Why Can't I Sleep?

Sometimes you fall asleep instantly and remain asleep all night long, but sometimes you can’t drift off to sleep no matter how hard you try. In such cases you must be wondering: “Why Can’t I Sleep?”.

Sometimes an old mattress of a poor quality is to blame. If it is so, you will need a new mattress that can provide you with a quality and restorative night’s sleep such as the Helix Midnight Luxe mattress.

But what if you still can’t fall asleep even after getting such an amazing mattress? This can be frustrating and it can happen due to various reasons. That’s why, before you reach for any of those sleeping pills, you should try to find out what prevents you from falling asleep at night.

Once you discover what might be going on, you can take some steps to improve your sleep. Last updated Feb 19, 2021 @ 4:14 pm

Why Can Keep You from Falling Asleep?

Here are some of the things that can prevent you from falling asleep and keep you awake at night:

Your Circadian Rhythm May Be Off

If you are tired, but you can’t sleep no matter what you do, it may be because your circadian rhythm is off.

This can also be a sign of delayed sleep phase syndrome which occurs when you fall asleep 2 or more hours later than what’s considered normal and makes it difficult to wake up in the morning and function normally during the day.

It often affects young people, but it can also occur in people struggling with chronic insomnia.

Your Diet

What you eat and drink can also affect your sleep.

If you eat spicy and greasy foods close to bedtime, they can cause heartburn and other problems with your stomach and keep you up at night or interfere with your sleep later during the night.

Also, drinking too much coffee, alcohol and other caffeinated beverages right before bedtime can affect your sleep. Although a glass of wine or two before bed can initially make you feel relaxed and sleepy, it won’t help you fall asleep and it can disturb your sleep later.

Besides this, drinking too much water or other fluids before bed can make you get up constantly to go to bathroom, which can also disrupt your sleep.

Lack of Exercise

Exercising regularly every day can help you fall asleep easier and sleep better at night. Lack of exercise, on the other hand, can impact the quality of your sleep and leave you unable to fall asleep fast.

However, you should avoid exercising close to bedtime as this can make you too energized to sleep. It’s the best to do it in the morning. If you don’t have time in the morning, then you can try a gentle yoga stretch before bed. It won’t increase your heart rate and might even help you relax.


Sometimes pain and aches due to some injury, arthritis, fibromyalgia or some other health condition can prevent you from falling asleep and getting enough of a restful night’s sleep.

Also, a lack of sleep can sometimes contribute to inflammation or worsen it and make you more sensitive to the feeling of pain.


Studies show that people suffering from depression often experience various problems with their sleep such as inability to fall asleep and reduced quality of their sleep. People who are depressed may sleep more than usual, but their sleep isn’t restful.

Stress and Anxiety

It is impossible to relax and fall asleep when your mind is racing with thoughts and when all daily stress is pressing on you. Anxiety can also lead to increased arousal and alertness and delay your sleep.

Napping Too Much during the Day

Napping during the day is good for you and has many benefits, but if you nap too often and too long, it can impact the quality of your night’s sleep and make it difficult to fall asleep in the first place.

Using Devices That Emit Blue Light before Sleep

Certain devices such as smartphones, tablets, laptops and TV screens emit blue light that can suppress the normal production of melatonin at evening and decrease your sleepiness.

Therefore, you should avoid using any of these devices at least 2 hours before bed and you may even consider wearing blue-light blocking glasses.

It’s Too Hot or Too Cold in Your Room

The temperature in your room can impact the temperature of your body and your body temperature is linked to your ability to fall asleep.

This means that if it is too hot in your room and you feel hot, you won’t be able to fall asleep. The same goes if you feel too cold. Therefore, you should adjust the temperature in your room somewhere between 60-64°F as it is considered to be ideal temperature for sleep.

Existing Sleep Disorders

We mentioned delayed sleep phase syndrome that can make you sleepy but prevent you from falling asleep at a normal time during the night, but it isn’t the only sleep disorder that can mess up with your sleep.

Sleep apnea and restless legs syndrome can affect your sleep too. While sleep apnea causes breathing difficulties where your breathing repeatedly stops and then starts again, restless legs syndrome causes you to move your legs constantly because of the unpleasant itchy feel in them.

Insomnia is yet another sleep disorder that will cause you to stare at your ceiling for hours and make falling asleep and staying asleep almost impossible.

Sometimes even sleepwalking can prevent you from getting enough of a quality night’s sleep and cause you to stare at the ceiling for hours. Read our article: Sleepwalking, What Causes It? and learn more about this sleep disorder.


If you often find yourself staring at the ceiling for hours, unable to fall asleep although you are tired, this may happen due to various reasons.

It may be a sign that your circadian rhythm is off or that there is an underlying sleep disorder or something else that keeps you awake at night and interferes with your sleep.

In this article we tried to explain why we can’t sleep sometimes and gave some of the main reasons why sleep won’t come instantly to us sometimes. We hope it was helpful to you.


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