not always possible to pinpoint the exact reason a person wakes up at 3 a.m., understanding the common causes of sleep disturbances can help people sleep better at night,” explains the Sleep Foundation.

According to health authorities, the causes of nighttime awakenings are diverse.

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However, when medical conditions are the cause, ailments can fall into one of three main categories; cardiovascular diseases, respiratory diseases and neurological disorders.

“High blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke are associated with poor sleep quality, including sleep waking,” explains the Sleep Foundation.

These conditions impair the quality of sleep due to poor circulation as the body relies on increased blood flow during both non-REM and REM sleep phases.

Another disorder associated with nocturnal awakening is respiratory diseases such as sleep apnea.

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“In addition to obstructive sleep apnea, other breathing disorders such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease can disrupt sleep during the night,” the report says.

Common signs of airway dysfunction include waking up with a dry mouth and morning headaches.

Finally, neurological disorders are the third most common cause of nocturnal awakenings, but they should not be confused with the usual changes in sleep patterns as a person ages.

“While a person undergoes a number of changes in sleep patterns as we age, this is normal, but people with diseases such as dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease are more likely to experience nocturnal awakenings and trouble returning to sleep.” explains the Sleep Foundation.

READ MORE: Many Patients Report The Same Sleep Disorder Before Stroke

In fact, there is growing evidence that sleep disturbances can be an early sign of cognitive decline.

Studies show that such symptoms can appear years before an official diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease is made.

Other causes of nocturnal awakenings

Often, temporary mental disturbances associated with temporary stress are the cause of frequent awakenings during the night.

More importantly, it should be noted that a person can have trouble sleeping and still be in perfect health.

Some other health conditions that cause you to wake up at 3am include an enlarged prostate, neuropathy, or gastrointestinal reflux.

Are nighttime awakenings harmful?

Some experts suggest that staying up late and waking up late may be linked to health problems.

This is partly due to the fact that the biological clock of these people does not coincide with the rhythms of modern society.

By paying attention to the body’s natural rhythms and adjusting your sleep schedule accordingly, you can reduce some of the health risks associated with nighttime awakenings.

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