A sleepless night is right up there on the discomfort scale with nasty period pains, or bumping into your ex and his wife when you’re looking your worst.
Here are some of the reasons why you’re awake when you’re sure everyone else is gently snoring.
Pain. There’s nothing quite like a nasty headache, toothache or a muscle injury to keep you wide awake. The pain may be temporary or related to a specific incident. It may also be related to something more permanent, such as rheumatoid arthritis, which often affects young women. Take a painkiller might assist in temporary relief but see the doctor if the pain persists.
Drinking and/or smoking. Alcohol, especially if taken just before you go to sleep, disrupts your body’s sleep regulator. It helps you nod off, yes but it often makes you wake up later during the night.
Nicotine is a stimulant, so it’s no wonder that it keeps you awake.
Shift work or jet lag. Serious changes in your sleeping routine can wreak havoc with the quality of sleep you’re getting. It should settle down by itself after a few days.
Anxiety. Everyone worries about work, life, family, relationships, money – but when it starts keeping you awake night after night, there’s a problem. High anxiety levels can make your mind race – at exactly the time it needs to slow down and go to sleep.
Mood disorders. Mood disorders such as depression and bipolar disorder can cause sleepless nights on an ongoing basis. Many people with depression manages to fall asleep, but wake up during the night and cannot fall asleep again.
Bedroom blues. Your bed might be uncomfortable, your room may be too noisy, or too light, or you may have a partner whose snoring bothers you. Your room could also be too hot or too cold.