Why Do I Wake Up at 3 Am?

For many of us, sleep is just as usual as eating a dinner. But for some people, tossing and turning in bed throughout the night is a daily routine. Sound, uninterrupted sleep is a dream for them. While for some other people, they may wake up at a particular time every night, such as 3 am. While that happens, some find it next to impossible to go back to sleep again. So, what is going on here?

Why do I Wake Up at 3 Am?

Many people consistently wake up near 3 am and can't go back to sleep again, this phenomenon is fairly common and the exact mechanism is very complex.

One of the most common reasons for this is low blood glucose level.

Our body goes to sleep but the brain remains active all night. It processes the short term memories into long term and repairs and rejuvenates itself. These processes require a steady supply of energy. During sleep the body goes into fasting mode, and to keep up with the energy requirements of brain the adrenal hormone cortisol is released. Cortisol is responsible for supplying fuel to the brain during the night.

In people with low blood glucose levels or hypoglycemia, the cortisol hormone is not released in a timely manner, resulting in an interruption to the energy supply of brain. This leads to the activation of the body's fight-or-flight system and stress hormones are released to compensate for the lack of energy supply to brain. These stress hormones increase blood glucose levels but they also lead to anxiety and stress which can wake you up and makes it difficult to go back to sleep again.

Why do I wake up at 3 am? You may ask. Stress can be the culprit.

This is the time when the liver detoxifies and repairs itself. It needs a lot of glycogen to do so. In stressed individuals, there is not enough glycogen available for proper restoration of liver and the adrenal glands are activated to produce more adrenalin. Adrenalin replenishes the liver glycogen storage but it also makes the person more alert. It increases the heart rate and acts as a stimulant, waking you up at 3 am and making it impossible to fall asleep again.

What Can I Do?

Now you know the answer to your question of "Why do I wake up at 3 am" is there any way to solve the problem and enjoy a sound sleep throughout the night? Of course, there are. Since the most common reason to wake up at 3 am is a low blood glucose level, a rapid and easy fix is to have a little nibble.

When You Wake Up at 3 Am

Try some proteins and fats for a sustained glucose supply. A little peanut butter, few nuts, a boiled egg or some chunks of meat can keep the blood sugar levels at optimum levels for a longer time and can help you to get back to sleep. Avoid anything sweet or refined carbohydrates as they can lead to a rapid rise followed by a fall in blood sugar levels.

Daytime Tips to Avoid Waking Up at 3 Am

A quick bite can help you go back to sleep but the best thing is to avoid waking up. If you crave sweets, feel dizzy or light headed during the day and depend on caffeine for energy boost most of the time, chances are that you are having low blood glucose levels.

To keep and maintain an optimal blood glucose levels, following measures can be taken:

  • Have a hearty breakfast and try to include a lot of proteins in it. These will keep your blood glucose levels up for longer. Avoid starch and sugar laden choices such as bread, cereals or pancakes.
  • Try to take small portions of high protein diet frequently.
  • Try to cut back on carbs. They do increase the blood glucose levels rapidly but this spike is transient and leads to a sudden slump or hypoglycemia.
  • Fats are necessary to keep the body fueled for longer, it is very important to take adequate amounts of fats every day.

Try Adrenal Cocktail Recipe

Having this refreshing cocktail just before going to bed can lead to peaceful uninterrupted sleep. This can be taken in the morning to keep stress away during the day.


  • 125 ml or half cup orange juice
  • Half tea spoon cream of tartar
  • Pinch of Celtic or Himalayan salt

Mix the ingredients thoroughly and enjoy the delicious drink. Orange juice is full of glucose and helps the liver to repair itself. Cream of tartar is rich in potassium which is essential for vital organs like brain and liver and the Celtic salt is full of essential minerals and trace elements.

The Time You Wake Up and the Organ Associated

Why do I wake up at 3 am? Your liver may not be working normally. But what about other time when I wake up? Is it also associated with some organs? According to the acupuncture meridian system, specific body organs are active at certain times, the relationship of the organs with the time you wake up can help in determining which organs need attention.

  • 11pm to 1am: At this time the gallbladder has very high energy levels. Excessive fat intake, smoking and caffeine can cause gallbladder problems. Sleep disturbance during this window indicates gallbladder issues.
  • Between 1am and 3am: This is the time of the liver. 3 am is also the time most people get awake.
  • 3am to 5am: This two hour time frame is dedicated to the lungs, and any breathing issues, sinus problems or allergies can lead to sleep disturbance during this time frame.
  • 5am-7am: These hours are associated with the large intestine. People who wake up during this period are very likely to have irritated intestines. This can be due to some unsuitable food, bad bacteria or fungus.
Current time: 06/25/2024 07:53:10 a.m. UTC Memory usage: 63568.0KB