9 Not So Obvious Reasons Why You Can’t Sleep at Night

by Peter Parker
man suffers through insomnia

At some nights, getting ZZZs is just problematic. No matter how much you toss and turn on your bed, your mind won’t cooperate and continues to be actively working on thoughts you don’t want to think. This is common given the kind of time we live today. Distractions are everywhere. Even when you’re alone in your room, quieting your mind could be so challenging.

Good sleep is one important key to staying healthy. It defines your energy levels the following morning. Failing to get adequate sleep, consequently, makes you less energetic the next day. When this happens over and over again, your productivity will get affected as well as your health.

There are lots of tips and suggestions out there to help you fall asleep. While they’re effective, knowing why you can’t sleep is the best strategy to avoid falling into the same situation again. By identifying what prevents you from falling asleep, you’ll get the right strategy that can help you solve your sleeping problems.

Read on and see what is the real cause behind your sleeping issues.

1. Depression

Which comes first, being depressed due to lack of sleep or lacking sleep due to depression? Whichever the case is, poor sleep and depression are connected to each other. When you’re depressed, two things can happen; it’s either you get more sleep than you should, or you get nothing at all.

According to health experts, lack of sleep or insomnia is one symptom of clinical depression. There are days when things just seem to feel out of whack, which can be normal. But if you feel you’re depressed most of the days in a week, you might have a case of depression. Seek professional help if you think you need it. Once your mood improves so is your sleeping habit too.

2. Failing to cool down before bed

If you’re like most of us, you might be busy doing too many tasks before bed. You could be taking care of kids, surfing the net, doing household stuff, watching TV, or working late on a project. All these things keep your energy high.

When you go straight to bed without taking time to cool down, falling asleep naturally is hard to do. Experts recommend that you allow yourself to cool down, at least, one hour before taking a shut eye. You may want to try taking a warm shower, reading a book (not from a gadget) or doing relaxing poses that can induce you to sleep better.

3. Smoking

You’ve always heard it, smoking is dangerous for your health. And yes, it can affect your sleep too. Nicotine in cigarettes is a stimulant that keeps you awake a while longer. If possible, try to avoid smoking before bedtime.

business man taking an afternoon nap4. Napping late in the afternoon

Napping longer than 30 minutes in the late afternoon can hamper your ability to fall asleep. If you need to take a nap, do it earlier. Do things that can reeve up your energy when you feel like lying on the couch.

5. Using peppermint

Most toothpaste products use peppermint flavor to keep your breath fresh. Peppermint is especially helpful in making you start your day fresh. It has properties that can make you alert according to studies. But using peppermint flavored toothpaste before bedtime might not be a good idea. Trying other products might be a good option.

6. Drinking coffee

Coffee is popular for people who want to stay awake and alert. Sipping caffeine in the morning is ultimately great to kickstart your day. And when you’re feeling tired or having to do many tasks during the day, you’d probably grab a cup of coffee to keep you going.

It’s safe to have a cup before afternoon, hours beyond that might not be ideal for your body to prepare you for a good night’s rest. Caffeine stays as long as five hours in your system. The presence of caffeine in the body can block adenosine, the substance that can trigger you to feel sleepy.

On the other hand, caffeine can also make you feel nervous. When your nerves aren’t calm, the feeling of sleepiness can hardly come.

7. Sleeping with your pet

Pets sleeping with you in the room can disturb your sleep too. Unlike humans who follow a body clock, your pets don’t have the concept of time in their heads. They can wake up in the middle of the night and scratch your door just to be allowed to go outside.

Cats are nocturnal creatures who want to roam the house at midnight. They may play some of your stuff or slam things down, which keeps you awake. Putting your pets somewhere else in the house may be the only solution for you to doze off easily.

8. Screwing up your biological clock

Those Friday nights out with friends and late-night parties are sure fun. And the next day, you’re spending your whole morning in bed to recover the lost sleep. While there’s nothing wrong with giving yourself a break after a hard week’s work, the process might hurt your internal body clock. Screwing up your biological clock can send your body a bit off balance. No wonder you’re feeling less energetic as Monday comes.

9. Spending time with your gadget before bed

late night mobile phone useThe screen on your gadget emits a blue light that can make you awake. According to experts, blue light isn’t harmful, not unless you don’t spend too much time on your gadget before hitting your bed. The exposure to blue light and other lights in the night may be a risk factor to underlying health conditions like diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and cancer according to research.

Your body has evolved to recognize that daylight keeps your internal clock aligned with the environment. This means any artificial light during the night could be detrimental to your overall health. These lights can suppress the levels of melatonin, the sleep-inducing hormone, in your body. Lower levels of melatonin are linked to cancer.

If you’re addicted to technology and can’t wait to check your social media feed often, you may want to reconsider and create a habit that can help you improve your sleep. And it’s only as simple as turning off your gadget 30 minutes before you doze off.


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