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What are sleeping problems and its causes?

Sleep is very important for our health and has a big influence on our mood, our ability to think and our overall well-being. Some nights we may struggle to go to bed or remain asleep and as a result, we might still feel tired in the morning and not as refreshed as we’d like to be.   

If you struggle with sleeping problems then you may find that the inability to get to sleep is a daily occurrence. Our inability to sleep might be the result of stress or having something on our minds that we’re worried about and haven’t yet resolved. 

Other causes for sleeping problems might include physical and mental health  issues, such as chronic pain and depression. The side effects from medicines which treat issues can also affect sleep. Changes to the sleeping environment or routine, such as working night shifts can also have an impact on sleep quality.  

More causes: 

  • Where you are sleeping is too hot or too cold 
  • A traumatic event 
  • Loss of a loved one

What you might experience

Some people who struggle with sleep at night sometimes say that they feel wide awake at bed time and can’t switch off. You might find that your thoughts are racing and you have a lot on your mind.

Although you might feel tired at night, you might struggle to fall asleep and you find yourself waking up during the night and being unable to get back to sleep. 

A culmination of these experiences might make you dread going to bed at night.

Other things you might experience:

  • Being forgetful
  • Feeling short-tempered
  • Finding it hard to concentrate

How to look after yourself

There are many things you can try to improve you sleep:

  • Build a routine that includes going to sleep and waking up at the same time each day. Your routine can include eating meals and showering at the same time too.

  • Try to avoid napping during the day as this might make
    it harder to fall asleep at night.

  • If you drink caffeinated drinks like coffee or energy drinks, you could try limiting your intake several hours before bed time.

  • Participate in physical activities and go outside to do something active like walking.

  • Doing stretches before bed can help your body to feel relaxed.

  • Make sure that your bedroom environment is dark, comfortable and quiet.

  • Reduce your screen time before bed so that you avoid scrolling through your feeds until you are sleepy.

  • Turn on the digital wellbeing features on your phone which can set app timers and change your screen to grayscale at the same time every day. Blue light filters can also decrease the amount of blue light displayed on the screen.

  • If you’re feeling overwhelmed with emotions at night and need someone to talk to, you can get in touch with 24/7 support services such as Samaritans (116 123) and Childline (0800 1111).

  • If you’ve been lying awake for more than 20 minutes, try reading a book or listening to some relaxing music.

Call us

Support Line 0800 980 7475

Monday to Saturday, 3 to 6pm

Croydon Service 020 8251 0251

Merton Service 020 3984 4004

Sutton Service 020 8680 8899