Waking up at the same time every night may seem like some weird habit, but it isn’t. A pattern is a choice — something like setting an alarm clock. But it is possible to wake simultaneously, even without the aid of an alarm clock.
Waking at the same time every night may result from body functions, such as circadian rhythms (your biological clock), sleep timing, and sleep cycles. These patterns affect our wake time. They also explain why we stir intermittently during sleep.
In this article, we’ll see why you wake at the same time every night.
If you wake at the same time every day or at the same time in the middle of the night, then it may be because you sleep at the same time every night.
Many people who wake up at the same time every night aren’t aware of it. Why? Well, the truth is that there’s a stage between sleep and wakefulness. So when you are in this state, you may not be fully aware of what’s happening around you.
For instance, you may wake, roll over, and get back to sleep. And if you don’t look at the clock, you may not know that you had been awake.
What usually happens during that short awakening period is that you have a powerful desire to get back to sleep.
The circadian rhythm
The circadian rhythm is a biological timer that regulates sleep and wake. It operates on a 24-hour cycle. However, it is essential to note that the human circadian rhythm affects more than just sleep and wake. For example, your circadian rhythm controls your core temperature as well as the release of hormones that regulate growth and metabolism (1).
Your circadian rhythm is regulated by the suprachiasmatic nucleus, a part of your brain. This rhythm is driven by changing light and darkness in the environment. Your brain can detect when light is changing through your eye sensors.
Exposure to light, mainly the morning light from the sun, reinforces these patterns (1). The light in your environment affects your sleep time and waking in the morning.