Waking Up with 3 AM Thoughts, Are You Struggling?

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Siffat Kaur Arora

22 March 2022

4 Min

Waking Up with 3 AM Thoughts, Are You Struggling?

Table of Contents

Waking up in the middle of the night, especially at an odd hour like 3 AM when you have no one to talk to, may be a familiar story for some of you. However, it may seem unusual to many, with questions of why and how always being on top of your head.

While it can be out of habit for some, usually, it is underlined with reasons concerned with sleep cycles, insomnia, stress, medications, aging, and other lifestyle choices.

This blog will take you through some detailed reasons why people wake up at 3 am, along with a few tips to have a more peaceful sleep.

image of person in bed

Table of Contents

  1. What does it feel like waking up at 3 am?
  2. Sleep Cycle and Stages of Sleep
  3. Reasons why you wake up at 3 am
  4. Ways to prevent waking up at 3 am

What Does It Feel Like Waking Up At 3 AM?

Marked with both feelings of confusion and curiosity, waking up in the middle of the night hasn’t been a good experience for many. Some succeed in resuming their long-lost sleep; others fail to do so.

People have reported feeling a tad bit lost as soon as they wake up, thinking that it’s bright outside already, while others have also suggested having lost all their sleep in constantly worrying about the most random things. You can always share your feelings on Now&Me, and find a few people who may be sailing in the same boat as you.

As interesting as it may sound, waking up at 3 am on a regular basis is a sign for you to keep a check on your daily routine and several lifestyle choices, as inadequate amounts of sleep can result in some significant physical and mental effects.

Sleep Cycle and Stages of Sleep

Even though sleeping seems like a highly passive act, it’s actually very active in nature, involving different stages and transitions from one stage to another. As a result, waking up in the middle of these transitions is not uncommon, as you may go back to sleeping right away. An article given by SleepScoreLabs on Stages of Sleep explains namely four stages in detail:

  1. Transitional Light Sleep
  2. Light Non-REM Sleep
  3. Deep Non-REM Sleep
  4. REM Sleep

Interestingly, nobody really sleeps throughout the night; in fact, we wake several times a night anyway, sometimes when we want to pee really bad, or when we are a treat for the mosquitoes! The stages of sleep are punctuated with brief awakenings, and as we go through the night, we spend more time in lighter sleep, which is why brief awakenings can feel more pronounced.

The problem arises when more often than not, you find yourself wandering with your thoughts after waking up abruptly, which then hints at waking up at 3 AM being a real deal for you!

Reasons Why You Wake Up At 3 AM!

Apart from the usual urge to pee or being disturbed by your partner changing sides throughout the night, waking up at 3 am on most days without any visible reason may be a cause of concern.


Typically described as a type of sleep disorder, insomnia is a diagnosable sleep condition in which you have a problem falling back asleep after waking at night regularly. Common signs of insomnia include difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep or both, or even waking up from several hours of sleep and not feeling fresh. A check on your sleeping pattern may help you identify these signs.


Mental peace is a prerequisite to achieving a peaceful sleep; otherwise, your mind may be busy worrying about all sorts of things, resulting in disrupted and irregular sleep patterns.

image of a person laying down on their phone on the bed


As and when you grow older, the nature of your sleep cycles changes due to changes in your lifestyle and your body, and you can experience more and more health issues, for which a variety of medications are used, which in turn results in a decreased quality of sleep.

Health Conditions and Medications

Various health conditions like depression, anxiety, migraine, high blood pressure require people to take medications that may interfere with sleeping patterns, ultimately becoming a primary reason for waking up at 3 AM.

Lifestyle Choices and Environment

Excessive use of alcohol or drugs can result in poor sleep quality, ultimately resulting in disrupted sleep cycles. Similarly, caffeine, using your phone, and taking long naps during the day is also known to induce sleeplessness.

Ways to prevent waking up at 3 AM!

  1. Avoid napping during the day
  2. Try and maintain a specific routine
  3. Maintain nightly rituals
  4. Cutting down caffeine
  5. Sleep in a comfortable environment

What are some 3 AM thoughts that keep you up at night?

We all have our own vices that get in the way of our sleeping rituals. Most of the time, they are also our thoughts. What are some 3 am thoughts that keep you up at night? Share them with our community; we are here to listen!

Here are some of the 3 am thoughts from our community members:

This one user who had a thoughtful quote to share... image of thought 1

This one user, who just needed someone to talk to... image of thought 2 If you ever feel like you are in this position, where all you need at 3 am is someone to talk to, we are here.

This one user, who had something to say about the word 'Forever'... image of thought 3

...and this one user, who had a lot to say about love... image of thought 4

Are your 3 am thoughts keeping you up too? Join Now&Me today, and start sharing!

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If you’ve ever felt a little lonely, wishing you had somebody to talk to, somebody who would just listen...

The Now&Me community is for you.

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