The hum of the air conditioning, the creak of a door, a rogue dog snore—these tiny, innocuous sounds are enough to jolt light sleepers awake in the middle of the night. It's unclear what causes some people to be lighter sleepers than others, but experts suspect it's partially genetic. Whatever the cause, those who wake up a lot in the middle of the night tend to miss out on deeper sleep stages like slow-wave sleep and REM sleep, which are essential for rest and recovery.
For all those light sleepers there frustrated by mid-night wakeups, there are a few ways to tune out distractions (that don't involve trading in your dog). Investing in gadgets that make your room darker and less noisy—such as blackout curtains, an eye mask, and a sound machine—can be a good place to start. Going to bed slightly earlier in the evening, keeping bedtime and wake-up time consistent, and fine-tuning your nightly routine to be more relaxing will also help.