12 Reasons Why You Can’t Fall Asleep at Night

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Have you ever had difficulty getting to sleep at night? You’re lying still in bed, and nothing is occurring – you can’t seem to drift off. All of us have gone through this, and I’m going to explain why this occurs and what steps can be taken to address it.

Why Can’t I Fall Asleep?

It is thought that around 70 million people living in America have some kind of sleeping problem. Approximately one-third of adults have reported going through brief episodes of sleeplessness, while a tenth of them suffer from insomnia over an extended period of time. According to a survey, almost half of them report snoring, and over a third admitted to unintentionally dozing off in the past four weeks. A large portion of the population, between 20-41%, report not getting enough sleep.

Not getting enough rest at night doesn’t mean that there is something wrong with your health or a sleep issue. It is only a minor disruption in your body’s natural rhythm of sleeping and being awake, which can be caused by various factors.

If you don’t suffer from long-term sleeplessness or only occasionally have difficulty dozing off, then there is likely no need to be alarmed. If this situation occurs multiple times a week, it would be wise to investigate what is causing it and make sure to address the issue.

These are the chief causes that make it more difficult to get to sleep, and what can be done about it.

#1 The Wrong Bedtime

Having a consistent schedule for when you go to sleep and wake up is vital in making sure you are in tune with your body’s natural clock. By doing this, the body gets used to when it should produce hormones for sleep and waking up.

If you don’t retire to bed at the right hour, you might not be exhausted enough or sense disoriented. You ought to do your best to hit the hay at a regular hour every day. It’s okay to be a little off schedule by half an hour, but anything longer than that is likely too far.

Not sticking to your usual bedtime can make cortisol levels increase, making you very wakeful and active. The body handles the strain of not sleeping at ordinary times by doing this.

#2 Eating Before Bed

Food also affects your circadian rhythms and sleep. Depending on what kind and how much food you consume and at what time, it can have a negative or a positive effect.

Consuming food too near to when you want to go to sleep can stop you from dozing off due to feeling uneasy, heartburn, high blood sugar levels, or just more energy. You should cease consuming food for at least two hours (but preferably three or four) before turning in for the night, as long as you are not overeating.

Eating meals that have a stimulating effect, such as those that are spicy, sweet, salty, greasy, high in water content, difficult to chew, or containing caffeine can help to keep you alert. Including a combination of protein and carbohydrates before bed typically yields the most favorable results for sleep due to its ability to stimulate the production of serotonin and generate a feeling of relaxation.

Caffeine has a long half-life, meaning that it can take up to 24 hours for your body to fully metabolize it – so it is advisable to cease consumption by midday. Eating chocolate or cacao in the evening can boost your caffeine levels.

#3 Blue Light in the Evening

Being exposed to blue light in the evening has the ability to throw off your body’s internal clock, as well as prevent the production of melatonin. Decreasing overall sleep quality contributes to weight gain as it can stimulate the production of cortisol, a hormone associated with gaining weight.

Studies have demonstrated that compared to incandescent lightbulbs, white LED lighting inhibits the production of melatonin fivefold. It is not advisable to be beneath LED or luminescent lights during the night. Using lights that are amber or tungsten-filament bulbs may not be the best option, however they are still superior to not using them.

A 2011 study was conducted to compare the melatonin levels in people living in moderately-lit environments (under 200 lux) to those living in dimly-lit environments (under 3 lux). A study has revealed that having light on in the room prior to bed nullified melatonin creation in nearly all participants, lessening the amount of time of increased melatonin during slumber by nearly two hours. When someone is exposed to light in their living space while they are supposed to be sleeping, melatonin levels can reduce by more than 50%.

To safeguard your very own body clock and the production of melatonin, you should think about wearing blue blocking glasses that keep out blue and green wavelengths. You need to completely filter out the full range of the blue light instead of just blocking off some areas since it is that light that impacts melatonin. I have chosen BluBlox due to the fact that their lenses have been proven to be effective against certain frequencies. You can receive a reduction of 15% if you enter the coupon code SIIM.

#4 Exercising Too Close to Bed

A comprehensive study from 2018 indicates that physical activity may be beneficial in lessening the signs of insomnia, even without the use of sedatives. Studies have suggested that strength training can enhance the quality of deep sleep and raise the body’s desire for restful sleep. Strength training is accountable for improving the body’s capacity to fall asleep rapidly and remain in deeper sleep levels.

In order to ensure an easy night’s sleep, you should refrain from doing very strenuous exercise close to bedtime. This might cause you to be in tune with what’s going on and prevent you from nodding off. Working out in the morning may lead to better rest at night as it activates the parasympathetic nervous system.

It is advisable to abstain from strenuous physical activities after 6-7 PM or at minimum, 4 hours before going to sleep. Taking a leisurely stroll after eating or before turning in for the night is a great activity to help relax and fall asleep, but don’t make it a race.

#5 Working Too Late in the Evening

Psychological strain can be as invigorating as physical activity or caffeine consumption. If your mind is buzzing and lively, then it likely won’t be keen on falling asleep.

Stress caused by work is often the cause of people’s inability to get a good night’s sleep. It raises cortisol, sympathetic arousal, and alertness.

It is advisable to give yourself a few hours break from work prior to hitting the pillow in order to enable your mind to relax and prepare for sleep. It’s best to avoid looking at emails or doing work-related tasks after you finish eating dinner and instead focus on leisure and relaxation.

If you’re short on time, concentrate on getting more done throughout the day and organize your time properly. Nighttime should be used for readying for bed and calming down.

#6 You’re Dealing with Cortisol Dysregulation

If you’re feeling worn out but can’t drift off, this could be the problem you’re facing. We call it wired and tired. This is one of the most common issues that I come across when dealing with patients who struggle to drift off to sleep.

We have already gone over the ramifications of stress on the autonomic nervous system. A piece of what is referred to as the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal (HPA) network is involved. The hypothalamus, a section of the brain, and the pituitary gland regulate the adrenal glands, the ones that produce cortisol, the hormone that is associated with stress. Stress of any kind, whether physical, mental, or emotional, will cause cortisol levels to rise. The heightened presence of cortisol makes it even more difficult to experience the relaxation and digestion that is necessary for falling asleep.

If your physician suspects this is what could be wrong with you, they can assess your levels with a 4-part cortisol test to gauge your cortisol levels all day. When it’s time to go to bed, your levels should ideally be at the lowest point. If that doesn’t happen, Parsley Health’s physicians and counselors collaborate with their members to reduce cortisol levels in a natural way.

#7 Inflammation Is Leading to a Hormonal Imbalance

The most serious health issue likely to face the world today is likely to be chronic inflammation. Our body views inflammation as a warning signal.

Recall the situation previously mentioned where the gazelle does not give birth when escaping the lion. Among the first to be affected by a state of sympathetic nervous system activity are our sex hormones and thyroid hormones. This could be a catalyst for disruptions in hormone levels, which might have an effect on energy and the body’s natural clock, possibly wreaking havoc on our capacity to drop off to sleep.

Menstruating women who have high levels of estrogen and too little progesterone are particularly prone to having difficulty sleeping. A hormone that has a calming effect, progesterone, is the origin of cortisol. When we experience a high level of fatigue, anxiety, or distress, our progesterone levels are often insufficient.

If you have difficulties with sleeping that happen at the same time as your period, it’s an indication that this could be a problem for you. If you are going through perimenopause or menopause, an imbalance of hormones could be the cause of your Sleep problems.

Your physician can assist you in having your hormonal amounts evaluated. The specialists will give you guidance on dietary and physical activity adjustments that can help restore hormones to their expected amounts.

#8 You’re Deficient in Magnesium

It appears as though Magnesium is the most common nutrient deficiency we come across. It is difficult to obtain this mineral from food sources since it is not commonly present in the soil anymore. Many individuals can benefit considerably from taking magnesium supplements, so if you have difficulty drifting off to sleep, it’s an excellent choice. This is due to the fact that it is beneficial for the brain, and it can aid in achieving a peaceful slumber.

Be certain that you are receiving a soluble type of magnesium: glycinate, glutarate, aspartate, or threonate. Avoid magnesium citrate and oxide. Those can aid in the expulsion of your feces, but they are not very helpful in aiding you in getting some rest.

If you have difficulty sleeping regularly, it may be beneficial to speak to a medical professional.

#9 Alcohol Is Messing with Your Brain Waves

Drinking booze is often a misstep when it comes to getting enough rest because people usually take it as a way to relax and tamp down their alert sympathetic nervous system. Alcohol is an anesthetic that can reduce the activity of your brainwaves, leading to a more laid-back state. Once the impact has dissipated, the brain activity resumes and creates an alert state. Depending on when you consume alcohol, it could either prevent you from being able to fall asleep or wake you up during the night.

Therefore, it could be beneficial to abstain from consuming alcohol until your sleeping difficulties are resolved.

#10 Your Afternoon (Or Morning!) Coffee Is Still Affecting You

Many individuals don’t recognize the extent to which their morning coffee intake is still having an impact on their body during the evening. She notes that part of the way in which your body metabolizes caffeine is dependent on genetic makeup. Certain individuals are not as successful at metabolizing caffeine, resulting in their 10 am coffee having an effect that remains in their bodies even through the night.

Those who are lucky enough to process caffeine genetically without issue can still become dependent on the substance; this makes it more difficult to sleep and leads to an ongoing cycle. Around the late afternoon, there are still some projects that need to be completed, yet you are exhausted as you didn’t get any sleep the prior night. Therefore, you drink a cup of coffee to stay awake. However, it makes it harder to eventually doze off the following evening.

If you habitually drink things containing caffeine and find it hard to get to sleep, try and see what the results are when you either drastically cut down or totally take out caffeine from what you’re eating. It can be tough to put this into practice, however, since she discovers that a lot of individuals do not provide it adequate opportunities. That is because if your body is accustomed to consuming caffeine, taking it away will make your sympathetic nervous system go into overdrive as a reaction, which may make slumbering harder for a brief period of time.

Be confident that if you persist for seven days, you can decide whether taking out caffeine is beneficial to you or not. The coaches employed by Parsley often work with people to wean them off caffeine gradually while checking on their reactions.

#11 You’re Anxious About Falling Asleep

Having concerns about not being able to drift off is a common phenomenon that could make the primary problem even worse. Individuals who have difficulty in dozing off can become fixated on the clock, frequently shifting and flipping around in bed, questioning why they are yet to drift off. Now they have intensified their worry in addition to the underlying issues affecting their ability to get to sleep.

Creating a tranquil environment is necessary for a good night’s sleep, which requires a room that is dark, peaceful, and at a comfortable temperature. She points out that although some of these ideas may appear to be straightforward, they can still have a massive influence.

#12 You Have a Hidden Infection

The HPA axis can become imbalanced because of physical strain, and something that is often overlooked as a source of physical tension is buried viruses and illnesses. A wide variety of ailments, including illnesses carried by ticks, parasitic infections, and viruses like Epstein-Barr, cytomegalovirus, and herpes zoster, can be stressful and burdensome on the body.

These are called “concealed” as they are remarkable at avoiding detection by the immune system, which makes finding out about the issue and resolving it troublesome. The primary indicator that you’re struggling with cortisol-induced sleep difficulty is not feeling rested even after obtaining an adequate amount of sleep, though an inability to fall asleep in the first place is also a common sign. Other indications of illness might include fatigue and the presence of a mental haze without a fever; in addition, body aches and pains that might impede the ability to drift off to sleep.

Fall Asleep Every Night

It is evident that there could be numerous explanations for why you may be unable to get to sleep during the night. The effects of some are greater than others; however, these are the usual ones.

In order to determine which factor is having the biggest impact on you, you should try different scenarios and see the results. Cut off the wireless internet connection for one evening or finish your meal earlier. See what happens. It is likely that you will have a more restful sleep and be able to drift off to sleep more quickly.

The strategies I gave are beneficial for not only stopping sleeplessness but also optimizing the quality of your rest. People do not realize the importance of sleep and think it is typical to be up late, but this is not the case. They have no idea how wonderful a restful sleep can be.


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