Medical Questions > Mental Health > Sleep Disorders Forum

Waking up at the same time each night?

I've been waking up 3 nights in a row now at 4am needing to go to the bathroom. It's happened to me before where I've woken up at the same time each morning like 3am or 4am, but the urge to go to the bathroom is new. Pregnancy was one thing I thought of since my period is late, but I took a pregnancy test and it was negative. Could stress be causing this? I have a history with anxiety and depression so I thought it could be a factor, it could also be the reason why my period is late too. I'm just not sure. I'm also pretty worried.
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replied March 8th, 2014
Active User, very eHealthy
Hi Momo. We tend to sleep in cycles of REM and NREM sleep, each lasting around 90 minutes. Normal sleepers briefly awaken between each of these cycles, but the awakenings are so brief and benign they are typically forgotten by morning.

If you have a consistent bend time, these awakenings could therefore very well be between cycles.

Also if you are under increased stress and/or anxiety, it certainly is possible to be in a more generally hyperaroused state physically and mentally at night. So, after a cycle completes, you could possibly feel more of an urge to go to the bathroom than you would if you were in a more relaxed drowsy state.

If this continues and you are concerned, a checkup with your doc would be in order. Otherwise, I would suggest working at stress management and control of anxiety. Then just let the worry go and allow yourself to sleep.

Be sure also to eliminate the really obvious potential causes, such as drinking too much before bed.

Good luck.
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