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Feb 21, 2021
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The three hours phenomenon. Why do people constantly wake up at the same time

Interaction with other peopleThe phenomenon of waking up at 3 am is not that rare, experts say. In doing so, he naturally attracts attention from the medical community. Indeed, despite the fact that waking up at 3 o’clock is not deadly, they do not die from it, it can still harm health, and also signals that the human nervous system cannot relax in any way. AiF.ru told about why the phenomenon of awakening at 3 a.m. occurs and what it is fraught with, as well as how to deal with it. candidate of psychological sciences, psychoanalyst, somnologist, clinical psychologist of the highest category, associate professor Alexey Melekhin

Biological causes

Melekhin notes that often the reason for nighttime awakenings lies in psychological reasons. Among the biological provocateurs, he calls the predominantly female factor of dependence on the menstrual cycle. So, for example, it can be tension due to monthly processes, as well as the manifestation of the climacteric period. In both cases, the therapy should also be carried out by gynecologists. However, more often we are talking about psychological aspects.

Psychological reasons

“This phenomenon of waking up at 2-3 in the morning is very interesting. After all, in fact, people wake up at the same time, it is not clear from what. They do not understand what is happening to them and are looking for reasons. Sometimes they even reach mythological and mythical versions of the problem explanation. In fact, nothing like that happens there – no need to look for some hidden meanings, even biological reasons do not always provoke such a situation, ”notes Aleksey Melekhin.

Solution of problems

One of the reasons why such a phenomenon occurs is the problem-oriented personality type of a person. Such people, says the psychoanalyst, constantly solve various problems. just give them free rein, and they will endlessly solve them. So why do they wake up at 3 AM? “The fact is that it is at 3 am that hormones are synthesized – melatonin (sleep hormone), serotonin and cortisol (stress hormone). And people who constantly solve various problems and save the world, plan and doubt, and so during the day there is an active production of these hormones, and at night it is further increased, as a result of which they start having problems with sleep, and they wake up, ”says Alexey Melekhin.

Such people can wake up in different ways. For example, awakening can be calm, but often they are simply thrown out of sleep.

Often this problem arises against the background of an important event that will happen tomorrow. “A person marks the day as responsible, for example, he will have an important meeting, trip, etc. He needs to be in time for everything, not to forget anything. Even against this background, psychologists have introduced the term “anxiety of expectation”. Against this background, the nervous system loses basic confidence, begins to overestimate the day, and a sensitive sleep appears, ”says Melekhin.

Severe stress

Another feature that leads to awakening at night is accumulated generalized anxiety disorder. In this case, every day there is some kind of stress, up to microstress, the specialist notes. “The nervous system cannot process it. And due to the fact that there is no adequate inhibition system against this background, hormones again begin to be produced excessively. And again the person begins to be thrown out of sleep, ”says Aleksey Melekhin.

Insomnia

“The same phenomenon is caused by insomnia. If he is tormented by dreams of any kind – nightmares, alarming, abundant – in general, all expressive, awakening, pushing out of sleep is also noted, ”says Aleksey Melekhin. This is due to the fact that there are a lot of emotions and impressions, the psyche wants to somehow get rid of it.

Childhood problem

The situation can also develop when a person has been exposed to it since childhood. You can ask your parents how he slept when he was little. If there were some similar difficulties, then they will carry over into adulthood.

What does awakening in the night look like?

Seemingly woke up and woke up. But not always the awakening at 3 a.m. is quiet and peaceful. “Getting out of sleep is often accompanied by the discomfort of terror. A person has a rapid heartbeat, lack of air, hot flashes and cold, he wants to move, ”says Aleksey Melekhin.

As the specialist notes, a fear of the night, a panic night attack, is formed. People become afraid to fall asleep. “A person is already alert during the day, and now he becomes alert at night. Some begin to deceive themselves and try to go to bed later, for example at 4 am, to protect themselves. However, they do not understand that these measures lead to the fact that the nervous system suffers even more, ”says the psychoanalyst.

How to deal with the situation?

To begin with, when it comes to the 3 a.m. phenomenon, you need to understand what exactly is causing it. “If it is caused by anxious expectations, that is, such episodes appear on the eve of important things, you should use this option: remove the marking of the day as responsible, you should not stick such a label of the day’s super important on it. Indeed, when determining the day as very important, the nervous system goes into a mobilization mode. Here it is worth giving yourself the reasons why this day does not particularly stand out from the series of ordinary ones, and also highlight 5 pleasant things for yourself from which you can enjoy, “the psychoanalyst notes.

If the reason for the awakenings lies in sensory overload or overload with problems, then you should pay attention to the technique of small wins. “It is quite elementary to ask yourself at the end of the day the question: what am I satisfied with today? And thank the passing day for all this, ”says Aleksey Melekhin. This will relieve and calm the nervous system. If you are in constant tension, that I do not have time for something, then the quest to solve problems will continue.

Additionally, it is worth worrying about sleep hygiene. “First, you should give up simple carbohydrates. This is exactly what we especially love at night: rolls, bread, sandwiches. Such food only shakes and mobilizes the nervous system due to the influx of energy. At least such food should be abstained from 2 hours before bedtime, ”says the psychoanalyst. It’s also worth giving up problem solving and planning before going to bed. “When planning begins, the nervous system switches to ‘Why sleep? You don’t need to sleep – you need to solve problems. ” This is not worth doing. As well as encouraging yourself with caffeine-containing drinks and alcohol, ”notes Aleksey Melekhin.

If the awakening has already taken place, and you cannot fall asleep back, you need to get up and walk around the house. “Just don’t turn on the light, don’t pick up gadgets and don’t start thinking hard, analyzing and scolding yourself,” says Alexey Melekhin. After all, in fact, this is just an overload indicator, like a smartphone, when it issues a warning that it has 20 percent of charge left. So the nervous system also shows that it lacks something before going to bed to relax.

When to see a doctor?

If you can’t cope on your own, you need the help of a specialist. “We go to the doctor when there are two or three or more awakenings a week, also if they happen 2-3 times a night, accompanied by fear of the night, manifestation of rapid breathing, a lump in the throat,” says Aleksey Melekhin. The specialist will conduct an examination, give recommendations, identify provoking, predisposing and supporting factors for correcting the situation. And then it will be more pleasant and calm to sleep.

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