What It Means When You Wake Up at 3 A.M.

An image of a woman sleeping in bed with a pillow clapped over her head. The clock reads 3 A.M.

Numerology and the Significance of 3 A.M.

Numbers are assigned significant meaning in many belief systems and spiritual modalities across the world. Consider the concept of lucky numbers or the widespread concern about the number 13 (in fact, many buildings don’t have a 13th floor to protect from bad luck, going straight from 12 to 14).

However, in numerology, there are technically no “bad” or “good” numbers, just different meanings that are often dependent on context. This context can be the situation in which you saw the number, and it can be a matter of what’s going on in other parts of your life — and it is often more subtle than you might expect.

Waking up at 3 a.m., for instance, is often considered metaphysically significant. This is thanks to the spiritual influence associated with this time of night, which is in turn entwined with the numerological significance of the number three.

In numerology, three is all about the self — how you display your emotions, what you seek to change about yourself, and how you connect with the people around you. Frequently encountering the number three is traditionally seen as a call to consider how you communicate with yourself and about yourself to others. It also represents creativity, intensity, and expression.

Waking at 3 A.M.

Waking up at 3 a.m. has profound spiritual meaning. The hour that stretches between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m. has long been considered the “witching hour,” a name that reflects the negativity and fear that are often associated with this time. During this hour-long period, the veil between realms is particularly thin, maybe even nonexistent.

Despite the stigma, the 3 a.m. hour is actually an opportunity for development and growth. If your soul seeks transcendence, this is the time to discover it. Waking during this period gives you an opportunity to evolve spiritually.

Notably, your REM cycle may be around its deepest point near 3 a.m. This means your heart rate has slowed, your temperature has dropped, and the act of waking up can feel sudden and urgent. However, the reasons for your interrupted sleep aren’t always easy to identify. Some common explanations for why you might wake up at 3 a.m. include:

Messages From the Universe

It is quieter at 3 a.m. Truly, deeply quiet. This may make it easier for you to receive and/or decipher a message from the Universe, Spirit, or the metaphysical world. Your inhibitions are lower when you’ve just woken, leaving you more receptive to these communications.

Unconscious Travel

You may wake up at 3 a.m. because your mind is returning from a spiritual jaunt. It is not uncommon to travel to or accidentally reach other levels of consciousness during sleep, and returning to your body after this experience can sometimes cause a jolting sensation that is enough to interrupt your rest.


Your subconscious may seek to harness the potent energy of the 3 a.m. hour to manifest your desires. Because this period of time is so spiritually charged, it gives you an opportunity to bring your dreams to fruition. Try repeating some affirmations or writing down what’s going through your head. You may find it easier to go back to sleep afterward.

Spiritual Growth Spurt

Spiritual growth is a tough process and can lead to restless sleep. Waking up at 3 a.m. may indicate that you are in the middle of a spiritual growth spurt, and it can double as a sign that you are on the right track. Use your 3 a.m. wakeup to reflect on how far you’ve come, affirm your process, and celebrate your success.

Stress or Intense Emotion

Whether it’s because the veil is thin, or because your physical body is quiet, or because there are fewer external distractions, difficult emotions can sometimes come to the surface at 3 a.m. This can cause you to stir from sleep in the wee hours of the morning. Take a moment to center yourself and think about how you’re feeling.

Identifying Why You’re Waking Up at 3 A.M.

The cause of your 3 a.m. waking may be abundantly clear to you right off the bat. If it’s not, though, here are some points of consideration that can help you figure it out:

  • What questions do you have? Try asking them. You may get a straightforward answer.
  • Take time to focus on your breathing and quiet your mind. Keep an eye out for any surprising ideas or any thoughts that are stuck on repeat. This may be the message that you’re meant to receive.
  • Take note of your mental and emotional state. Do you feel calm? Nervous? Sad? Alert? Expectant? Your overall headspace, and whether it’s positive or negative, can provide insight into the reason behind your waking.
  • If you are still stuck, consider seeking guidance from a psychic advisor. Discussing your experience with a spiritual expert, such as a Channeling Psychic or Clairvoyant Psychic, can help clarify these mysterious 3 a.m. wakeups.

Making the Most of 3 A.M.

If you’re able to figure out why you woke up at 3 a.m., it may be worth meditating on it before you go back to sleep. Try to form this experience into something useful: is it an issue, question, or goal? Write down your insights so you can return to them later. For this purpose, you may want to keep a pen and paper by your bed. Alternatively, you can use the Notes app on your phone to write things down.

Visualize the future you want for yourself. Imagine yourself having reached this future. What steps will it take to get there? Affirm that your future desires will come to you. You can get there, and you have everything you need to bring your dreams to fruition. From here, with your message received and contemplated, soften your mind and return to sleep.

3 a.m. is a powerful time, and being pulled from your sleep at this hour (especially if it happens repeatedly) can indicate a deep stirring or awakening. Follow your intuition or utilize the ideas in this article to piece together why this is happening. Once you have an idea, open your mind to the experience and integrate the message into your journey. Reach out to a psychic advisor or other spiritual practitioner for guidance if you are feeling stuck.

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