Why Can't I Sleep at Night?

by Roohi

Are you having difficulty sleeping at night? Find out the reason right here..

Call it insomnia, sleeplessness, or difficulty sleeping. The fact of the matter is that you can't sleep at night and you just are not sure why. Insomnia can be caused by many different things. Your best bet to get back to sleeping well is to find what the cause behind your sleepiness is and working on that.

So, let's take a look at some of the answers to your question about why you can't sleep at night right here.

Stress and Anxiety

Are you stressed about work or your relationships or anything else? If yes, you have probably been able to identify the cause of your sleeplessness. Stress can affect your sleep in different ways. You may end up sleeping for 12 hours or more or you may just not be able to sleep at all. 

Sometimes, an event such as the death of a loved one or an accident can cause stress. This is, of course, natural. Keep in mind that it's not only negative situations that may lead to stress. Positive situations such as planning a wedding or even a vacation can be stressful for some people. 

Basically, what you need to do here is to change the way you react to stressful situations, whether positive or negative. If you are constantly anxious about work or a relationship, you probably need to change your attitude towards the issue. Or just bring about some changes in your job or relationship status?


Are you depressed? If yes, then this is probably the reason why you can't sleep at night. While depression can lead to insomnia, the reverse can happen too. That is, the less you sleep, the more you feel depressed and irritable. It is often quite difficult to find out as to which is causing which. 

If you are under serious depression and think you may need treatment, the best thing to do is to consult a mental health professional. Even if your depression is related to a stressful situation such as a divorce or a death in the family, consulting a health care professional may be useful. Surrounding yourself with positive and supportive people who understand your situation may also help you get back to sleeping well. 

Medical conditions

Are you suffering from any medical condition? If yes, this could be the cause of your sleeplessness. These conditions can range from gastroesophageal reflux disease to an overactive thyroid to arthritis to cancer. If you can't locate any reason for your insomnia, maybe you should just consult your doctor and get a health checkup done. 

Conditions such as nighttime urination may also lead to disruption in sleep. While getting up to urinate once a night is no cause for concern, if you are doing it two to three times consistently every night, then you may need to consult your doctor. It could be a symptom of another medical condition such as diabetes.

Sleep Disorders

Certain sleep disorders such as restless legs syndrome (RLS), sleep paralysis or sleep apnea may make it difficult to have a good night's sleep. RLS is an irresistible urge to move your leg, especially in a resting state. It can lead to major disruption in your nighttime sleep. 

Sleep paralysis, on the other hand, is an inability to move either while falling asleep or while waking up. Since it can lead to experiences such as choking or a pressure on your chest, it can be a scary experience. Those who experience this condition are often scared of going to sleep as they are afraid that something may just hurt them when they fall asleep. 

Sleep apnea involves interrupted breathing during sleep. Another scary experience, this can occur especially if you are overweight. Losing weight, quitting smoking and drinking can be some of the steps that you can take to control this condition.


Are you on medication? If yes, then maybe you need to talk to your treating physician. Antidepressants, blood pressure medications, antihistamines, asthma medications and stimulants for conditions such as ADHD can be the reason why you can't sleep at night. 

If you are using a weight loss product, check whether it contains ingredients such as caffeine which may lead to sleeplessness.

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Poor sleep habits

This is one of the major culprits for insomnia. You sleep late. You take a cup of coffee or tea just before going to bed at night. You don't have any fixed hours of going to bed. You take a heavy meal and then decide to hit the sack within the next 30 minutes. 

Simply said, you are to blame for the fact that you can't sleep at night. So, make sure to go to sleep at certain hours. Avoid taking stimulants such as caffeine or alcohol late at night. Make sure to take a meal at least 2 hours before going to sleep. A relaxing activity right before bed such as meditation or listening to soft music will further promote a good night's sleep.

It is also important that your mattress and your pillow are comfortable. They should neither be too hard nor too soft. 

Get back your lost sleep

So, did you find your reason? Probably yes, keep in mind that losing sleep once in a while may not be a cause for concern. However, if you are consistently asking yourself why you can't sleep at night, then maybe you need to check it out. Get to the root cause of your insomnia and you are surely going to get back your lost sleep. So, have a good night's sleep!

Updated: 03/25/2013, Roohi
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