Why do I wake up at 4.44 AM?
Why do so many people regularly wake up at obscure times of the morning? This study might have the answer
It’s a scenario many of us will be familiar with. You roll over, suddenly wide awake, check the time, and it’s 4.44 AM – or thereabouts.
So what’s the deal with waking up at that specific time, and why do so many of us experience it? Well, according to new research conducted by Mattress Online, it could be more than just a coincidence that sees us breaking from sleep in the early hours of the morning.
Analysing Google searches over a seven day period, the experts noticed that stress-related searchers are most popular at this time in the morning, inferring that many of us are being woken up by anxious thoughts – going on to try to remedy our restlessness by turning to our phones.
Waking up in the night isn’t uncommon – according to the Sleep Foundation, 35% of people wake up during the night at least three times per week. This could be due to environmental factors, such as loud noises or a change in temperature, but it also could be to do with our natural bodily rhythm.
Our circadian rhythm controls our sleep-wake cycle, taking us through four sleep stages. In some of the stages, we wake up more easily than others, meaning that – when combined with other factors such as stress or environmental disturbances – we might see the same time appearing on the clock when we roll over.
Am I experiencing insomnia?
There are three main types of insomnia: acute insomnia, which lasts for a brief episode up to one month and is usually caused by life events; transient insomnia, which lasts for less than a week and is mostly due to changes in the environment; chronic insomnia, which lasts more than one month and is usually associated with a medical condition.
According to the Sleep Foundation, some of the symptoms of insomnia include:
- Trouble falling asleep
- Waking up in the night
- Waking up early and not being able to fall asleep again
- Not sleeping soundly
- Feeling tired during the day
If you’ve been having ongoing problems with disturbed sleep, it's worth visiting your GP to talk about your experience. But, for brief episodes of insomnia, or if you find yourself waking up in the night regularly, there are some steps that you can take:
- How to reset your sleep cycle in three days
- What to eat to get a better night’s sleep
- Five apps for a better night sleep
- Five steps for healthy sleep hygiene
- Can hypnotherapy help me sleep?
- How to make sleeping with a partner work for you
In conclusion, although our shared tendency to wake up at the same oddly specific time is a little odd, it’s less a mystical manifestation and more a combination of factors coming together to wake us from our slumber. And, with our collective stress levels peaking in recent times, it’s no wonder more and more of us are sharing in this experience. That said, with self-compassion and some practical steps, there’s every chance you’ll be back on your way to dreamland very soon.
Interested in working with a hypnotherapist on sleep problems? Connect with a professional using hypnotherapy-directory.org.uk