Did your hectic routine leave you feeling tired, yet you still can’t sleep? Do you want to understand why this is happening?
Nothing is more frustrating than going to bed to get some beauty sleep but ending up changing sides and an awakened night that leaves us even more tired, exhausted, and irked.
From anxiety to the wrong diet, numerous reasons can make you fall into the rabbit hole of frustration and sleeplessness.
So, if you want to find out what causes you to be tired yet sleepless and possible ways to turn the tables another way, keep reading till the end!
Why Can’t I Sleep Even Though I’m Tired? 6 Possible Reasons!
Struggling to sleep even though you’re tired all day is probably one of the worst experiences we all had at least once. But if you are persistently feeling tired but not able to sleep, there is something wrong that you need to find. There’s a vast variety of things that can make it hard to get back to sleep.
The top 6 factors you can blame for making you tired yet keeping you awake:
1. Depression and Anxiety
The most significant factors that can impact your sleep are anxiety and depression. Studies show that there is a direct link between not being able to get a good night’s sleep and anxiety.
Basically, anxiety leads to hyperarousal of racing thoughts that keep you awake at night. If you’re tired but can’t sleep, it may be due to too much going on in your head. It may
Moreover, the worst part of experiencing anxiety at night is that it disturbs the hormonal balance. It interferes with the circadian rhythm, and instead of decreasing cortisol and increasing melatonin, the reverse happens, leading to tired yet sleepless nights.
Similarly, according to the Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, 90% of the people diagnosed with depression experience lousy sleep quality.
2. Blue Light Interference
Another reason you experience tired nights deprived of sleep is your exposure to blue light just before bedtime.
Blue light is known to interface with the sleep-wake cycle of the human body. As a result, the brain doesn’t release melatonin, the sleep hormone, making you sleepless the whole night. In fact, research showed that blue light exposure between dusk and bedtime suppressed melatonin by 71.4%, leaving you with no chance of feeling drowsy.
Therefore, it is better to limit the use of mobile phones and all electronic media 2 to 3 hours before sleep.
3. Caffeine Consumption
Did you just have a latte in the evening? Then here’s your culprit. Consuming excessive amounts of caffeine before bed may be a massive sleep disturbance.
All the drinks containing caffeine block adenosine and melatonin receptors present in the body, making you more alert even when it’s already time to sleep.
Since caffeine has a half-life of 4 to 6 hours, it is better not to consume it at least 6 hours before nighttime sleep or bedtime.
4. Sleep Disorders
Another possibility is that you are suffering from some underlying health or sleep issues like insomnia, delayed sleep phase syndrome, sleep apnea, etc.
Often, a tired body with an active mind full of unwanted thoughts at night are symptoms of insomnia.
So, it is better to get yourself evaluated. To detect whether you are suffering from any sleep disorder, you can download a sleep tracker like ShutEye that analyzes your sleep time the entire night and generates detailed reports about your sleep quality and problems (if any) as soon as you shut it off.
5. Diet and Exercise
Sometimes, a wrong lifestyle may lead to tired, sleepless nights. Wrong food choices at the wrong time affect the sleep cycle. For example, sugary foods lead to less sleep and poor sleep quality.
Moreover, research shows that the better your diet is during the day, the better and sounder your sleep quality is.
Similarly, intense workouts before bedtime delay sleep by making the CNS active.
6. Longer Napping
Last but not least, you may nap comparatively longer during the day or evening.
Although taking a 20 to 40-minute nap in the afternoon boosts energy, a longer nap delays sleep, leading to a frustrating night.
Therefore, try not to get deeper Zzzs in the afternoon. Of course, this doesn’t apply to shift workers. If you work night shifts, you must catch up on sleep throughout the day.
What Happens To REM Sleep When You Can’t Fall Asleep?
Not being able to sleep significantly disrupts the REM (Rapid Eye Movement) stage of sleep, which is crucial for emotional regulation and memory consolidation. REM sleep typically occurs in cycles throughout the night, with longer periods occurring towards the morning hours.
This disruption can lead to a decrease in the overall quality and quantity of REM sleep. As a result, you may experience a reduction in the restorative benefits that REM sleep provides, such as processing emotions, consolidating memories, and fostering creativity and problem-solving abilities.
The lack of adequate REM sleep can impact mood, increasing the likelihood of irritability, anxiety, and depression. Over time, chronic disruption of REM sleep can have broader implications on cognitive functions and overall mental health, emphasizing the importance of addressing sleep issues promptly.
Does Your Circadian Rhythm Change If You’re Tired But Can’t Sleep?
The circadian rhythm, which is essentially your body’s internal clock, regulates numerous physiological processes, including the sleep-wake cycle. When you’re feeling tired but can’t fall asleep, it has a far more negative impact on your body than you think. A few consequences and effects are:
- Delayed Sleep Phase
- Disrupted Sleep Cycle
- Reduced Sleep Quality
- Increased Fatigue
- Hormonal Imbalance
- Bipolar disease
- Cardiovascular Disease
- Type 2 Disease
So, why not find some effective ways to enjoy the quality Zzzs once again?
4 Things to Try Before Bedtime When Tired but Can’t Sleep!
Once you have found the root cause of your sleepless, tired nights, the next step is implementing some strategies that can alleviate your sleep–stimulators.
A few known strategies to try out are:
- CBT Sessions
The best and the most proven thing to try out is to get CBT sessions that not only address the factors that lead to sleepless nights but also teach you some tactics to establish a healthy connection between sleep and bed.
You can try the six-week ShutEye CBT session, which analyzes your sleep problems and goals individually, and then comes up with adequate tips.
- Relax and Meditate
Try to practice some relaxation exercises and meditation an hour before sleep. It helps relax your muscles, reduce stress, and calm your body. If you’re tossing and turning, get out of bed and find an activity that will help you sleep.
As a result, you fall asleep faster. Moreover, you can also listen to white noise to assist you in enjoying a healthy sleep.
- Avoid Blue Light
Similarly, a very effective strategy is to avoid contact with blue light at least 2 to 4 hours before sleep. It gives enough time for the sleep hormones to regulate and help you get a peaceful catnap.
- Change in Lifestyle
Lastly, you can try to change your lifestyle a bit. For example,
- Try not to consume more than 400 mg of caffeine daily
- Avoid drinking alcohol
- Add carbohydrate rich food to your diet
- Take a warm bath half an hour before sleep
- Try yoga and breathing exercises
If you can’t sleep even when you’re tired, something is probably interfering with your sleep-wake cycle, like a bad diet, poor nap, or too much stress. However, it can also be a symptom of some underlying health issues.
Therefore, evaluating your sleep using ShutEye and catching a peaceful sleep back is better!
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do I feel tired all day but can’t sleep at night?
When you can’t fall asleep at night, it can be due to a variety of reasons, such as stress and anxiety, poor sleep hygiene, or even common sleep disorders. It’s essential to consult a sleep specialist to identify the underlying cause and seek the appropriate treatment.
What is the role of circadian rhythm in affecting my sleep patterns?
Your circadian rhythm, also known as your sleep-wake cycle, is crucial in regulating your sleep-wake patterns. Disruptions to this rhythm can lead to feeling tired during the day and struggling to fall asleep at night.
How can I improve my sleep hygiene to sleep better at night?
Practicing good sleep hygiene involves maintaining a consistent sleep schedule, creating a restful sleep environment, and establishing sleep habits. These habits can help you fall asleep easier and improve the quality of your sleep.
Is feeling tired during the day a sign of insomnia?
Feeling consistently tired during the day could be a symptom of insomnia, although it’s not the only indicator. It’s essential to consult a sleep doctor to determine if you are experiencing insomnia or another common sleep disorder.
What are some effective strategies for falling asleep at night?
Sticking to a consistent sleep schedule, practicing relaxation techniques, and maintaining a calming sleep environment can all help you fall asleep more easily at night.
Can stress and anxiety impact my ability to sleep at night?
Yes, stress and anxiety can significantly affect your ability to fall asleep at night, potentially leading to feeling tired during the day. Addressing these underlying issues through stress-reduction techniques and seeking professional help can improve your sleep quality.
What are common sleep disorders that could be causing my sleep difficulties?
Common sleep disorders include insomnia, sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome, and narcolepsy, among others. Consulting a sleep specialist can help identify if these disorders contribute to your sleep struggles.
How does sleep hygiene impact my ability to sleep at night?
Poor sleep hygiene, such as not keeping a regular sleep schedule or disruptive bedtime habits, can make it even harder to fall asleep at night. Improving your sleep hygiene can significantly enhance your ability to sleep and wake feeling refreshed.
Is there a connection between feeling sleepy during the day and being unable to sleep at night?
Feeling sleepy during the day can be linked to being unable to sleep at night, often creating a cycle of sleep deprivation. Addressing the root causes and seeking strategies to improve both aspects of your sleep-wake cycle is crucial.
How can a center for sleep help me address my sleep difficulties?
A center for sleep typically houses sleep experts and offers comprehensive evaluations and treatments for various sleep disorders. By seeking assistance from a center for sleep, you can receive tailored support to improve your sleep health and overall well-being.