Skip to main content Skip to bottom nav

Why can't I sleep at night?

188 Answers
Last Updated: 11/27/2020 at 3:42pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Shawn Wilson, LCSW

Clinical Social Work/Therapist

I provide supportive counseling and psychotherapy. I utilize cognitive-behavioral and solution focused strategies to address client concerns. Personal coaching is available.

Top Rated Answers
April 15th, 2017 7:51pm
Could there be something on your mind which is distracting you or something that has happened recently to prevent you from sleeping?
May 4th, 2017 1:24am
A lot of things can affect your sleep. If you know you don't have insomnia, you may be affected by lots of different things. Stress and caffeine can be big reasons, but if you stay in your room a lot during the day, your brain associates it with being an 'awake and active' environment. Take a minute to relax before bed and don't eat anything past 7:00 PM. And remember, your room is for sleep only.
May 19th, 2017 10:46pm
Being sleepless at nights nowadays is very commonly due to the fact that we check our phones, laptops or whatever so often after we get in bed. So, if you find yourself too addicted to using your devices, you should consider switching it off and keeping it a good distance away from your bed. Another factor that determines the need for sleep is your daily physical activity. Whether you're in school or work, chances are, you have spend most of your day sitting at a desk. So, your body just doesn't get tired enough to make you fall asleep at the end of the day. So, why not consider going out for a jog whenever you have some leisure time and the weather is nice outside? Or you can do some simple exercises right in your room for half an hour. Just do anything that gets your muscles working and in need of a proper rest at night. Secondly, there is the issue of caffeine consumption. Whether you like red bull or a cup of coffee, you should halt consuming any caffeine 6 hours before your regular bed-time. On the other hand, there are foods that you want to eat before hitting the sack. Some milk and a banana can help you get some shut eye. A glass of warm milk actually induces sleep and bananas contain high quantities of potassium which helps relax your muscles. I hope all that didn't bore you too much but I hope these tips help :)
July 12th, 2017 3:27am
In sorry to hear you are not able to sleep at night. There are ways of getting over this such as, not viewing your screen 1 hour before bed, having dairy before bed like milk and not over thinking things before bed. As well, There are things that are different like sleeping disorders that may be interfering with your sleep.
July 13th, 2017 4:10pm
I am at a magical age where sleep sometimes is elusive and those tropical moments make it tough as well. 😜 THe best way to cope is to relax and unwind before bed. Build a routine! Personally I cannot go to sleep until I am ready to fall to sleep.....that helps and exercise too! Make sure you are tired enough for sleep...and no napping on the couch! lol 😜😜 Limit caffeine too helps quite a bit..I do sleep regularly and soundly but not as long as I did before menopause....yeah at 51 it all changes! 😜😜
July 21st, 2017 1:04pm
Do you exercise enough? Use screens such as TV, conputer or phone right before bed? Do you have a poor diet? Do you have a lot on your mind? All of these things can contribute to poor sleep. Identify your problem and then tackle it with whatever is appropriate. Often, talking to someone with experience can help.
July 27th, 2017 7:19pm
If the reasons aren't medical, then it could be because you're thinking about something a lot. This could be due to stress or worry or sadness. Dwelling on things that distract you can definitely hurt your sleep. Another reason could be that your sleeping environment is too bright or loud. Be sure that you're comfortable and relaxed when you're trying to sleep. And finally: stimulants. Please please please, try to avoid caffeine after noon-ish. A lot of times, that makes it almost impossible to fall asleep.
August 7th, 2017 12:11am
There are many reasons that a person could be having trouble sleeping at night ranging from health problems, high activity in the brain and depression/anxiety. It may be useful to keep a record of nights that a person finds it easier to sleep and what variables may be influencing this. Keeping a log of stress, mental wellness, nutrition, and physical activity on a daily basis may help to prove beneficial in learning what contributes to poor sleeping patterns.
August 9th, 2017 3:45am
Insomnia is quite common, maybe more common than you think. It is an unfortunate habit to have though, especially if you have to wake up early. Reasons for your insomnia could be your physiological state (or even your age; teenagers are prone to insomnia due to melatonin levels), or simply because you had too much caffeine for the day.
November 9th, 2017 8:07am
Could be for numerous factors depending on the context. Physical factors could include hormones , growth or pain. Mantal factors would include stress or anxiety about something or someone. If you cannot identify any of these factors I would recommend seeing your doctor or checking family health history for sleeping issues
November 10th, 2017 8:27am
There are multiple factors to sleep. Do you watch phone/computer/tv screens before bed? They emit blue light which prevents your brain from producing melatonin (the sleep hormone). Are you stressed? Thinking about worries can keep you awake. Do you do other things in bed besides sleep? If you eat, watch tv, play games in bed that can mess with your brain! It doesn't associate bed with sleep, it thinks of bed with activities. Are you doing enough during the day? It's harder to sleep if you aren't tired. There's even more to it than this. Look online for tips and tricks to sleep at night. I use low-dose melatonin to sleep, it helps me so much and isn't a habit forming drug; it's just melatonin your brain already makes. My professor at U.C. Berkeley suggested it. Changed my life. But always try to change habits first, because it's cheaper that way. =)
November 11th, 2017 10:54pm
There are many reasons why, so I'm just going to talk about the ones that usually cause me to be unable to fall asleep. 1) I am not tired enough. This happens sometimes - I'll be in bed an feel wide awake. What I usually do is get up and do something relaxing, like coloring or listening to music for about 15 minutes before going back to bed. 2) I can't get my brain to shut up. This also happens a LOT - my thoughts will run a billion miles an hour and I'll be absolutely unable to sleep. What usually helps me then is to get up, find a piece of paper and write down all the thoughts that are bothering me, knowing I can deal with them tomorrow. It's not easy, but it usually does help!
November 12th, 2017 1:45am
Well, it could be many things. Could be too much coffee, or your mind is thinking, or it could be stress, could be from pain. Mamy many things could make you not sleep at night. could be too much alcohol.
November 22nd, 2017 4:25pm
You suffer from insomnia, depression, or simply be addicted to your phone. Try to develop a bedtime routine. If you still have trouble, see a professional so you can be well rested and happy!
April 7th, 2018 9:00pm
Worry about things. Having depression and sad about things. To wound up from ADHD. Having flashbacks from the past .
April 11th, 2018 5:33pm
I drank a cup of coffee after 1pm today and I'm really sensitive to caffeine! That combined with using my phone in bed was not a good idea!
April 15th, 2018 9:58am
Any number of factors can be the reason, you may be exposed to too much light of a certain spectrum via a screen etc. That inhibits melatonin production (the sleeping hormone), if you are a teenager puberty may cause a condition called Circadian Rhythm Disorder which messes up your sleeping pattern or if you have a lot on your mind you may need to deal with it before you can have a good night's sleep.
April 25th, 2018 10:15am
I’m having same trouble ..will sleep 3/4 nights six hrs and 2/3 hrs on nights in between..mine is anxiety and my brain overthinking..I try to write everyday what’s happening stressing me out etc
May 3rd, 2018 5:27am
There are many possibilities. You could be napping too much during the day, drinking too much caffeine, or you may genuinely have insomnia.
May 12th, 2018 3:05pm
Usually because you have something nagging at the back of your mind. You need to try to confront your feelings and deal with your emotions to get mental peace.
May 17th, 2018 2:08am
There are many physical or psychological reasons why you might not be able to sleep. Are you dealing with stress, do you have anxiety? Are you living a healthy lifestyle, there can be so many things. Be more attentive to yourself and your body and you should be able to figure it out.
May 18th, 2018 5:34am
Its a common occurrence that could be due to thinking too much before sleeping or the light coming from your phone. I suggest not using your phone 15–30 minutes before you try to sleep.
May 19th, 2018 12:25pm
it could be insomnia or you thinking about stuff so it's keeping your brain working and not allowing yourself to rest.
May 31st, 2018 2:19am
There could be a multitude of reasons for not sleeping at night so do some fact finding to narrow down some possibilities for yourself. How long has this been going on? has a major change happened in your life when it started? are you taking regular exercise? are you drinking stimulants close to bedtime? writing down anything on your mind on a piece of paper is a great way to let things out of your mind until you are ready to look at them the next day. There is a well-documented strategy called the "5 whys" which I came across you could try it. You keep asking the why until you get to the root reason behind your not sleeping.
May 31st, 2018 11:43am
Two answers are possible 1.I don't work enough during the day and so it's difficult for me to get asleep at night. 2.Something is really bothering me.
May 31st, 2018 3:15pm
Usually when a person cannot sleep at night it is referred to a condition called insomnia. Its where the person lacks the ability to fall asleep or stay asleep. However that is not always the case as to why a person cannot sleep. Not being able to sleep at night could be an underlying symptom of another disease or condition. Some of these may include, depression, chronic pain, medications, stress, or maybe a lil bit of anxiety. Most of these can be helped with some form of medication.
June 17th, 2018 6:20pm
Multiple reasons can determine this - Caffeine, how recently you've eaten before bed and its resultant impact on your energy, looking at your phone screen anything less than an hour before bed and how much or little energy you have used during the day. Psychologically it could be due to rumination - racing, excessive thinking - but that's completely normal, sometimes your mind needs time to decompress, as it is through reliving memories, or thinking about things that we organise them, and consciously process and get over them - so simply try to do something to relax before bed and don't dig for those thoughts or emotions, but if they come to the surface - recognise them, address them kindly, and openly and then let them go instead of holding onto them
June 21st, 2018 5:00am
To improve sleeping at night, I recommend creating a schedule where you go to sleep at the same hour and wake up at the same hour. This way, you body can accommodate with a permanent sleeping schedule and thus help you sleep at night.
June 21st, 2018 12:36pm
MAybe you had some stress in your life. Try finding thee thing that won't let you sleep at night
July 5th, 2018 11:58pm
This is mainly down to stress, it helps if you right down whatever is making you feel anxious and decide on how you'll deal with said problem the following day