Sleep Disorders Community
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Avatar universal

Waking up every 90 minutes what so ever

Hi, for a little over a month now, I have been having this problem where I go to bed and can fall asleep relativly easely but regardless of what I do I wake up an hour and a half later, systematically.. ALWAYS 90 minutes after I fall asleep. I wake up and try to fall back asleep an average of 3-4 times every night and wake up in the worse possible shape the next morning.. I had a lot of stress in my life a month ago and wasnt sleeping enough, plus I was overworked, I know that for sure, and I think it let to what seemed like a burn-out (huge, sudden headache one day and chronic fatigue not relieved by sleep) wich caused even more stress. Then about a week later, the fragmented sleep started...

Of course the doc attribute it to stress and gave me sleeping pills, didnt work, then my family doc put me on antidepressant (trazodone), it made it worse and gave me palpiltations so I had to stop. The only thing that seems to work are Ativans, then again maybe I wake up but don't remember cause they knock you out..also they are addictive and I dont wanna have to rely on them on the long term. Anybody else experenced something similar and might have helpful advice on the topic ? Could it be a chemical imbalance, a brain damage from sleep deprivation or something? Any help would be much appreciated at this point cause this insomnia is really killing me..
20 Responses
Avatar universal
Go do a sleep study. Take care of it. It will not suddenly stop making you miserable.
Avatar universal
done. I already have an appointement in a few weeks... was just hoping to find some people who experienced something similar. Is there any way to reset the body clock without any meds?
180749 tn?1443595232
Use this pranayam technique, to get your life back, and balance your body.After you can do anulom vilom for 15 minutes and more, you will notice better sleep and less stress. Please give your feedback over 4 months, so others may benefit.
Build up your timing gradually.If you feel tired or dizzy, stop and resume after one minute.
Anulom Vilom –
Close your right nostril with thumb and deep breath-in through left nostril  
then – close left nostril with two middle fingers and breath-out through right nostril  
then -keeping the left nostril closed  deep breath-in through right nostril
then - close your right nostril with thumb and breath-out through left nostril.
This is one cycle of anulom vilom.
Repeat this cycle for 15 to 30  minutes twice a day.
Children under 15 years – do 5 to 10 minutes twice a day.
You can do this before breakfast/lunch/dinner or before bedtime or in bed. Remember to take deep long breaths into the lungs.You can do this while sitting on floor or chair or lying in bed.
While doing anulom vilom, keep your eyes closed, concentrate on the third eye (point in between the eyebrows).
I have to try this . The same problem here.  I don't even remember when last time I slept the whole night without waking up.
This kind of sleeping is the couse of my headaches for sure :(
Avatar universal
Thanks for the reply.. it has been some time now and for 2-3 weeks I started sleeping almost normally... I cold do a few hours straight but I almost always had a headache and tinnitus (ears ringing) after waking up or during the day.. The only problem is that I am owrking evening shifts so sometimes I went to bed very late.. Last week-en I decided to reset my body clock and went to bed earlier, well gues what, the insomnia demon was back... ever since then and for the past week I fell right back to square one with the 90-minutes sleep pattern... I am desperate and hope it's just a temporary setback cause I can't take it anymore!

Thanks for the relaxation technique, I tried that and it helped a litte. I also did much research and found out that exrcising and eating certain food can help a lot so I changed my diet and resumed jogging regularly. I will see what it gives but it can only benefit me on the long run... The sleep study was in the plans but I have to wait for my insurance company to come back to me cause it is quite costy.

will keep you guys posted on the devloppement...
Avatar universal
Any update on your condition? I am going through the same. I wake up every 1.5 - 2  hours each night. Sometimes I just drift back to sleep, and sometimes it is difficult to go back to sleep. I did a sleep study and they diagnosed sleep apnea. I had always slept well and was never tired or sleepy during the day, and so I have no idea as to how suddenly I have sleep apnea. The problem started for me one fine day when there was absolutely no stress in my life. I have been using CPAP and its data shows that CPAP has resolved my apnea issues, but the sleep pattern hasn't changed. This leads me to believe something else as the cause of this fragmented sleep pattern.
Avatar universal
I am now insomnia-free for 2 years, except the occasionnal stress-insomnia or jet lag... a lot of it was caused by overstress, and the fact that I hadnt taken any vacation at work for 3 years...I read a lot about it, and stress can easily trigger insomnia, as well as mess up your internal clock... LEarning to relax, exercising, and good lifestyle changes worked for me! oh and talking about it to people who care about you was also very important ;)

Thank you all for the replies.. PS: this is kevdor, I changed username
Avatar universal
It is May, 2014. For several months I've been dealing with the. 90 minute wake-up syndrome. It happens every night now, and sometimes it is every. 90 minutes throughout the night. I am, of course, exhausted all day long. I am seeing my GP in two days and fully expect to do a sleep study as well as have blood work done. I'm wondering if you have continued to sleep well since your last post two years go. I have no idea if you will ever see this, but thought I'd try.
Avatar universal
Hi Jack, sorry to hear that, I can tell you for sure that after suffering from the same thing I know how afflicting it can be, I can also tell you that I have become some sort of an expert on sleep after searching for information so much. I havent had any problems since then, the fact that my schedule is now daytime helps a lot though, even though I still have a rough time waking up (not an early bird at all).

I fixed my problem by simply letting go, I stopped fighting it and "agressivly" trying to fall a nd stay asleep... the word says it all, "falling" asleep, it should come naturally.. the more you fight it, the bigger it gets in your mind. What I have learned is that 90 minutes is precisly one cycle on the sleep pattern, and that we go through multiple cycles troughout the night, wich each cycle progressivly including more and more deep sleep (REM). You usually go from one cycle to another without noticing it because you end up in light sleep in-between, but in your case and mine, you wake up becuase your internal clock is messed up. The first cycle contains little REM sleep time and therefore you repeat the same cycle over and over hence why you are so tired, just not enough deep sleep wich is also the one that causes dreams and repairs the body the most.

The clock messup is caused by overstress, plain and simple, wich is probably emphased by your constant struggle to fall asleep. it's a vicious circle and in the end all comes down to letting go and relaxing, stop thinking about it, stop looking at the time, stop fighting it, eat well and exercise as much as possible. I know it may sound easier said than done, but give yourself some time. I have read an entire book on this and searched the entire internet and in the end it all came down to that

As soon as I stopped caring about it and fighting it, I was fine within a week!

  do you use any sort of medication? they can also affect the chemistry of your brain. If not, do not start using them, it will mess you up on the long run, your clock can and will get back on it's own, your body is meant to self-repair

Hope this helped, dont hesitate if you have any questions..
Avatar universal
Hi Jack.  My name is Ann.
  I've been experiencing the same 90 minute wake cycle, too, for some time now. After searching on the web I found the absolute best website on insomnia (and I've been reading about sleep for years on-line).
  This site is exemplary is because it's like receiving free therapy,  
if you follow the program, do the 10 day tutorial, read the articles, etc. It offers a deep understanding of the mental, emotional, and physical causes, techniques, inc. CBT, etc. I'm on day 3, now.  Here is the link: http://www.insomnia-free.com/  Goodluck!
Avatar universal
Thanks for your thread. I, too, suffer the 1.5 hr wake up cycle - and have done for some months now. I have been meaning to go to the doctor, but really don't want meds! So I decided to look online. Pleased to have found your post - and especially this update. Understanding WHAT is happening and WHY is half the battle :)
Avatar universal
I too wake after 90 minutes of sleep. It used to be after exactly 3 hours. I don't know WHAT to do!
Avatar universal
I too wake after 90 minutes of sleep. It used to be after exactly 3 hours. I do not know WHAT to do!
Avatar universal
Ann, I am going to that site right now. Thanks for your help, of course. I will do my best to return here to post an update regarding my success or lack thereof.
Avatar universal
Dear Marty: Here it is Aug. 24, 2016 and I'm searching again. I'm going to take your advice as well as checking the insomnia site recommended by Annwalk. Over the years, I've tried all sorts of meds, but the downsides to Ambien, etc. were too high a price, and I don't think I really slept that much better anyway. I've done several sleep studies and find my REM sleep is severely messed up. Unfortunately, I've not been able to adjust to a CPAP machine. I will let you and others know if I have some success. Thanks for your experience and input.
Avatar universal
I have the 90 min wakeup for about a year now. And first of all, relaxing hasn't done anything. I quit my career and moved to a quiet town to relax and get away from the stress of my life. My sleep has only gotten worse. I also have fibromyalgia and ankylosing spondylitis. I have noticed that I don't move at all during sleep, no position changes, and my theory is that my body is waking me up to change position because I am in pain from staying in the one position for so long. I've had Circadin and low doses of Seroquel (25mg) and they both worked better at giving me sleep, but Seroquel made me gain weight and when you stop taking it, it can give you insomnia (which I had to go through to get off it). Circadin worked well too (it's a melatonin drug), but my doctor wouldn't prescribe it long term. Maybe if I go back and tell her that my sleep is at an all-time low, she may decide to continue it.

Cheers, Bianca
Avatar universal
Medications give me anxiety. I've even tried Melatonin and it didn't go well for me.

I found my sleep improved when my Vitamin D levels went up, I added magnesium supplements and Epsom Salt foot baths and Vitamin B12.

You'd be shocked at how Vitamin/mineral deficiencies can affect your life/well being.
Avatar universal
This page seems to pop up in Google searches, so I'll respond even though the question is quite old.

I also wake up 1-3 hours after falling asleep.  I never have problems falling asleep.  The only thing which has worked for me is trazodone.

If you're also suffering with this condition, ask your doctor about this medicine.  It's very inexpensive here in the US.  Many common sleep aids help you fall asleep, but that was never a problem for me.  It's staying asleep that I struggle with.

At the same time, figure out if you're suffering from anxiety.
Avatar universal
Dr. Deepak Talwar

Senior Consultant & Chairman - Metro Respiratory Center

Pulmonology & Sleep Medicine

LOCATION - Metro Hospitals & Heart Institute, Noida Sector-11, UP

His areas of clinical interest: Respiratory disorders and critical care

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    MBBS, Maulana Azad Medical College (1980)
    Diploma in TB & Chest Diseases, V P Chest Institute, Delhi (1984)
    MD ((Pulmo & Critical Care)) - V P Chest Institute, Delhi (1986)
    DNB, National Board of Examinations, India (1987)
    DM (Pulmo & Critical Care) - Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education & Research (1991)
    Fellow, National College of Chest Physicians (India)
    Fellow, American College of Chest Physicians (USA)


    Member, Indian Society of Critical Care Medicine
    Faculty, Academy for Infection Management
    Member, International Society of Critical Care Medicine (USA)
    Member, European Society of Enteral & Parental Nutrition (Europe)
    Member, European Respiratory Society (Europe)
    Instructor for FCCS Course


Dr. Talwar was previously associated with V P Chest Institute (Delhi), RML Hospital (Delhi), PGI (Chandigarh), LNJPN (Delhi) and Assir Central Hospital (Abha, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia).
Avatar universal
I am having the same problem as well, I can not go to sleep until about 2 or 3 in the morning but when I finally lay down to sleep. I am up again about and hour or two later. It has been getting worse because about 4 or 5 months ago, I could have went to sleep about 12 to 1 (at the latest) on going to sleep and it has now gradually become 2 and 3 am going to sleep. I am slowly loosing more and more sleep every night so I wake up drained more and more every day, can someone help me with some suggestions because I am running out of options, thanks.
180749 tn?1443595232
Do anulom vilom pranayam (alternate nostril breathing) with eyes closed, while lying in bed.
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