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Why Can't I Sleep at Night? - Go Deeper for the Truth

Updated on September 20, 2014
Go deeper to find out why you can't sleep at night
Go deeper to find out why you can't sleep at night

Frustrated with Sleep

Losing sleep? Having trouble staying asleep though the night? Waking up completely tired after what you think was a full night's sleep? These are the most common symptoms of insomnia. You wonder and wonder.

You ask your friends. Why can't I sleep at night? Why do I wake up in the middle of the night? Why do I keep tossing and turning for hours in bed and get only a few hours sleep at night?

You read as much as possible, even ask your doctor. You try out everything and you bring about all the changes that you think may help you get a good night's sleep. You eat a light dinner. You stop taking your usual dose of caffeine in the evening. You switch to doing something relaxing before heading to bed. Everything is in vain.

Well, before you think that this is another article that talks about how certain medications, diseases, and lifestyle habits may be responsible for your poor sleep, read on. You may just find something interesting here that could be the root cause of your insomnia.

Dig deep for the cause of your insomnia

If you have already ruled out everything else that most people tell you about, it is time to look deeper. It is time to look deeper into your psyche. It is time to go further into your soul.

The guilt of a past event or a deep loss or betrayal or your soul calling for your attention could be the reason for your lack of sleep. Anything that has a deep impact on your heart, mind and soul could be the reason for your sleeplessness.

What could it be? What could be your reason? Is something troubling your soul? Is something weighing on your mind?

Suppressing emotions can make you lose sleep

The circumstances of your life can sometimes cause you to lose sleep. Call it stress, depression, anger, sadness, or any other so-called "negative emotion". However, while most people are able to get over difficult life situations, others are not so successful.

Often, we go through a tough situation and come out of it successfully as well. But the question is how you define "coming out successfully". Grieving for your loss, acknowledging it, accepting your loss, and letting go and moving on is one thing. However, suppressing your emotions is another thing.

Consider the breaking up of a relationship. How did you deal with the pain? Of course, there was pain. You were hurt. Someone you thought would be a part of your life forever just walked out of your life. There may be a betrayal involved. Or it may just be simple falling apart, a distance that kept growing between the two of you. The reason could be any.

The important thing is how did you deal with it? Did you spend time asking some hard-hitting questions? Did you cry? Did you share your feelings with someone? Did you express your anger and pain in some form? Or did you just say "whatever" and go on from one to the other relationship?

If you dealt with the loss of your relationship in a healthy way, you will sooner or later get back your usual life as well as your usual sleep. If not, you are going to lose sleep. Suppressed emotions will keep haunting you. They will wake you up in the middle of the night. They will make you feel exhausted even after having a so-called "full night's sleep".

Simply said, if you have tried everything and nothing seems to help you get back your sleep, it is time to look at some suppressed emotions. Your dreams may give you a very good signal about what you are suppressing. What is often called your intuition or gut feeling can give you a sign. That thought that suddenly comes into your mind and you immediately push it away? It could be the answer to your question about why you can't sleep at night.

Ignoring the call of your soul may cause insomnia

Why can't I sleep at night? Well, maybe your soul has the answer to this question. Often, we are so busy with our lives that we just don't pay attention to our spirit. You are earning money. Have a great job. A wonderful partner and great children! You seem to have it all!

Yet, try as you may, you just can't understand why you can't sleep at night. It could be a long forgotten life purpose. Something that you intended to do when you were young but forgot all about it while living what may have been a wonderful life.

It is time to ask some questions. Is your soul keeping you up all night? What does your spirit want? What was it that you intended to do years back when you were probably young and innocent and wanted to make a real difference to the world? Your soul wants your attention. It is telling you that it is time to get back to your forgotten life purpose.

Is guilt making you lose sleep?
Is guilt making you lose sleep?

A feeling of guilt can lead to sleeplessness

Guilt can drive your crazy. A wrong deed, a pain caused to a loved one, a harm caused by your own selfishness. It can be anything. You think you haven't done anything wrong. You tell yourself you do not regret what you did. You convince yourself you do not feel guilty.

Yet, you just can't forget. You wake up in the middle of the night with your guilt choking you. You get into bed and this thought just won't go away, keeping you up for hours and hours. Ask yourself: Why can't I sleep at night? Is it my guilt? Is it what I did ten years back? If the answer is yes, then you know the cause of your insomnia.

Guilt has to be accepted. If there is anything that you can do to undo the harm that you caused, do it. Anything that helps heal your heart and reduce your guilt, do it. If you think you should apologize, do it. If you can return something that you stole from the other person, do it. Simply said, tackle the guilt and you will get back your lost sleep.

Thinking that you are not good enough

The worst part about guilt is that often people accept it as something that they have to live throughout their lives. True, you cannot undo the harm that your actions caused. But if you learnt your lesson and never repeated it again, did everything in your power to "right the wrong", there is no need to keep punishing yourself for one mistake.

This can make you think that you are not a good person. You have probably done hundreds of good deeds since that one mistake but these are not enough. You still judge yourself with that one mistake. You are not a good person, you tell yourself. This can make it difficult for you to fall asleep.

However, the fact is that you did do something wrong but you can't go back in time and undo it. It has happened. It is time to take steps that can help heal the guilt. Ask yourself what is it that you can do to turn your mistake and your guilt into something positive. There will be the solution to your guilt, that heaviness in your heart, as well as your insomnia.

Go deeper to find the cause of your insomnia

Now, here we talk about only a few causes of insomnia. However, there are definitely more. The idea of putting these reasons here is to bring to your attention that a good sleep is a result of a happy, complete, and fulfilled person. If you are not aware of your emotions and your deepest desires and thoughts, your sleep is going to be affected.

If you have already ruled out the most common causes of insomnia, it is time to go deeper. So, ask yourself a few questions. Why can't I sleep at night? Do I feel incomplete? Is it because I miss something? Do I regret what I did last year or twenty years back? Do I feel I am not a good person just because I did something that I shouldn't have done? Ask and you will surely find the reason for your sleeplessness.

Relaxation music for sleep

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    • profile imageAUTHOR

      Better Emotions 

      5 years ago

      Thank you, Audrey for sharing your valuable comments!

      The idea of writing this hub was to tell people that for getting a good night's sleep you need to take good care of your emotional health. If you suppress your emotions or allow it to rule your life and and your actions, it will affect your sleep too.

      Meditation is excellent since it allows you to accept how you feel and also allows you to let go of things that you cannot change and gives you the strength to work on the things that you can change.

      Thank you!

    • brakel2 profile image

      Audrey Selig 

      5 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

      Hi You are right about losing sleep over emotions or something deep inside you. Like another comment, I too am into meditation. I do meditation at bedtime which helps me to sleep. There are times it is difficult due to brain overload, as I call it. Thanks for sharing this information. Blessings. Audrey

    • profile imageAUTHOR

      Better Emotions 

      6 years ago

      Good suggestion, Goodpal!

      As someone above mentioned it is Ok to be an insomniac. Sometimes, worrying too much about lack of sleep can also cause sleeplessness.

      I guess just relax and allow sleep to come to you.

    • Goodpal profile image


      6 years ago

      A suggestion to Misi.

      Stop paying attention to lack of long sleeping hours. You may be amazed to see the results!

    • profile imageAUTHOR

      Better Emotions 

      6 years ago

      Hi Misi,

      To start with, introduce a few relaxing rituals into your routine right before you head for bed.

      Take dinner and spend the next 2 hours, doing something relaxing. Avoid coffee or alcohol or eating anything else during these 2 hours.

      Go out for a walk for 30 minutes and just focus on your walking. Don't pay too much attention to your thoughts.

      Then come back home, listen to some relaxing music, take a warm shower, or do a little bit of meditation or relaxation exercise.

      Just sit still, and focus on your breathing. Do this for about 15 minutes or for as long as you can.

      You can try out the relaxation music in the above video.

      Then just head over to your bed and see if it helps.

      If something in your life is troubling you, please do look into ways to deal with it. If you don't deal with the problem, you won't be able to sleep at night.

      Take care and get back to me if you need any further help.

    • profile imageAUTHOR

      Better Emotions 

      6 years ago

      Hi Long Time Mother,

      You are right. Some people are just born night owls. They perform better on nights than in the daytime and they just like the peace and calm of the night.

      The only thing, in my opinion, is that sleep is required. So, if you are not at all getting any sleep because you are emotionally upset, it may be time to look into it.

      If you can't sleep at night and you are constantly feeling tired because of lack of sleep, some deep emotional trauma may be troubling you and calling for your attention.

      Thanks for taking the time to go through the article!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Been two weeks now and I've been sleeping at 4 or 5 in the morning I find it hard to sleep. And I don't know what to do. Please help anyone.

    • LongTimeMother profile image


      6 years ago from Australia

      This is an interesting hub. I have to wonder, however, whether some people worry unnecessarily about insomnia. I'm convinced I'm just a night person. I don't feel guilty about not sleeping when the rest of the world (or at least my part of the world) are tucked up in bed.

      When I wrote a hub a while back about insomnia being a writer's friend, I discovered there's a bunch of other night owl writers.

      Interesting ideas here though. Voted up. :)

    • Goodpal profile image


      6 years ago

      I am glad to know that you are also a mindfulness meditator. For me this meditation means more than anything or anyone - if I am alive and sharing with you today it is all because of meditation and due to support of a lot wonderful human beings from all corners of the world I met at various meditation centers.

      In all honesty, I got this second life over a decade ago when accidentally someone suggested me to surrender whatever was left of life in me to this meditation. And I did, as I had no other choice anyway; no money, no shelter, acutely asthmatic and mind filled with hatred against people whom I perceived to have betrayed me. I was virtually paralyzed by near total depression, suffocating chest and deep hatred "to teach them a lesson."

      I surrendered myself totally towards meditating and serving others for nearly 18 months. Then things begin to happen which ordinary folks can safely call miracle, but actually nothing but nature working according to its laws. There is unbelievably deep satisfaction in helping others; this is healing as well, was another discovery. I don't need any expert to convince me.

      Three years ago I took to writing and discovered another wonderful channel of writing for self healing; it happens by itself as long as you are honest. Stress and anxieties are too minor things to apply mindfulness meditation; it has the potential to elevate any honest practitioner to a higher plain of living. I have a lot of inspiring examples before me. The real beauty is that this form of meditation doesn't make you escapist; on the contrary, it puts you face to face with all your shortcomings you never wanted anyone to know.

      I am sure yours hubs will motivate a lot of people to move towards happier ways of living, away from the rat race of merely existing.

      Thanks for sharing!

    • profile imageAUTHOR

      Better Emotions 

      6 years ago


      Yes, stress can indeed cause lots of sleep problems and sleeplessness is only one of them.

      The idea is to understand yourself better, keep your stress and anxiety under control, and you will probably sleep much better.

      Thanks for stopping by!

    • profile imageAUTHOR

      Better Emotions 

      6 years ago


      You are absolutely correct. Unresolved emotional conflicts can play havoc with our whole life and, of course, that includes sleep as well.

      I also agree a 100% with you about mindfulness meditation. It is a very powerful tool for anyone who is or has gone through difficult times. We all have and we all could actually benefit from this powerful practice. It not only keeps you calmer but it also allows you to face your emotional problems in a very healthy manner. Allows you to stay focused in the now, understand your thoughts.

      Of course, with thoughts come emotions. So, more you understand your thoughts the better aware you are of your emotions. Needless to say, the better you handle your emotions and feelings, the better you can sleep.

      So, agree with you that mindfulness meditation can help everyone (has helped me too) in getting a good, restful and refreshing sleep.

      Thank you very much for your valuable inputs.

    • Goodpal profile image


      6 years ago

      Unresolved emotional issues certainly affect sleep as much as they affect other aspects of living: work, family, relations. Certainly, you can't rest in peace if there is turmoil in the mind; and if you "can't rest in peace" then certainly you can't sleep in peace. Eating disorder (and putting on fat) is another common side effect.

      Developing healthy attitude towards family, relations, job and life along with positive thinking and trust is some force bigger force help us sail past emotional turmoil. My favorite shield against hardships has been mindfulness meditation for a long time. It helps me keeps things in perspective and not get overly carried away with some emotion or people.

      Good and thought provoking Hub! Thanks for writing.

    • profile imageAUTHOR

      Better Emotions 

      6 years ago

      Hi Goodpal,

      Thank you for your valuable comments. It is true that exercising and physical work can get you to sleep well. However, the purpose of this hub was to help people who just can't get a good night's sleep because of emotional issues.

      I hope that this hub helps people who have tried everything from exercising to medication and yet had no success in getting back their lost sleep.

      Basically, the message is that if there are certain emotional issues that you haven't handled in a positive way, it is time to pay attention to these. This step may be what you need to take to get back to sleeping well.

    • Goodpal profile image


      6 years ago

      You have identified several causes for lack of sleep. However, to get sleep there is an almost universal remedy: heavy exercising or tiring physical work. Due to plenty of labor saving appliances and facilities, people rarely do physical work. As a result, any emotional disturbance can deprive them good night sleep. Half to one hour of brisk walk, jogging, swimming or any other physical activity should work well.


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