What keeps you up at night – pondering questions, frequent trips to the bathroom, breathing problems, acidity or the very stress about losing sleep? Insomnia or sleep disorder can occur due to various reasons.

Without the proper quality of sleep, all of your efforts for beauty, anti-aging, weight loss, immune boosting are marginally effective. In this article, know about the common reasons for sleep problems and how to tackle them for a peaceful night’s sleep.

When Should You Sleep?

Your body follows its own natural clock called the Circadian Rhythm. The ideal hours for you to unwind and go to sleep is between 9 to 11 pm. Anything that disrupts the normal pattern will through of your sleep. In addition, the hours before midnight are said to doubly restorative. This will set up for an energized start in the morning.

Reasons Why You Can’t Sleep

According to a study conducted by a consumer products giant, nearly 93% of Indians are sleep-deprived. The changing lifestyle and intrusion of modern gadgets have only aggravated the situation. If you can’t sleep, here’s why:

1. Pain/Inflammation 

Chronic inflammation may be the engine that drives most of the feared illnesses including sleep problems. Inflammation is the immune system’s natural response to illness or injury. As a result, free radicals are produced to mop up the damage.

Once the free radicals are done with their clean up job, the body uses anti-oxidants to clear those free radicals like a fire extinguisher. If we don’t have enough antioxidants in the body, free radicals build-up and let the fire go out of control, leading to chronic inflammation in the body.

In order to get high inflammation under control, we need to have an abundant supply of antioxidants. So, load up on natural antioxidants in your food to tackle inflammation and your sleep problem.


2. Stress

High levels of cortisol, the stress hormone can hamper your sleep routine. The ideal cortisol pattern is high in the morning and through the day, but during the evening it should gradually fall down and by night it should go back to its low levels. However, for most of us, the cortisol pattern is abnormal.

You might have levels of cortisol during night times, leading to arousal and preventing you to sleep. According to a study, patients who had better sleep had lowered cortisol levels in the night by 54%.

Meditation, gentle exercise, avoiding late night eating will help to lower your cortisol levels and induce sleep naturally. Ashwagandha, an Ayurvedic herb will also help to regulate your adrenal gland and support healthy cortisol levels.

3. Hormonal Imbalance

If you are suffering from menopause and low estrogen levels, it can give you sleep problems. Hot flashes that occur during menopause can lead to wakefulness in the night. In addition, low progesterone levels can also jeopardize sleep. Commonly referred to as nature’s valerian, progesterone calms the brain and decreases anxiety. In general, try to get enough sunlight and avoid using blue-light emitting electronics that can hamper the production of the sleep hormone, melatonin. Taking magnesium-rich foods and fat-soluble vitamins along with evening rituals to optimize sleep will help.

Women with low levels of progesterone can also consider progesterone cream supplementation to boost progesterone naturally. The key is to balance your hormone levels naturally.

4. Bladder Problems

Frequent nighttime urination can signify bladder problems, waking up once or twice is fine, but more is a cause of concern. Especially common among men,  benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH, an enlarged prostate can lead to an overactive bladder.

On the other hand, fibroids can also lead to overactive bladder. First, try to ascertain any medical cause for frequent nighttime urination to correct it. You can also try behavioral approaches like cutting down on how much you drink in the two hours before bedtime.

5. Sleep Apnea

Finally, obstructive sleep apnea or irregular breathing during night time can be the cause of your sleeping problem. Try natural approaches to treat sleep apnea to reduce nasal congestion, increase oxygen levels in the tissue. Correct your breathing woes with Pranayama that will help enhance the aeration of lungs and reduce episodes of sleep apnea.

  1. Digestive Ailments

A study in Mayo Clinic Proceedings shows that irritable bowel syndrome, indigestion, and heartburn are frequently seen among people with insomnia. There is a definitive link between your gut and sleep.

Therefore, strengthen your gut with the right diet to keep stomach woes at bay and sleep better. If you want to improve sleep, try gut-friendly nutrition by eating a broad and inclusive diet with natural food, not processed ones. Include probiotics and prebiotics for a rich microbiome ecosystem.

Understand the underlying cause of your sleep problem and take the right measures to curb your woes. Rather than popping sedative pills, address the root cause of the problem and have a peaceful sleep routine.


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