From stress, to an inconsistent sleep schedule, to too much caffeine, there are a ton of reasons you might find yourself tossing and turning even though you’re tired.
And according to Shelby Harris, Ph.D., director of sleep health at Sleepopolis and author of Women’s Guide to Overcoming Insomnia, the feeling of being tired versus sleepy are actually very different. Being sleepy, or “drowsy,” occurs before we’re ready to actually go to bed, but feeling tired, or “fatigued,” doesn’t necessarily mean you’re ready to turn in for the night.
“People may experience tiredness near bedtime and confuse that with being sleepy, which can make it difficult when trying to fall asleep,” she explains.
Additionally, a number of other factors can keep you up at night, from eating a large meal too close to bedtime, that second cup of coffee you probably didn’t need at 4 p.m., or doing an energizing workout late in the evening.
Here’s a deep dive into more reasons you could be struggling to fall asleep. In general, the solution to getting quality sleep often comes down to sleep hygiene.
As Harris explains, “Proper sleep hygiene is so important when it comes to getting quality sleep, and can often be overlooked.” To that end, here’s how to establish it.