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Why can't I sleep? Reasons for trouble sleeping

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Signs of having trouble sleeping

There are some signs that you are having trouble sleeping:
• Difficulty concentrating
• Irritability
• Lack of energy
• Mood changes
• Slowed thinking
• Poor attention span
• Poor memory
• Trouble making decisions

Why can't I sleep?

‘I can't sleep' might mean that you are unable to fall asleep, or that you struggle to stay asleep. Factors that might contribute to trouble sleeping:
• Alcohol
• Anxiety
• Poor sleep habits (e.g. having an irregular sleep schedule)
• Sharing your bed
• Poor sleep environment
• Caffeine
• Stress
• Exercising within an hour of bedtime
• Having high amounts of fat or protein before bedtime or being hungry
• Medication
• Screen time right before bed

Impact of poor sleep

Sleep deprivation can have negative health effects. These consequences include:
• Anxiety
• Bipolar disorder
• Cardiovascular disease
• Depression
• High blood pressure
• Hormone imbalances
• Obesity
• Type 2 diabetes
• Weakened immune system
Lack of sleep is also connected to an overall decrease in quality of life and a greater risk of death.

What should I do if I can't sleep?

What works for you might not work for someone else. Some strategies to improve your sleep include:
• Limit alcohol use
• Give your pets their own beds, or encourage your snoring partner to sleep on their side
• Avoid being too hot or cold
• Turn off devices > an hour before bedtime
• Keep caffeine consumption low
• Try meditation if you are struggling with stress
• Don't do your workout within an hour of bed
• Have a small snack before sleeping

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