5 Reasons why you’re tired but can’t sleep

November 23, 2020 3 mins read
5 Reasons why you’re tired but can’t sleep

We’ve all experienced it: being tired but can’t sleep. (Groan.) It’s a frustrating experience, and unfortunately a symptom of our “always-on” lifestyle. And even though you feel like you’re able to cope while your body runs on reserve, this everyday sleep experience can take its toll on our health, relationships, and productivity.

So let’s take a look at what could be causing this nocturnal nonsense – and what we can do to get back to bed and bring on those z’s.

1. You have insomnia

The typical symptoms of insomnia are finding it hard to fall asleep, maintaining sleep throughout the night, or waking up too early in the morning. It can last a couple of days, sometimes even weeks. Insomnia can be brought on by lifestyle changes (diet, work, lack of sleep hygiene) and in some cases be genetic, or occur from medications.

2. You’re stressed

Stress is a biggie when it comes to not being able to fall asleep. Even if we feel like everything in our life is going smoothly, there can be an underlying issue that, as our head hits the pillow, rears its annoying head.

As human beings, we are programed to “cope”. We tend to push aside stressful feelings to get us through the day. When our body starts to relax, and we have nothing else to focus on or distract us, these stresses can come piling in and keep us awake.

3. Overtired from sleep deprivation

If you’ve had less sleep than recommended you could be suffering from sleep deprivation which can alter your body clock. Your body clock or circadian rhythm is programed by regular sleep schedules and when you get less sleep than usual or change your sleep-wake patterns your body gets confused which makes it harder for your body to identify sleepiness. Even just a couple nights of Netflix binges can throw your body clock out of sync, which can lead to you being overtired, and unable to fall asleep when you want to.

4. Anxiety

Anxiety most times can occur from too much stress and the inability to process distressing thoughts. If you have anxiety at nighttime, you will know that anxious thoughts about daily life and then the worry that comes from not being able to sleep can cause a very wide-awake situation. When you’re anxious, your body produces cortisol, which is the hormone that keeps your mind alert and awake. And the more you think about not being able to sleep, the more challenging it can be to “switch-off” your cortisol creation.

5. Too much caffeine

If you’re a caffeine addict (and we don’t judge, we know that starting a day with a latte is non-negotiable), this habit may be interfering with your ability to shut down at bedtime. Caffeine which is a stimulant, is also known for extending sleep latency (which is the time it takes to fall asleep). If you’re drinking your third cup after lunchtime, you might find that your sleep quality can be affected as it takes around six hours for the effects of caffeine to leave your body.

Good sleep takes practice, this we know, but there is no reason why you can’t make it (nearly) perfect.