Why Can't I Sleep?

Rahul Shivkumar's profile picture
Rahul Shivkumar
Dec 12, 202211 min read
Why Can't I Sleep?

Why Can't I Sleep?

If you've tried everything to get more sleep and nothing seems to work, there's a good chance that your problem is something that you can actually control. We all have different bodies and needs, but many people suffer from the same poor sleep habits that keep them up at night. So here are nine reasons why you might be losing sleep—and what we can all do about them:

Can't Sleep? 9 Reasons You Might Be Losing Sleep

There are many reasons why you may be losing sleep, but here are some of the most common.

  • Too many late nights at the office: If you're staying up too late working or watching TV, it's going to have a negative impact on your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep.
  • Not enough sunlight during the day: The sun helps regulate our body's internal clock, so if you haven't been getting enough exposure (or if you've been spending too much time indoors), it could be affecting when and how easily you fall asleep.
  • Not eating or drinking well: Eating junk food makes us feel more tired than healthy food does—and it has little nutritional value anyway! If this is happening frequently enough, it could make falling asleep more challenging because we feel sluggish after consuming these types of foods. Drinking alcohol before bedtime can also interfere with sleep by slowing down metabolism and reducing REM cycles (more on that later).

You should also make sure that any medication prescriptions aren't interfering with your ability to get restful sleep as well; check with your doctor if there is any doubt about whether something might cause issues in this area!

Too many late nights at the office?

If your work schedule makes it difficult to get a full night's sleep, try these tips to help you catch up:

  • Avoid caffeine after 4 p.m. Caffeine is notorious for stimulating the brain and keeping you awake past your bedtime, so cut out coffee, tea and energy drinks after afternoon hours. If you're having trouble sleeping at night and want some of that jolt from caffeine (think: energy boost), then opt for green tea instead—it has less caffeine than its caffeinated counterparts but still gives you some of that mental stimulation.
  • Take a short nap in the afternoon. A 20-minute power nap can refresh your tired body and mind enough to last through the rest of your evening without feeling fatigued when it's time for bed! Try setting an alarm on your phone or computer so that a gentle reminder wakes you up before falling asleep again.
  • Exercise in the afternoon. Exercising in the late morning or early evening can be really helpful when trying to fall asleep at night because endorphins produced during exercise make us feel happier and more relaxed—two key components needed when getting ready for bed! My favorite way to do this is by taking a walk outside because being outdoors makes everything feel calmer…and who doesn't love fresh air?

You're not getting enough sunlight during the day.

You need sunlight in the morning. It’s natural to wake up when the sun rises and go to sleep when it sets, so if you don’t have enough exposure to sunlight during the day, your body will start to think it’s time for bed at all hours of the day. If you live in a city and don't get much natural light due to smog or nighttime street lights, consider spending more time outside on sunny days. Sunlight is also beneficial because it helps keep your circadian rhythm aligned with nature—when there's daylight, your body knows that it should be awake!

You're not eating or drinking well.

A balanced diet is the key to healthy sleep patterns. Caffeine and alcohol are stimulants that interfere with quality sleep, so try to avoid them before bedtime. Avoid heavy, spicy or sugary foods right before bed because they can upset your stomach and make you restless.

Drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated, but don’t drink within two hours of going to bed (water will fill up your bladder and wake you up). Avoid eating within two hours before heading to bed as well; food will take longer than one hour to digest, which can make it harder for you to fall asleep when your body needs rest most.

You're not exercising enough.

Exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, and it can be one of your best allies when you're trying to sleep better. It can help relax the body and mind, release endorphins that make you feel happier, lower stress levels and anxiety (which could be keeping you up), keep your metabolism steady throughout the night so that you don't wake up starving for food after a big meal before bedtime, and increase overall energy levels so that if you're tired during the day from lack of sleep or whatever else keeps getting in the way of restful slumber—you'll be able to handle it better.

Your mattress is too noisy, hard or old.

To test a mattress for noise, lie down on the bed and press the palms of your hands firmly into both ends of the mattress. If you hear a loud thumping sound, it's likely that your bed is too noisy to sleep well in.

How do you determine if a mattress is too hard? Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Then push yourself up so that only your shoulders, head and neck are touching the surface of the mattress. If you were able to maintain this position without any effort at all, then congratulations—your mattress is not too firm! If you found that just raising yourself up made supporting yourself difficult or painful (and let’s be honest here: most people do), then chances are high that this bed isn’t right for you either.

Finally (and most importantly), how can we tell if our mattresses are old enough? Well this one really depends upon when they were made: if they're newer than ten years old but older than 15 years old then chances are good there won't be any problems at all since these types usually have long lifespans despite most being sold as disposable items today due to their low cost relative value compared against other products which means they'll last longer than expected while costing less money overall over time...

Your sheets are the wrong fabric or size for your bed.

Your sheets might be the wrong size and/or fabric if they're not working well for you.

  • You want your sheets to be soft, but not too soft. Some people prefer a more firm sleeping surface, while others like their pillows and sheets to conform to them as they sleep. Most people will find that an in-between level of softness is ideal for them—not too hard or too soft.
  • The temperature of the room where you sleep can affect how cool (or warm) your bed feels. If it's hot outside or in your home, having cooler sheets might help keep you from overheating at night. Conversely, if it's cold outside or in your home and you have warm-natured family members who tend to get chilly easily, having warmer sheets may make them feel more comfortable during the winter months when most people associate colder temperatures with better sleep quality.(2)
  • It's important that the size of the bedding matches up with whatever size mattress is underneath it because otherwise it could cause uncomfortable bunching up around certain areas on top while leaving large gaps elsewhere.(3) This can lead some people—especially those who toss around a lot when they’re asleep—to wake up feeling sore because there are no cushioning materials supporting their body weight evenly across all parts of their bodies.(4) It may also put pressure points on certain parts (like hips), so consider trying out different sizes until finding one that works best without causing any pain points while lying down flatly among other factors such as comfort levels associated with height differences between partners sharing beds together within one household unit; this means adjusting accordingly before buying anything new just yet!

Your bedroom is just too darn hot, cold, humid or dry.

One of the most important factors that can affect your sleep is temperature. In general, you should try to keep your bedroom cool and comfortable. If it’s too hot or cold, you might have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep.

The best way to maintain a good temperature in your bedroom is by using a fan; this will help keep air circulating through the room and lower humidity levels. You may also want to invest in some white noise machines if you live near busy streets or next door to people who snore loudly! These machines will create sounds—like waves crashing against rocks—to drown out irritating noises so that you can relax more easily when it's time for bedtime.

It’s important not only how hot or cold your room is but also whether there are any drafts coming from windows or doors as well as whether there's enough humidity in the air (too much moisture can cause mold). Humidity levels above 65% will lead both adults and children into feeling tired while sleeping at night due to allergies caused by dust mites which thrive on high-moisture environments like ours here on earth today: they live off human skin cells while we're alive! So make sure no one has left open windows behind after getting up early this morning before anyone else wakes them up by going outside without shoes on their feet."

Your room is simply too bright.

If you ever find yourself struggling to fall asleep, try looking at your room from the perspective of a sleep researcher. It turns out that there's a difference between being in the dark and being in the light. Even if you're sleeping with your eyes closed, any light that reaches your brain will cause it to wake up and stay awake longer than it would otherwise.

The same goes for ambient noise: if you live near an airport or highway, or have neighbors who like to go jogging at 6 AM every morning, it may be difficult to get enough rest because of all the noise pollution around you. If this sounds like something that could be happening in your life right now, consider investing in earplugs or noise canceling headphones (if possible). They'll help reduce outside distraction so that only what matters most can make its way into your room: namely yourself and those things necessary for good sleep hygiene (like having enough blankets).

You can't stop worrying about things before bed.

You worry about things you have no control over, and it keeps you from sleeping.

If your mind is buzzing with thoughts of things that happened during the day or are coming up tomorrow, it's going to be difficult for you to relax enough to sleep. You may not even realize this is happening because our brains naturally wander when we're trying to fall asleep. If your thoughts happen during the day and they don't affect your ability to fall asleep at night, then they're probably not a big deal. But if they keep popping up in ways that keep you awake and anxious at night, there are some things you can do to get yourself back on track.

  • Give yourself permission: The first step towards making progress is simply recognizing that there's a problem and giving yourself permission not only acknowledge it but also make changes accordingly.* Accept what can’t be changed: Once again, this may sound counterintuitive or even obvious—but accepting what cannot change actually makes us feel better about ourselves overall.* Don’t dwell on negative thoughts: Negative thoughts often come out of nowhere without warning; however once identified by their presence then we can work on eliminating them from our minds completely.* Be present in the moment: Instead of worrying about tomorrow or yesterday focus instead on being present in whatever activity or conversation currently occupies your time right now – this helps reduce anxiety levels significantly

Here are some reasons you might be able to control that are sabotaging your sleep

  • Your thoughts about the future. If you can't sleep, try to relax and not worry about everything that's going on in your life.
  • Caffeine, nicotine and alcohol near bedtime. These stimulants can make it harder for you to fall asleep. Try to avoid them within a few hours of your regular bedtime.
  • See a doctor if you're having trouble sleeping no matter what you try (excluding prescription medications). It may be an indication that something more serious is going on with your health than simple insomnia.

Rahul Shivkumar's profile picture
Rahul Shivkumar

Software Engineer & Sleep Enthusiast

It’s time to stop blaming the night monsters.

Let’s work together to transform your sleep for the better.