Why Can’t I sleep Through the Night – 8 possible reasons

Why Can’t I sleep through the night? There are many reasons and combinations of factors why some people can’t sleep through the night.   Eating later in the day, too much physical, electronic stimulation before bed, drinking alcohol in the afternoon, room temperature, irregular schedules, age, and, underlying conditions, are all factors that can lead to poor sleep and possibly cause adverse health conditions. 

Chances are this has happened more often than you would like. The inability to sleep soundly through the night can be frustrating and add to your feeling fatigued and groggy during the following day as well as lead to other health conditions.  Here are 8 reasons why this happens and a few suggestions to help you get the sleep you need.

1) Eating late at night

Eating late at night can wreak havoc with your sleeping patterns and is one of the most common reasons for sleep issues. Not only can it be hard to digest food before bed, but certain foods can also release energy and make it harder to sleep. So, if you’re struggling to sleep through the night, late-night snacks could be part of the problem.

Avoid sugary drinks or heavy meals near bedtime and instead opt for dinner earlier in the evening so that digestion can take place well before you turn in. Stay away from caffeinated drinks like coffee and tea after 2:00 pm (although black tea may not have as much caffeine as coffee) and limit your alcohol intake as well. If you need a drink before bed, go for something calming like warm milk or herbal tea rather than something energizing like soda or juice.

2) Electronics before bedtime

This “stimulation” is more prevalent today than ever.  It’s important to disconnect from electronic devices well before bedtime, and don’t keep them on your nightstand next to your bed! The blue light from screens can suppress melatonin production and make it harder to fall asleep. If you must use electronics before bed, try using lower light settings or using an app that filters out blue light. 

3) Room Temperature

We all tend to sleep better when it’s cooler.  Waking up with a sweat-soaked shirt will certainly make falling back asleep more difficult.  Keep your bedroom cool: A room temperature of 60 degrees will help regulate your body temperature while you sleep.

4) Alcohol in your system before bedtime

Most people know that drinking alcohol before bedtime can disrupt sleep. But did you know that alcohol causes four different types of sleep problems? First, it decreases Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep. REM sleep is when we dream, and it’s thought to be important for consolidating memories and learning new information. Second, alcohol decreases slow-wave sleep. Slow-wave sleep is when our brainwaves are at their slowest and it’s thought to be important for physical recovery and tissue growth. Third, alcohol increases light sleep, and finally, it can lead to a decrease in total sleep time and an increase in waking time during the night.

5) Irregular schedule

Many people refer to this as trying to burn the candle at both ends.   It’s important to prioritize and focus on tasks that are meaningful to you based on your personal needs.   Some people simply try to do too much, get involved in too many activities, schedule too many events, and don’t know how to say NO when asked if they can help.  This type of personality has many benefits, however, it also carries with it many cons. 

Negative health consequences are one of the downsides of this personality trait.  If your schedule is too full of top priorities, your mind tends to wander, especially in those early hours of the morning when you wake up and start thinking about everything that needs to be done, and you spiral into a panic that does not allow you to go back to sleep.  It’s important to take care of yourself and divvy out your talents to those who need you the most, so you are around for the long haul. 

5) Unwinding before bedtime

If you’re having trouble sleeping through the night, it’s important to first assess your sleep hygiene. This means taking a look at your pre-bedtime routine and making sure you’re doing everything you can to wind down before trying to sleep. A few things you can do to wind down are reading a book, taking a bath, or writing in a journal. Make sure to avoid anything with high levels of stimulation like TV, social media, or video games. Finally, don’t exercise too close to bedtime. It takes about 30 minutes for your body temperature to return to normal after an intense workout which will make it difficult for you to fall asleep, so to be safe allow about 1-2 hours after a workout before heading to bed.

6) Age

It’s common to develop sleep problems as the body’s production of melatonin and cortisol decrease as we get older.  In particular, when we reach the age of 60 or older this becomes more of an issue.  It’s important that we don’t compound this biological fact with other factors mentioned in this article. 

7) Napping during the day

This can be a difficult cycle to break.  If you’re not sleeping well at night, there’s the tendency to want to nap during the day.  While this may not be a bad thing, the length of the nap is important.  If you find yourself experiencing a “tired spell” that is impacting your ability to function normally, take a 10-15 min power nap.  This is all you need to get through the rest of the day.  Longer duration naps will almost certainly impact your sleep at night.

8) Underlying Health Condition

An underlying health condition is not the case in almost every instance of insomnia, however, discussing this topic with your healthcare professional is always a good idea.

The Solution(s)

Developing good sleep habits to counter all of the above-mentioned factors is what experts refer to as good sleep hygiene.   Take a scatter shot approach to improve the quality and quantity of your sleep.  Avoid alcohol, don’t eat late in the day, avoid sugary drinks, develop an appropriate routine, exercise at least a few hours before bedtime, keep your room cool, and most of all… Relax..

There are also a number of natural sleep aids.  One that has been found to be highly effective and very polular these days is Relaxium Sleep, however, there are several more that are safe and effective that we would also recommend – see below.

Sleep Well and be Healthy!

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