Can’t Sleep? Common Causes and Reasons: Sound Sleep Health: Sleep Medicine Specialists

Can’t Sleep? Common Causes and Reasons



Do you ever find yourself complaining, “I’m having trouble sleeping” or “I can’t sleep”? If so, you’re not alone. In fact, you’re not even among a small but distinguished group of unfortunates. According to the American Sleep Association (ASA), a pretty massive number of adults in the U.S. are bad at getting enough shuteye. 

Here are a few statistics on sleep that may surprise or even shock you: 

Does any of this sound familiar to you? If so, you’re likely one of millions of adults who are chronically sleep-deprived--and possibly putting yourself and others (and your job!) at risk every time you drive or show up somewhere without feeling rested.

The question is: if you’re not under-sleeping on purpose, and in fact want to sleep more, why isn’t it happening? Why can’t you sleep?

Why You Can’t Sleep: Non-Medical Reasons 

If you can’t fall asleep or stay asleep, look at your lifestyle and sleep environment: are one or more non-medical factors in your life contributing to your sleeplessness? Perhaps you’re stressed, or maybe your bedroom is not protected from light, noise, messiness, strange smells, or other environmental factors. 

Some common lifestyle and environmental causes of sleep difficulty include the following. 

Poor sleep hygiene. Sleep hygiene doesn’t mean “clean sheets and blankets” (though that’s an important aspect, too). Rather, it’s a term used to describe a set of practices you can employ to help promote better sleep. Many people who have trouble sleeping have a problem with one or more aspects of sleep hygiene without realizing it. Often, correcting these problems and embracing better habits can make falling asleep and staying asleep much easier. For example, good sleep hygiene habits include:

Pets (or kids) in the bed. This can fall under the category of sleep hygiene, too. Your pets may be causing you allergic responses with your realizing it, or their nighttime movements (or sleeping on your head) may be disturbing your rest. The same can go for small children.

Allergens. Allergies and the subsequent reactions to them--like congestion, sneezing, coughing, and headaches--may be disturbing your sleep without your realizing it. If you have known allergies, keeping your bedroom clean and free of dust, pollen, and pet dander is critical. Wash your bedding often, make sure it’s hypoallergenic, and take measures if you can to filter your air.

A snoring or restless partner. If you sleep with a bed partner, this person’s nighttime behaviors may be disturbing your sleep. Ask the other person to have consideration for your sleep by coming to bed quietly. If they snore or show signs of a disorder like restless leg syndrome, sleep talking, sleep walking, sleep screaming (it happens), or even sleep sex, their problems may be making it tough for you to get good quality rest, too. For your own health and theirs, talk to your partner about whether she or he has a sleep disorder. 

Why You Can’t Sleep: Sleep Disorders

If you’ve tried controlling your environment and practicing good sleep hygiene and you still can’t sleep, it may be time to talk to your physician about having a sleep study done to isolate your specific issue. You could have a sleep disorder that’s either preventing you from falling asleep or preventing you from feeling rested when you awake.

A sleep study can help to determine if you have: 

 If you think that you might suffer from Insomnia, please reach out to Sound Sleep Health in Seattle today! Our sleep disorders specialists are experts in addressing, diagnosing, and treating insomnia! 

Call Sound Sleep Health at (425) 279-7151.

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