7 Reasons Why You Feel Exhausted but Unable to Sleep

Have you ever lain in bed until morning without catching any sleep? Have you stared at your ceiling all night until you want to cry out of frustration? You shut your eyes hoping to catch some sleep before the day breaks but nothing works. This article outlines the reasons why you sometimes feel so tired but just can't fall asleep and the possible remedies for this condition.

7 Reasons Why You Feel Tired but Can't Sleep

An inconsistent natural sleeping pattern is frustrating. Some of the causes of such a pattern include:

1. An Overactive Mind

Most poor sleepers have a racing mind. It is the most common cause of insomnia. You are likely to stay awake if you keep thinking about your experiences or future events. Sometimes unimportant things will keep you awake even when you are extremely tired. You will remain alert as long as more thoughts keep racing through your mind.

2. Exercises and Stimulants

Stimulants and intense exercises before sleeping can make you feel tired but can't sleep. Exercises are recommended to poor sleepers. However, intense exercises such as aerobics just before bedtime will boost yourenergy levels. It is difficult to sleep when energy levels are high.

Stimulants like nicotine and caffeine would have similar effects, making it difficult for your mind to relax and fall asleep, which is especially true with caffeine consumption.

3. Stress and Anxiety

It is difficult to fall asleep if you are worried about issues at school, in your family, or at your workplace. Other issues that will keep you awake all night include traumatic events such as losing your job, divorce, or losing a loved one.

4. Depression

If you often feel exhausted but unable to sleep, you are probably depressed. Depression causes sleeplessness probably because it leads to imbalances in chemicals in the brain. Depression is often accompanied by troubling thoughts and fears that cause insomnia.

5. Medications

  • Some over-the-counter medications such as decongestants, pain relievers, and weight loss medication contain stimulants including caffeine.
  • Antihistamines can make you drowsy but increase your urination frequency at night.
  • Prescription medicines that lead to insomnia include allergy medication, blood pressure and heart medications, stimulants, and antidepressants.

6. Medical Conditions

Several chronic conditions and their symptoms lead to insomnia. These include cancer, arthritis, frequent urination, menopause, chronic pain, diabetes and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Other conditions include breathing difficulties, overactive thyroid, obesity, sleep apnea and cardiovascular disease.

7. Environmental Changes

Working in shifts and travelling for a long distance interrupt your circadian rhythm as your physiological, biochemical and behavioral cycle is affected by the exposure to sunlight. As a result, your circadian rhythm, which controls your metabolism, sleeping pattern, and body temperature, is disrupted.

Ways That May Help If You Feel Tired but Can't Sleep

The secret to falling asleep is engaging in habits and activities that reduce over-arousal, help you relax, and allow you to sleep. You will stay awake if you cannot let go and relax. Find relaxing activities that work best for you.

1. Avoid Changing Your Bedtime Routines

Your circadian system regulates your heart rate and body temperature, and produces a chemical called melatonin. Your body uses melatonin to fall asleep. You disrupt this process by changing your sleeping patterns. Sleeping at the same time each night enables your circadian system to work smoothly. Try sleeping early enough every night so that you can get sufficient sleep.

2. Avoid Television, Smart Phone, Laptop or Tablet in Bed

Following the current news, reading emails, and playing games just before bed will lead to a sleepless night. If you have this habit, you will often feel tired but can't sleep. These activities expose your eyes to light, which inhibits the production of melatonin. Any light will interrupt this process but the blue wavelength light in mobile devices has major effects.

3. Limit Your Activities in Bed to Sex and Sleep

One of the easiest ways of overcoming insomnia is pairing sleep with your bed. This means that you should think of sleep every time you see your bed and not any other activity. Every time you introduce a new activity in bed, you weaken the association between sleep and bed. Do not turn your bed into a dining room, library, or office.

4. Do Not Take Any Stimulants a Few Hours Before Sleeping

Avoid stimulants a few hours before your bedtime because they cause physiological arousal. Nicotine and caffeine are 2 substances that you should avoid. Caffeine has a metabolic half-life of about five hours. As for nicotine, some may use it to get relaxation; however, it's physiologically arousing. Though nicotine stays in the body for a shorter time, it still has a half-life of several hours.

5. Try Regular Exercises

Exercising is beneficial to your health and can help you enjoy regular sleep. However, this depends on when you exercise. Intense exercises a few hours to bedtime will cause physiological arousal, which in turn will lead to insomnia. The exercises will only help you sleep later in the night. So develop an exercise pattern and avoid exercising late in the night.

6. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT helps you overcome behavioral and mental issues that cause you to feel tiredbut can't sleep.This therapy helps you overcome any negative emotions that can lead to sleepless night. In addition, CBT helps you come up with a healthy sleeping pattern and pair successful sleep with your bed. Consequently, you fall asleep naturally and automatically. You can take a Sleepio course, which is an intervention based on cognitive behavioral therapy. This intervention helps you sleep faster and remain asleep throughout the night. You can reduce the time you take to fall asleep by 50% after taking this course.

6. Additional Tips That May Help

  • Sleep on a comfortable mattress and bedding.
  • Use relaxation techniques such as progressive relaxation, yoga, meditation, and deep breathing.
  • Masturbate or have sex just before sleeping.
  • Take a hot shower or bath before bedtime.

7. See a Doctor

Consult a professional if none of the remedies outline above works. Your doctor can identify the lifestyle factors and medications that cause sleeplessness and rule out sleeping disorders. Keep records of when you sleep, the amount of sleep, fatigues levels, and any other symptoms. These records will help the doctor identify the cause of your insomnia.

 
 
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