Being a light sleeper can be frustrating, because you seem to wake up from the slightest changes in your environment.
There are a few theories on what might be making you a light sleeper. You could have an undiagnosed sleep disorder, your bedroom environment could contribute, or it might run in your family. Your arousal threshold could be lower because of stress, age, sleep stage, and how long you’re awake (via the Sleep Foundation).
According to a 2010 study, spontaneous brain rhythms called “sleep spindles” can cause light sleep. If you generate fewer sleep spindles, you may experience a lighter sleep, causing you to wake up at the slightest change in your environment. As you get older, you become more of a light sleeper and tend to sleep less overall, and it seems to be connected to sleep spindles, because you’ll make less of them as you get older.
Fortunately, there are some things you can do to sleep better and feel more refreshed during the day. First, see a sleep specialist determine if you have a sleep disorder. You might need to take a sleep study to see if you have sleep apnea. See a mental health specialist if you’re experiencing a lot of anxiety and stress. Healthline recommends removing anything with a screen from your bedroom, and keep it dark, cool, and quiet. Try blackout curtains, an eye mask, and earplugs.