5 Possible Reasons You Can’t Get To Sleep

For some of us, getting to sleep can be a real mission. It can result in hours of tossing and turning, which can become more frantic as it gets to the early hours of the morning. There are many factors that can stop us from getting to sleep easily. Here are five possible reasons you may be struggling to drift off.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash


You’re too stressed
Stress can keep many of us up at night. When stressed, our body releases cortisol which makes our mind more alert and our body more energised. Taking the time to de-stress before bed could help to flush out this cortisol so that your mind isn’t racing and your body isn’t tense. There may be forms of bedtime meditation that you can try in order to get yourself de-stressed. A hot bath meanwhile is another effective stress reliever. Avoid stressbusters such as exercise, which may simply perk you up and make it harder to sleep.
You’ve been consuming the wrong foods/drinks before bed
Certain foods and drinks will make it harder to go to sleep. Caffeine is the biggest culprit – coffee or tea before bed is best avoided and you may want to limit chocolate (this often contains caffeine too). High-sugar drinks may also keep you up, whilst fatty foods may cause bloating that makes getting to sleep difficult. Instead, try foods like honey or oats, which can help you get to sleep by promoting the hormone melatonin. Bananas and almonds are also good sleep inducers due to their content of magnesium.

You’ve been looking at too many bright screens before bed
Staring at a bright TV, laptop or phone screen before bed could be tricking your brain into thinking that it’s still daylight hours, delaying the release of melatonin. Try to make it a habit of turning off all devices with screens an hour before going to sleep. As mentioned earlier, you could try having a hot bath or meditating instead, or you could read a book – anything that doesn’t involve a screen.

Your bed/bedroom is too uncomfortable
An uncomfortable bed could also be preventing you from getting to sleep. If you suffer from any kind of back or joint pain, you may find that a soft mattress exacerbates the pain, whilst a firm mattress provides more support. Alternatively, some people may prefer a soft mattress that they can sink into. It’s also important that your bedding doesn’t make your too hot or cold – consider using different materials of sheets for different seasons to help regulate temperature more easily.

You’ve been lying in too late
Lying in late will make it harder to go to sleep at a reasonable time. Because you haven’t been awake long enough, your body and brain won’t be ready to sleep. Try making an effort to get up earlier even if you have no reason to. If it’s your day off from work, you may still be able to get a lie in – you may just want to keep a cut off point such as 10am to prevent you lying in too long so that you can then go to bed at a reasonable time the following night.
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