There’s no simple answer to this question. It’s often a group of reasons that’s messing with your sleep cycles.
Here are some of the common reasons that cause difficulty in sleeping:
Poor Sleep Habits
Poor sleep habits are common among many people around the world. They don’t only contribute to trouble falling asleep and insomnia, but they also cause various mental health issues.
How many of us go to sleep with so many worries on our minds? It’s normal and common among many people, if not all.
However, persistent stress is the one that lasts for multiple restless nights full of worries in a single week.
If you struggle a lot with stress, you might be developing anxiety that needs to be treated.
In this case, you need to get professional help for your anxiety. Fixing your mental state can fix your sleep problems.
Some people rely on a glass of wine to wind down for the night. A single glass might seem harmless, but indulging is what costs you a lot.
Studies have shown that people with high alcohol use are more likely to struggle with insomnia.
Even if it does help you fall asleep faster, it disturbs the quality of your sleep by interfering with your REM sleep.
Also, drinking a lot of alcohol at night can make you wake up to use the bathroom. This might reduce your sleep quality.
So, it’s best to rely on other methods to wind down for the night, like yoga or meditation.
Too much light exposure
Our brain associates light with mornings. Thus, too much light exposure at night prevents our brain from producing enough melatonin.
Whether you work on your laptop late at night, scroll through social media, or have a nightstand lamp, it all negatively impacts your sleep.
Also, sleeping with lights on has negative impacts on your sleep quality, especially your REM sleep. If you can’t sleep with the lights off, use a red or yellow lamp instead.
Believe it or not, your diet affects your sleep as well. Eating heavy meals near bedtime sends your digestive system into overdrive.
This makes it harder on you to fall asleep and might cause heartburn as well.
On the other hand, going to bed hungry also affects your sleep. You’ll lie awake in your bed thinking about food. Plus, your blood sugar might even drop while sleeping.
The rush of having a cup of coffee is for sure amazing, but it’ll disturb your sleep later. Caffeine stays in your system for hours with a half-life of about four to six hours.
Caffeine affects your circadian melatonin rhythms. It blocks the sleep-promoting chemical, adenosine, that accumulates in your brain the longer you stay awake to make you feel sleepy.
Instead of drinking coffee in the late afternoon, try drinking green tea or matcha tea. They’re refreshing but contain less caffeine. This way, you get the best of both worlds.
Some prescription medications cause insomnia. This includes medications for cardiovascular diseases, asthma, cancer, hypothyroidism, mental illnesses, and smoking cessation.
So, if you’re taking any medications that fall under these categories, it’s best to have a talk with your doctor about your sleep problems.
Depression and Other Mental Problems
Depression and sleep problems are highly interconnected. People with sleep problems are at higher risk of developing depression.
You should seek help as soon as you can if you think you struggle with depression. Other mental problems can affect your sleep, including bipolar disorder, ADHD, and schizophrenia.