Why do we wake up at 3 am and think negative things? Science has answer

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Oct 14, 2021, 11:54 PM(IST)

Representative image Photograph:( Reuters )

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When it happens, we think that we are the only ones getting dragged in vortex of thoughts. But waking up at 3 am is more common than we think

We've all been through this, we wake up around 3 am and before we realise, our mind is flooded with thoughts about past, people, incidents and more. More often than not these memories are unpleasant. We think our problems are unsolvable. And thus our mind gets dragged on and on into vortex of thoughts. 

When such a thing happens it seems like we are the only ones in this world to ponder over endless things. But this experience is more common than we think.

Science tells us why this happens. Psychologists are pointing at the neurobiological changes that take place around 3 or 4 am.

Around this time in the night, the core body temperature starts to rise. Since we are already a bit rested, body's drive to sleep more is reduced. Melatonin (the sleep hormone) secretion peaks. And as the body is preparing to launch us into the day, levels of Cortisol (a stress hormone) are increased.

At 3 am, we are not left with any practical coping strategies. For example, a misunderstanding can just be cleared by calling that person. But it's possible only during the day.

We are thus left in dark with our thoughts and problems appear unsolvable.

When we are awake. We are in a situation to find possible solutions to our predicaments. But thought 3 am thoughts indeed catch us off guard

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