i couldn't sleep although i was tired

Not being able đồ sộ sleep is annoying enough. But if you feel tired and still can’t drift off, it can feel lượt thích your body toàn thân is conspiring against you. 

Many things might be stopping you from sleeping, but — luckily — there are science-backed solutions đồ sộ help. 

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Below, we’ll dive into the reasons you can’t sleep, despite feeling tired, and what you can tự đồ sộ solve them. Plus, we’ll share how the RISE ứng dụng can help you fall asleep at your desired bedtime, night after night. 

Advice from a sleep doctor:

“Try being more awake during the day. Bask in the sun, socialize with friends, and tự some exercise. This will help regulate your body toàn thân clock and should help you feel sleepy at nighttime.”

Rise Science Medical Reviewer Dr. Chester Wu

Why Can’t I Sleep Even Though I’m Tired?

Here are the common reasons you feel tired, but can’t sleep. 

1. You’ve Got Poor Sleep Hygiene 

RISE ứng dụng screenshot showing when đồ sộ limit caffeine intake

The RISE ứng dụng can tell you when đồ sộ tự 20+ sleep hygiene habits.

‍Sleep hygiene is the name for the behaviors you can tự each day đồ sộ get a good night’s sleep. 

If you’ve got poor sleep hygiene, you may struggle đồ sộ fall asleep, even when you’re tired. Even worse? You might wake up in the night, too, making it even harder đồ sộ get enough shut-eye.

Poor sleep hygiene includes: 

  • Having an irregular sleep schedule 
  • Having stimulants lượt thích caffeine too close đồ sộ bedtime 
  • Not getting natural light exposure in the morning, and getting too much light before bed 
  • Having alcohol, eating large meals, and doing intense exercise close đồ sộ bedtime 
  • Using over-the-counter sleep sida đồ sộ fall asleep when you’re not tired 

The fix: RISE can tell you when đồ sộ tự 20+ sleep hygiene habits each day, including when đồ sộ get and avoid light, and when đồ sộ avoid caffeine, intense exercise, large meals, and alcohol. 

RISE users on iOS 1.202 and above can click here đồ sộ phối up their 20+ in-app habit notifications. 

2. You’re Out of Sync With Your Circadian Rhythm

If you’re tired all day and then wide awake at night, it’s usually because your body toàn thân clock has gone awry. 

This is your circadian rhythm. This internal clock runs on a roughly 24-hour cycle and helps đồ sộ control your sleep cycle. If you’re out of sync with it, you might find yourself tired, but your body toàn thân isn’t primed for sleep, so sánh you struggle đồ sộ drift off. 

You might be out of sync with your circadian rhythm if: 

  • You work night shifts or rotating shifts 
  • You have social jetlag, or an irregular sleep schedule (87% of us do)
  • You’re living at odds with your chronotype, lượt thích when a night owl has đồ sộ get up early for work 

The fix: Try đồ sộ keep a regular sleep schedule, even on your days off. Either honor your chronotype (there’s nothing wrong with being a night owl!) or reset your circadian rhythm and shift it earlier or later đồ sộ match your lifestyle. 

We’ve covered how đồ sộ reset your circadian rhythm here. 

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3. You’ve Missed Your Melatonin Window 

Your Melatonin Window is what we Call the roughly one-hour window of time when your body’s rate of melatonin production is at its highest. Melatonin is the hooc môn that primes your body toàn thân for sleep, so sánh you’ll have an easier time drifting off during this window. 

If you miss your Melatonin Window and go đồ sộ bed too late, you may struggle đồ sộ fall asleep. 

And the same thing can happen if you try going đồ sộ bed too early. You may feel tired (worn out and low on energy), but not sleepy (physically nodding off). If this happens, you’re better off doing a relaxing activity until you feel sleepy enough đồ sộ crawl into bed.   

The fix: Check RISE for the timing of your Melatonin Window each night and aim đồ sộ go đồ sộ bed within this window of time. Keep a regular sleep schedule đồ sộ keep the timing of your Melatonin Window roughly the same each night.

RISE users on iOS 1.202 and above can click here đồ sộ phối up a reminder đồ sộ kiểm tra their Melatonin Window.

4. You’re Stressed or Anxious  

Stress and anxiety don’t play nice with sleep. If you’re in a state of stress, you’ll have high levels of the hooc môn cortisol, which can stop your body toàn thân from winding down and drifting off. 

It’s also easy for our minds đồ sộ start ruminating (or endlessly worrying) at night. We don’t have any distractions when we’re laying in bed, so sánh we may find ourselves going over the same anxious thoughts. 

The fix: Try breathing exercises that have been scientifically proven đồ sộ lower your stress and help you sleep. These exercises can also provide a distraction đồ sộ break the rumination cycle.

  • A 2021 study found diaphragmatic breathing helped nurses feel less anxiety and fall asleep faster. 
  • Another 2021 study found deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation reduced anxiety and improved quality of sleep in hospitalized older adults. (Although there’s no phối definition for sleep quality). 
  • A 2023 study found psychological or cyclic sighing, which emphasizes prolonged exhalations, helped reduce anxiety and improve mood. This study was co-authored by one of our sleep advisors, Dr. Jamie Zeitzer, Co-Director of the Center for Sleep & Circadian Sciences at Stanford University. 

RISE has in-app audio guides that walk you through exercises lượt thích diaphragmatic breathing and progressive muscle relaxation.

Need more advice on calming down? We’ve covered breathing exercises đồ sộ tự before bed here and how đồ sộ sleep with anxiety here.

RISE users on iOS 1.202 and above can click here đồ sộ go đồ sộ their relaxation audio guide homepage.

5. You Took a Nap

RISE ứng dụng screenshot showing energy peak and dip times

The RISE ứng dụng can predict your circadian rhythm each day.

While we usually encourage napping, it can be the reason you can’t fall asleep at night. If you nap for too long or too late in the day, you may not have enough sleep pressure — the urge đồ sộ sleep — đồ sộ drift off that night. 

This can cause sleep deprivation, and then a bigger urge đồ sộ nap the next day. 

The fix: Keep naps short and earlier in the day. The best time đồ sộ nap is during your afternoon dip in energy. This is far away enough from bedtime đồ sộ (hopefully) not affect your nighttime sleep, and you’ll be feeling naturally sleepy at this time anyway. 

RISE can predict the timing of your circadian rhythm each day, so sánh you can see when this afternoon dip will be.

RISE users on iOS 1.202 and above can click here đồ sộ see their upcoming energy peaks and dips on the Energy screen.

If you’re looking for an energy boost in the evening, consider yoga nidra or NSDR. Studies show yoga nidra can give you some of the same benefits you’ll get from a nap, such as improvements in mood and alertness, without reducing sleep pressure.

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6. You’re Using Screens Before Bed 

Screens — including your phone, máy vi tính, and TV — emit xanh rớt light. And xanh rớt light is one of the most disruptive wavelengths of light đồ sộ your circadian rhythm. It pushes it back and suppresses melatonin production, meaning you may struggle đồ sộ fall asleep at your usual bedtime. 

Beyond light, screens can be disruptive đồ sộ your sleep if they excite or stress you too much before bed. Consuming exciting or anxiety provoking nội dung before bed (think watching an action movie or reading the news) can energize you rather phàn nàn calm you down, causing you đồ sộ miss your Melatonin Window and delay your bedtime. The nội dung you’re consuming on your screens can also cause you đồ sộ miss your Melatonin due đồ sộ its bingeable or addictive nature. The same goes for playing multiplayer games online, as it’s hard đồ sộ pull yourself away if your friends continue playing late into the night. 

The fix: Put on blue-light blocking glasses about 90 minutes before bed (we recommend these). 

Avoiding electronic devices an hour or so sánh before bed may help, but you don’t have đồ sộ if you enjoy pre-bed screen time. The research is mixed, but a 2022 study found truyền thông use before bed was linked đồ sộ an earlier bedtime. 

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And if truyền thông use was done in bed and didn’t involve multitasking (so no scrolling on social truyền thông with Netflix on in the background), it was linked đồ sộ more sleep time, too. 

Just be sure đồ sộ consume relaxing nội dung, such as a sitcom you’ve seen before, and consider setting a bedtime alarm or putting your devices on a timer, so sánh you don’t blow past bedtime. 

You can learn more about the science of screens before bed here, including how đồ sộ enjoy them and still feel sleepiness right on cue at bedtime. 

7. You’re Uncomfortable 

It doesn’t matter how sleepy you are, if you’re in pain or discomfort, it’s going đồ sộ be hard đồ sộ relax and fall asleep. 

And beyond obvious discomfort, you need đồ sộ make sure your bedroom is a sleep-inducing environment. It shouldn’t be too bright, too noisy, or too warm for sleep. 

Temperature is hugely important, yet often overlooked. Your core body toàn thân temperature needs đồ sộ drop in order for you đồ sộ drift off. That means a warm bedroom or thick pajamas could be stopping you from sleeping. 

The fix: Audit everything about your sleep set-up — your bedroom, your bed, and your sleep position. 

Try: 

  • Switching up your sleep position đồ sộ get more comfortable
  • Experimenting with pillow positions (or sleeping without a pillow)  
  • Buying a mattress topper or a new mattress 
  • Making sure your bedroom is dark, cool, and quiet (wear earplugs and an eye mask, and phối your thermostat đồ sộ 65 đồ sộ 68 degrees Fahrenheit đồ sộ make this happen). 

8. It’s Your Hormones 

The reason you’re struggling đồ sộ sleep isn’t always something you can control. Unfortunately, hormones can wreak havoc with your sleep. 

Fluctuating hormones can change your body toàn thân temperature, anxiety levels, and cause symptoms lượt thích hot flashes or night sweats. 

The fix: You can’t control your hormones, but you can work đồ sộ mitigate the sleep issues they cause. Pay extra attention đồ sộ good sleep hygiene, especially keeping cool and calm before bed. 

We’ve covered advice for common times of life when hormones are their most disruptive, including: 

  • On your period
  • When pregnant  
  • When going through menopause or perimenopause (the time before menopause)

9. You Have a Sleep Disorder

Sometimes, a sleep disorder may be behind your trouble sleeping. 

This includes:

  • Insomnia: You may have trouble falling asleep at the start of the night, wake up in the middle of the night and struggle đồ sộ drift back off, or wake up too early and find you’re unable đồ sộ get back đồ sộ sleep. Chronic insomnia can be genetic, but it can also be caused by poor sleep hygiene.
  • Delayed sleep-wake phase disorder: This is when your sleep is abnormally delayed compared đồ sộ the light-dark cycle of the outside world. It affects about 1% of adults.
  • Restless leg syndrome: This is when you have uncomfortable sensations in your legs and an uncontrollable urge đồ sộ move them. This can happen in the evening, stopping you from falling asleep.
  • Sleep apnea: This is when your airways close off during the night and your body toàn thân wakes you up đồ sộ kickstart your breathing. Once you’re awake, your stress levels may be too high đồ sộ fall back đồ sộ sleep. Research shows sleep apnea and insomnia usually coexist.

The fix: Talk đồ sộ your healthcare provider or đồ sộ a sleep specialist. They’ll be able đồ sộ test you for sleep disorders and recommend the best treatments, which could be medication, lifestyle changes, a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine, or cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I). 

10. You Have a Medical Condition 

Beyond sleep problems, health issues and medical conditions could be causing sleeplessness.

These include: 

  • Mental health issues lượt thích depression and anxiety 
  • COVID (including long COVID)
  • Chronic pain 
  • Digestive issues lượt thích acid reflux or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

The fix: Talk đồ sộ your healthcare provider if you think a health condition is behind your sleepless nights. They can recommend treatments and medications đồ sộ help. 

Paying extra attention đồ sộ your sleep hygiene can make sure nothing else keeps you awake. 

Should I Just Stay Awake If I Can’t Sleep?

RISE ứng dụng screenshot showing how much sleep debt you have

The RISE ứng dụng can work out how much sleep debt you have.

In the short term, yes. After đôi mươi minutes or so sánh of trying đồ sộ sleep, tự a sleep reset. This involves getting out of bed and doing a relaxing activity until you feel sleepy again. Try reading, journaling, or doing gentle yoga. 

This will stop your brain from making the liên kết between being awake and being in bed, also known as stimulus control. It should also provide a distraction, so sánh you don’t get stressed about not being able đồ sộ sleep. Dr. Jade Wu, a Board-certified behavioral sleep medicine specialist and researcher at Duke University School of Medicine and author of Hello Sleep, a helpful new (2023) book on overcoming insomnia without medication, advises thinking of this time as bonus me-time and enjoying it, knowing that sleep is coming. 

Staying awake if you can’t sleep can also be, perhaps surprisingly, an effective treatment for insomnia. This is called sleep restriction, when you intentionally get less sleep for a phối period, which can lead đồ sộ feeling sleepier at night in the long term. You should only attempt sleep restriction with the help of a cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) therapist or ứng dụng. 

While staying awake can be useful in the short term, in the long term, you shouldn’t just stay awake if you can’t sleep. Sleep is vital for health, energy, and productivity. If you don’t get the sleep you need (known as your sleep need), you’ll build up sleep debt (a measure of how much sleep you owe your body). And this will lead đồ sộ adverse health outcomes, poor mood, and low energy. 

Expert tip: When you’re out of bed, keep the lights low and avoid looking at the time. You want đồ sộ create a relaxing sleep environment, and bright lights and stressful clock-watching won’t help you feel sleepy.

RISE can work out your unique sleep need and whether you’re carrying any sleep debt. 

RISE users on iOS 1.202 and above can click here đồ sộ view their sleep need and here đồ sộ view their sleep debt.

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How Can I Fall Asleep?

The ultimate goal is đồ sộ feel sleepy at bedtime and drift off easily when you crawl into bed at night. 

While we can’t tự much about hormones or health issues, we can control our sleep hygiene. And good sleep hygiene is scientifically proven đồ sộ help you fall asleep — and stay asleep — each night. 

Here’s what đồ sộ do: 

  • Get bright light first thing: This resets your circadian rhythm for the day, keeping your sleep schedule on track. Aim for at least 10 minutes of light as soon as possible after waking up, or 15 đồ sộ đôi mươi minutes if it's overcast or you’re getting light through a window.
  • Avoid light close đồ sộ bedtime: Dim the lights and put on blue-light blocking glasses about 90 minutes before bed. Use screens wisely, or avoid them an hour or so sánh before bed. 
  • Avoid caffeine, large meals, intense exercise, and alcohol too late in the day: You don’t have đồ sộ give them up — you just need đồ sộ get the timing right. Check RISE for when đồ sộ avoid each one daily.
  • Do a relaxing bedtime routine: This will help your body toàn thân and brain wind down for the night. This is helpful for everyone, but especially those who find stress and anxiety keep them awake. Try reading, listening đồ sộ music, journaling, or doing yoga.
  • Avoid sleeping pills: Sleep sida come with side effects and there’s a risk of “rebound insomnia,” when your sleep gets even worse when you stop taking them. 

RISE can guide you through 20+ sleep habits each day and tell you the ideal time đồ sộ tự each one đồ sộ make them more effective.

For the best results, tự these sleep tips every day — not just when you’re having trouble falling asleep. This will ensure you’re getting the best night’s sleep possible, keeping your sleep debt low. Then, when a bad night of sleep happens, it won’t be as impactful. 

To finish, we turned đồ sộ a sleep expert. Our medical advisor, Dr. Chester Wu (no relation đồ sộ Dr. Jade Wu), provides sleep medicine services at his private sleep and psychiatry practice. We asked for his top piece of advice for those times when you feel tired, but just can’t sleep.

“Try being more awake during the day. Bask in the sun, socialize with friends, and tự some exercise. This will help regulate your body toàn thân clock and should help you feel sleepy at nighttime.” Rise Science Medical Reviewer Dr. Chester Wu

Want more advice? We’ve covered what đồ sộ tự when you can’t sleep here, including the many other factors that could be keeping you awake (and their fixes).

RISE users on iOS 1.202 and above can click here đồ sộ phối up their 20+ in-app habit notifications.

Feel Sleepy at Bedtime 

Sleep is essential for health, well-being, focus — just about everything in life. But sometimes our bodies just won’t drift off, no matter how tired we are. To feel sleepy at bedtime, focus on what you can control: sleep hygiene. 

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This includes keeping a regular sleep pattern, getting bright light first thing, and avoiding light, caffeine, meals, alcohol, and exercise at the right times. 

To take the guesswork out of it, the RISE ứng dụng can tell you when exactly đồ sộ tự 20+ sleep hygiene habits. 

All this will help you get the sleep you need, and get it fast — 80% of RISE users got better sleep within five days.