Why You Can’t Seem to Stay Asleep and Ways to Stay Asleep

While some people find it hard to sleep at night in the first place, others cannot seem to stay asleep throughout the night. So, besides waking up multiple times, they also may find it hard to go back to sleep.

Such sleep patterns are pretty detrimental to your overall health. You might feel tired and less energetic throughout the day. Some might even suffer from daytime drowsiness. 

If you suffer from poor sleep quality constantly, you’d probably want to do something about insomnia. In this article, we have discussed some possible causes of insomnia and a few ways to stay asleep throughout the night.

Reasons Why You Can’t Stay Asleep

There are many reasons why you cannot stay asleep throughout the night. However, the most common cause is stress. Stress could stem from overthinking, lifestyle, pain, or even medications. 

Bed with a lamp on next to it.

Known as maintenance insomnia or middle-of-the-night insomnia, some people may experience this poor quality sleep more often than others. Sometimes, they may experience insomnia more than three times a week. 

The following section delves deep into all the possible causes of sleeplessness or insomnia. 

Breathing Problems

Health conditions involving your respiratory system can wake you up multiple times throughout the night. Whenever breathing is affected, the brain stimulates the whole body to wake and breathe properly.

For instance, people with sleep apnea suffer from consistently low-quality sleep. Besides this, you may also find it hard to stay asleep if you have asthma, bronchitis, allergies, and cold.

Pain

Pain is one of the primary reasons for poor sleep during the night. If you suffer from chronic medical conditions like arthritis and fibromyalgia, you might even suffer from severe pain at night. This is especially true if the pain exacerbates upon sleeping at a particular angle at night. 

Moreover, people with cancer, heart failure, and severe pain are also more prone to waking up frequently from their sleep. 

Mental Disorders

According to research in 2018, insomnia is widely affected by multiple types of mental health disorders. People with mental health disorders may find it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep at night.

Some of the most common disorders include anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, and Parkinson’s disease. Moreover, poor sleep quality can worsen many of these health problems, which can further exacerbate insomnia. 

Besides this, even emotions like anger, grief, and trauma can cause poor sleep quality and daytime fatigue in affected individuals. 

Illness

Besides mental disorders, many other health problems can disrupt your regular sleep pattern for days. Some of the most common ones include Alzheimer’s, restless leg syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome, acid reflux, and kidney disease. 

Even hormonal disturbances from hyperthyroidism and diabetes can affect your sleep and increase the risk of insomnia multiple times a week. This is especially true if you are not taking proper medications to control your disease.

Medications

You might have already heard or known about drugs that increase sleepiness and drowsiness in patients. Even some medicines have side effects like insomnia that make you get up multiple times during the night, thus leading to insomnia.

These medicines can boost neuronal excitability and vivid dreams or cause frequent urination and headaches. 

Some of such drugs include:

  • Diuretics 
  • Anticonvulsants
  • Antidepressants
  • Corticosteroids
  • Allergy medicines like antihistamines
  • Beta-agonists 
  • Thyroid hormones
  • Medicines with alcohols
  • Painkiller with caffeine
  • High blood pressure drugs

Lifestyle

Besides the causes mentioned above, your everyday lifestyle can significantly impact your sleep quality. For instance, an unhealthy sleep schedule, caffeine, stimulants, smoking, alcohol, and bright light from your electronics can stop you from sleeping peacefully at night. 

How do I Stay Asleep?

If you happen to wake up from your sleep multiple times during the night, you might have already googled, ‘how do I stay asleep,’ in frustration. But don’t worry; we have discussed different ways to stay asleep in the following section to help you stay fresh throughout the day.

Relax

Since stress plays a significant role in insomnia, you need to add some relaxation techniques to your daily life. For example, you can try meditation, yoga, tai chi, listen to peaceful music, go for walks, soak in hot water baths, and stay away from stressful activities.

Follow a Proper Sleep Routine

A proper sleep routine can make a world of difference in your sleep quality. It includes a regular sleeping schedule, a comfortable sleeping environment, and avoiding stressful activities before bedtime. 

  • Instead of sleeping at odd times, stick to a consistent schedule that supports your biological clock. This involves sleeping and waking up at the same time during the whole week, even on weekends. 
  • Make sure that your bedroom is cool, dark, and in a quiet place in your home. Any bright or flashing lights, uncomfortable mattress, or noise pollution can disrupt your sleep.
  • Avoid taking naps throughout the day to help you sleep on time at night.
  • Mobile and TV screens emit blue light, which can disturb your normal hormone production. This is especially concerning for melatonin level, a hormone responsible for your circadian rhythm and biological clock. Hence, make sure to stay away from screens at least an hour before your bedtime. 
  • Do not take part in stressful activities right before sleeping, for example, scrolling down your social media, working on projects, or even arguing with someone.
  • Although exercising is peaceful and improves your sleep, avoid doing it late at night or before your sleeping time. You may become more active and awake after your physical activity.
  • Even changing your bedsheets can improve your sleep quality by preventing allergies or asthma. 

Medications

Various pill and capsule medications.

If your medications are causing insomnia, talk to your doctor to change your prescription or lower the dose. They may also guide you if you are not sure about the side effects of the drugs. 

Lifestyle

Since alcohol, smoking, and caffeine are some common reasons for insomnia, you might have to make some alterations in your lifestyle. For instance, avoid drinking beverages like black tea, coffee, and soda in the later part of your day.

Besides this, drinking alcohol can make you wake up frequently during the night. 

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Conclusion

Although there are many reasons why your sleep may get disrupted during the night, there are many possible ways to stay asleep. Fortunately, insomnia is treatable with just a few changes in your lifestyle, especially if you know the underlying cause of poor sleep quality.

This article mentions a few possible solutions to the question, ‘how do I stay asleep.’ If you have tried all such methods and still cannot stay asleep, contact a healthcare professional to help you combat insomnia.

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