Why Can I Not Sleep? 9 Things to Be Aware of

There are a lot of reasons why a person can’t sleep.

Insomnia can mean that it is difficult to fall asleep or that you can fall asleep but can’t stay asleep so that you wake up several times during the night.

Why Can I Not Sleep? 9 Things to Be Aware of

Some typical reasons why you might be unable to sleep include the following:

1. Poor Ambiance

If the room is too hot or too cold, too light, or too noisy, you may be unable to get a good night’s rest. Bedrooms are best kept cool so that you can snuggle under the covers. They are best kept dark and quiet as well.

Make sure you use your bed for sleeping so you don’t associate your bed with any activity that can be activating to your central nervous system. If you like slipping down into a warm bed you might want to consider a heated mattress pad for comfort.

2. Bad Habits

Eating right before sleeping, smoking or drinking alcohol before sleeping, and exercising before sleeping can all interfere with your ability to sleep.

Drinking a caffeinated beverage before sleeping can also negatively impact your ability to get to sleep at night or to keep you sleeping throughout the night.

3. Jet Lag

If you are a frequent flyer and need to cross over several time zones in your traveling, you can disrupt your inner sleeping mechanism so that your brain is unable to sleep when it’s time to sleep in your new time zone.

Sleep is partly regulated by melatonin, a hormone that is produced in the pineal gland.  Jet lag can be partly overcome by taking melatonin before sleep.  This will trick your body into going to sleep regardless of the time.

4. Pain

If you are like 15 percent of all Americans, you suffer from some type of chronic pain that increases your chances of suffering from insomnia secondary to pain.

Typical causes of insomnia secondary to chronic pain include pain in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), headaches, and back pain.  Sleeping after taking something for the pain can improve your chances of getting a good night’s sleep.

5. Shift Work

If you happen to work during the night and sleep during the day, you can suffer from sleep problems. This backward method of sleeping interferes with the body’s natural tendency to sleep during nighttime hours and being awake during daytime hours.

People who rotate from day to night work have the worst trouble sleeping and have been found to have decreased levels of serotonin in the brain, which normally helps in the sleep process.

6. Stress and Mental Illness

The inability to sleep is one of the main symptoms of both anxiety states and depression.  The same neurotransmitters that help you to sleep are the ones that result in anxiety and depression.

This is why people who take selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) for depression and anxiety tend to sleep better after taking the medication.

7. Sleep Apnea

You can have a problem with snoring that goes far beyond just being a noisy sleeper. You can snore to the point where you actually suffer from a lack of oxygenation to the brain and this causes you to wake up multiple times during the night to catch your breath.

You can feel as though you are getting enough sleep but, in actuality, you are not getting enough sleep so you are tired during the day.

8. Hormones

This is especially a problem of women, who have more fluctuations in hormones when compared to men. Changes in hormones can happen as a result of pregnancy, menstruation, and menopause and all of these changes impact the ability to sleep.

Menopause is especially problematic as the reduction in estrogen can lead to hot flashes and night sweats that interfere with sleep.

9. Medical problems

You can have difficulty sleeping if you have heart or lung problems that cause you to be short of breath.  Diseases like COPD, asthma, and heart failure can result in insomnia that negatively impacts your ability to have a good night’s rest.

Why Can I Not Sleep? 9 Things to Be Aware of, what’s your take?

Sleep better and more comfortable using a heated mattress pad or a full body pillow.

If you are a sidesleeper consider a special knee pillow for sidesleepers.