What can I do when I can’t sleep?


June 17, 2021

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Are you going through trouble sleeping? Then probably these are the questions you want to ask-

  • Why am I unable to sleep?
  • I have insomnia. What can I do to sleep?
  • What can I do to help me sleep at night?
  • Why can’t I sleep even though I’m tired?
  • What to take when you can’t sleep?

Sleeping disorders can cause you to have trouble sleeping. For insomnia, it's best to have a fixed sleeping schedule and a sleep-friendly environment. Despite being tired, you can't sleep because your mind is active. Try meditating, avoiding intoxicants before bed, and listening to relaxing music. Melatonin or valerian supplements may be helpful, as well as eating foods high in fibre.

Why am I unable to sleep?

There can be various reasons why you are unable to sleep. Some may be going through stress, anxiety, excess workload, environmental disturbances, excessive indulgence on the internet, and more. However, an average adult human requires 7-8 hours, and in Australia, 33-34% of adults face inadequate sleep. If you fail to achieve these hours, there are high chances of you going through a sleeping disorder. 

How do I know I have a sleep disorder? 

If you wake up feeling tired, face difficulties sleeping at night, and feel exhausted in the daylight, it’s a sign of sleep disorder. There are two common sleeping problems- sleep apnoea and insomnia. In Australia, 8% suffer from sleep apnea and 20% from insomnia. 

In sleep apnoea, you may momentarily stop breathing, grind your teeth while sleeping, talk and move while sleeping. Sleep Apnoea is known to be life-threatening, and you should consult a doctor if you are suffering from it and look for medical assistance. 

Insomnia deals with the struggle to sleep or stay asleep. Often it becomes difficult for you to go back to sleep again and makes you feel tired the whole day. Many times people ask this question, ‘I have insomnia. What can I do to sleep?’ To know the answer, keep reading.

What can I do to sleep at night?

Here are few guidelines you can follow to help you gain sleep at night-

  • Maintain a sleep schedule
  • Do not take work to bed 
  • Avoid or minimise noisy environment
  • Use dim light while sleeping as bright light tend to spoil your sleep
  • Keep your room cool as it helps you to sleep faster 
  • Use blackout curtains to keep your room dark so that you can sleep without disturbance 
  • Adopt healthy habits and avoid unhealthy habits like having a heavy meal at night, drinking and smoking before sleeping, and intense consumption of caffeine 
  • Introduce yourself to relaxation methods to help you stay calm 
  • Exercise regularly to help you sleep better
  • Expose yourself to the sun as natural light helps in balancing health sleep hormone
  • Invest in good-quality mattresses and pillows.

Why can’t I sleep even though I’m tired?

Your mind being active with thoughts is one reason stopping the tired you from sleeping. Moreover, your circadian rhythm (sleep-wake regulator) may fail to process naturally due to irregular light signals your body receives. When your retina gets exposed to light, the body prepares to stay awake, and when exposed to dark, it is ready for sleep. Therefore, introduce dim/dark light in your room to help you sleep faster.

How is sleep disorder threatening? 

In sleep disorder, the intensity slowly builds and affects your health conditions. One of the serious concerns due to sleep disorders is stress on physical and mental health. For example, dealing with a sleep disorder may lead to weight gain, problems in relationships or jobs, weak memory, and calamities like road accidents.

Facts on sleep deprivation

As we have seen earlier in Australia, having an inadequate sleep is very common. Hence, we shall have a look at some of the statistics of Australia-

  • In Australia, 12% sleep 5-2 hours and 8% for 9 hours 
  • 76% of people sleeping for 5-2 hours report disability or sleep-connected syndrome 
  • 24% of Australian men snore loudly while 17% of women do the same
  • Of people who snore loudly, 70% complained about disability, while 19% reported breathing pauses.
  • 60% of people suffer from at least one sleep syndrome
  • 47% elders could not wake during odd hours while 32% youngsters couldn’t fall back to sleep
  • 31% of women are concerned about not having a decent rest, while 21% of men feel the same
  • 25% of children (12-15years) during weekdays fail to sleep for 8-10 hours 

Why is Australia sleep deprived?

Australia is sleep deprived due to lifestyle, work, health, environment, technology, and more. Let’s look at the statistics 

  • 26% of adults use the internet every night 
  • 16% of adults work before bed
  • 23% adults report of spending their weekdays working and running home errands leading to lack of sleep
  • 17% people failed to attend work while 17% slept at work 
  • 29% of adults made errors at work
  • 20% of Australians fall asleep while driving, while 5% met with accidents 
  • Around 80% of Australians feel sterile after inadequate sleep
  • The Waubra Foundation feels lack of sleep is due to industrial noise 
  • The Waverton Wollstonecraft Rail Noise Action Group (WWRNAG) stated that noise caused by train leads to sleep deprivation for their community in Sydney

What’s the solution?

The problem is significant, and it will take time for improvement. But slowly, initiatives have begun:

According to Philips Global Sleep Survey, 2018, 63% of Australians started taking measurements for proper sleep.

Commercial platforms have also come up with products designed to help people sleep. Unfortunately, a few of these products are; sleep masks, mattresses, calming tea, oil spray, pillow spray, headphones, and more.


Overall, be it Australia or you, it is necessary to address sleep deprivation and look for the right help. Read this post If you are still looking for tips to sleep faster. We hope that you found this content helpful and work towards good sleep for good health.