Can’t Sleep? Here’s Why and Here’s What To Do.

Occasional sleeplessness is a problem that affects nearly everyone at some point. Stress, travel, irregular schedules, or not knowing how to have good sleep hygiene can all have an impact on how much shut-eye you’re able to get. But the sleep experts at ZzzQuil have you covered: if you’re bothered by occasional sleeplessness, read on to learn some possible reasons why and what to do about it.

Common causes of occasional sleeplessness:

Stress

The signs of stress-related sleeplessness: • Your mind is restless • You fixate on what’s going to happen in the future • Your heart feels like it’s racing • You notice sleeplessness after a particularly trying day

Travel

You might have travel-related sleeplessness if you’re traveling or have recently traveled and:

  • You’re tired but can’t fall asleep

  • Your body has aches and pains

  • You have headaches

  • You feel dehydrated

  • Irregular schedules

The signs of schedule-related sleeplessness:

  • You’ve had a new lifestyle change, like a baby, that impacts your sleep

  • You’re wide awake when you want to sleep

  • You’re tired when you want to be awake

  • You take frequent naps throughout the day

  • You find it hard to wake up in the morning

  • You have too much energy to fall asleep at night

Poor sleep hygiene

The signs of sleep-hygiene-related sleeplessness:

  • You have bright screens in your bedroom, like a TV or laptop

  • Your bed doesn’t feel comfortable

  • Loud noises or bright lights often wake you

What to do about occasional sleeplessness:

  • Practice calming techniques for stress

  • Practice gentle exercise, like walking or yoga, before bedtime

  • Try journaling or meditating to empty your mind

  • Inhale soothing aromatherapy scents like chamomile or lavender

  • Consider taking ashwagandha, a supplement that can help relieve stress*

  • Learn how to lower stress levels before bed so you can get a full night’s rest

Prepare for travel

  • Get a good night’s sleep the night before a traveling day

  • Eat meals at your new location’s time for a couple days before you travel

  • Have a good, nutritious meal before you board a plane

  • Stay hydrated throughout the flight

  • Stretch frequently

  • Click to learn about ZzzQuil’s tips for avoiding jet lag.

Keep your schedule as consistent as possible

  • Keep a regular sleep schedule, including no oversleeping or “catching up” on sleep on the weekends

  • If it’s not possible to keep a consistent schedule, don’t nap more than once a day, and for no longer than 30 minutes C

  • Consider an OTC sleep remedy for those nights when you just can’t seem to get to sleep so you can get the sleep you need and still wake refreshed.

Have great sleep hygiene

  • Banish bright screens before sleep. You should give yourself at least two hours between screen time and bedtime

  • Keep your bedroom around 68 degrees

  • Invest in blackout curtains if you’re in a light-filled environment

  • Click here for a more detailed list of ways to maintain good sleep hygiene

While these are common causes and solutions to occasional sleeplessness, it can be a complex and multi-layered issue. If this doesn’t sound like you, or these remedies don’t work, talk to your healthcare professional about the best way to tackle your sleeplessness.