Sleep Zone

Category: Blog

Why can’t I sleep?

Almost all of us have had a night where we toss and turn, wake up unexpectedly, plead with our brains to switch off or just can’t sleep. But why can’t we sleep?

The why and how to’s

Racing minds

The majority of us will suffer with a racing mind when we finally get into bed. Usually it’s related to the worries of work, family, friends and anxiety. A great way to calm those voices is to start a bedtime journal. It’s a way to organically process your thoughts and worries of the day. Set aside some time each night to write down your thoughts. Add this to your sleep habit to improve your sleep hygiene. In doing so you reduce the chances of overthinking and going over things time after time whilst you lay in bed. Download our tracker to log and look back on your routine. Over time you can make changes to your routine to get a better night’s sleep.

Tired but can’t sleep

There are those frustrating nights where we decide to go to bed early because we’re so tired but can’t drift off. Usually this is because in the nights leading up to the ‘I’m going to get an early night’ night we lay in bed worrying. Most end up lying in bed getting frustrated because of anxieties. Then begin to fear that the lack of sleep they’re now getting from overthinking means they’ll be shattered for tomorrow. This becomes a vicious cycle as we then begin to connect bed to the negative fears experienced the night before.

The association between bed and bad vibes means that on the night we decide to get an early night we then lie wide awake. The answer to ‘why can’t I sleep?’ in this instance is solely down to the negative connotation subconsciously given to bed in the days leading up to getting an early night. The best remedy for this is to disassociate bed with any negativity. This could be by getting out of bed when you’re wide awake, reading a book in a different room, or having a glass of warm milk to take your mind off worrying about not sleeping. In essence, by reducing the time spent in bed thinking negatively, your brain will associate with bed positively. This positive bed association will lead to a better night’s sleep.

Alcohol and its effect on sleep

Although alcohol is known to be a sedative, too much can have a negative affect on sleeping patterns. A bit too much can lead to having to get up a lot in the night to pop to the loo too. Using alcohol to drift off can effect sleep hygiene negatively. The Sleep Foundation recommends to stop drinking a minimum of four hours before you head to bed.

Where you rest your head

Another factor to creating a positive sleep environment is where we rest our heads. Where possible try to ensure your sleeping environment is cool, dark and quiet. As we’ve mentioned in our 30 top tips, keep things as quiet as possible. If you live in a noisy neighbourhood it’s best to invest in some good ear plugs. Essential oils help relieve stress and relax the mind to drift off naturally. Try spritzing your pillow with our personal favourite, jasmine. Although lemon, bergamot, lavender and ylang ylang are great too. It’s also best to check the temperaturee in your bedroom. We suggest anything between 16-18’C. During the night our bodies need to lose heat and a cool bedroom can help with this.


Mental health and wellbeing are two factors that can positively or negatively affect your sleep. Try practicing positive wellbeing techniques such as yoga before bed, mindfulness, relaxation exercises and CBT. These will help prepare your mind for bedtime, so you can drift off naturally. Sleep Well has helped a number of people with anxiety get a good night’s sleep. “My anxieties have been high and restless nights have not been good. Since using Sleep Well, I manage to sleep through and I feel more refreshed in the mornings now.” By drinking 250ml before bedtime you can help naturally relax your mind. By giving yourself the time and space to improve your mental health and wellbeing, you’ll see a positive impact on your sleep too.

So what now?

All in all there are many different reasons why we can’t sleep. Most reasons are temporary and can be alleviated by looking inwards and taking the time to reflect. Ensure you focus on your wellbeing and mental health to create positive sleeping habits. Like most things, the practice of good sleeping can be learnt. So don’t give up and invest in yourself for a great night’t sleep.

Happy Sleeping. With love, Sleep Well x