Why can't I Sleep?

‘Oh! I wish I could sleep some more. I feel so tired!’ If this is something you feel every day before getting out of bed, possibly you could be a victim of sleep deprivation. And just to let you know, you are not alone in this. On average, 51% of adults have issues with getting a good night's sleep. That’s why you will come across a whole lot of people who try to complete their sleep during the weekend. It is found that women are more likely to have insomnia than men.

Reasons why you are having problems with sleep

‘Why can't I sleep? I’ve been trying hard to fall asleep.’ This is often a common problem, which everyone faces at least once a week. For several reasons, it is natural to have less sleep at night. However, when this becomes an everyday affair and starts bothering your psychological and physiological health, you should take it seriously. Sleeping for fewer hours in the long term may lead to sleep disorders. So, let’s delve into the causes that can help you understand why sleeping peacefully seems like a difficult task for you. Certain reasons why you find it hard to fall asleep even if you are too tired are listed here.

•    You have a different circadian rhythm

Human bodies have their circadian rhythm, which is largely hereditary. Circadian rhythm is an internal timekeeper for whatever you do in a day. The circadian system works according to the biological clock of the body. You may not believe it, but the sleep cycle of a human is connected to the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) in the human brain. The SCN controls the production of the melatonin hormone, which regulates sleep. The level of melatonin remains lower in the human body when it’s daytime. As the sun sets, the amount of melatonin starts to increase. It is said that human bodies get ready to sleep after two hours of melatonin rising in the system. Your sleep cycle might be different from others, but it should never lead to poor sleep hygiene. If you feel tired yet not sleepy, perhaps the circadian rhythm is not functioning properly.

•    Anxiety and depression can leads to sleep deprivation

When you are anxious, you can hardly rest your mind. Anxiety keeps your mind wide awake and, thus, leads to delayed sleep. So, people suffering from anxiety disorders may find it nearly impossible to sleep peacefully. Gradually, your sleep is devastated, and you are prone to getting insomnia. A sleep disorder is not the reason for depression. However, lack of sleep can worsen depression. Less sleep and depression share a complex relationship, and it can easily affect circadian rhythms.

•    Alcohol consumption may affect your sleep cycle

You may not like this fact, but it is true. A small amount of alcohol may help relax your mind. The preliminary effect of alcohol can help you doze off quickly, but you can hardly have a sound sleep. Nevertheless, excessive alcohol consumption regularly can invite sleep deprivation. Insomnia and alcoholism are strongly connected. On another note, drinking too much may require urinating more than once, which can harm quality sleep.

•    Stress could be a reason for less sleep

If you have a disrupted sleep cycle because of stress, then you need to meditate for better sleep. Once the working hours are over and your mind is free from the work pressure, it tends to focus on your unachieved goals. As a result, you start facing problems with sleep, and your health deteriorates. The reason for your stress can be personal as well as professional. It may not be possible to improve the situation immediately, but you can try to face it with lots of positivity.

•    You can’t sleep because you ate too much

Having a plate of noodles as your late-night snack, and complaining about why you are unable to sleep is not justified at all. Eating too much before going to bed can cause less sleep at night. When you put your stomach through a heavy digestion process, you are most likely to stay awake. A spicy meal late at night can cause indigestion, resulting in heartburn and other health issues. So, it is better if you have a light dinner before sleeping.

•   High screen time could lead to problems with sleep

Too much exposure to light can be a reason why you can’t sleep. Try to switch off the lights if you are trying to fall asleep fast. Not only can lights disrupt your sleep, but also so can smartphones and other electronic devices. Watching a movie or a web series right before you are planning to sleep is not a good idea. In particular, if you are suffering from sleep deprivation, scrolling through your smartphone at night is a big no-no. Reducing screen time can improve your chances of falling asleep.

How ‘I can’t sleep’ can turn into a good night’s sleep

Experts say that 7-8 hours of sleep is important for good health. Some of you may have to adjust to four to six hours of sleep owing to professional or personal commitments. But poor sleeping habits, in the long run, can give way to various diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, hormonal imbalance, weak immunity systems, high blood pressure, indigestion, diabetes, obesity, etc. If you are suffering from fragmented sleep and it is bothering your day-to-day life, you can seek medical help. Keep track of your sleep timing for a week or so, before you take up an appointment.

Other than that,

-You can try to indulge yourself in a better lifestyle.
-Eat healthily.
-Watch your alcohol intake.
-Practice yoga or any other physical activity you like.
-Avoid frequent naps.
-Go to bed at a reasonable hour.
-Try to turn the lights off.
-Take up a reading habit.
-Keep your smartphone away.

A healthy sleeping pattern plays a crucial role in life. Sleep helps to refresh, rejuvenate, and restart the human body, filled with a new energy. If you are also struggling to get a quality sleep like a million others, don’t take it for-granted and get into action. An expert hand is the ultimate solution, but until then, I hope these remedies will help you get rid of all your half-remembered dreams, and promote better sleep to some extent.

Note: The article is meant for general awareness of the readers. If you or your loved ones are struggling to get a good sleep, consider an expert consultation.

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