The Causes of Restless Sleep: Why It Happens

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Restless sleep is when you’re unable to sleep at night because of restlessness. This can be due to a racing mind, lack of sleep and constant movement. You feel like you’re not fully asleep or experiencing deep and restful sleep. Constantly tossing and turning to find a comfortable position because you’re unable to sleep is a common experience. But what are the underlying causes of restless sleep?

The causes of restless sleep

  1. Stress and anxiety
  2. Sleep disorders
  3. Hormonal imbalance
  4. Bad food habits
  5. Lifestyle habits

Stress and anxiety. One of the key causes of restless sleep is stress and anxiety. Teenagers and millennials face so much negative stress in their day to day lives. From work and studies to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, stress and anxiety has sadly become a mainstay in their lives. As a result, stress and anxiety leads to restless sleep as your body and mind is unable to switch off from the negative thoughts.

Sleep disorders. If you suffer from sleep disorders such as insomnia, it might be one of the causes of restless sleep. You’re unable to fall into a deep sleep and end up staying awake until late at night. As a result, you feel tired, experience daytime sleepiness and are just not comfortable. In case you have been unable to sleep properly for more than 3 weeks, please visit a qualified expert who can help you.

Hormonal imbalance. When you’re under a lot of stress, facing burnout, on your period or unwell, the hormone levels in your body are haywire. Too much cortisol and adrenaline and not enough serotonin, melatonin or oxytocin. You feel low, weighed down and negative. Your sleep is also affected by this hormonal imbalance in your body. Serotonin and melatonin are key hormones that regulate your sleep cycle and restful sleep. Thus, it’s key you know how to reduce cortisol levels and improve melatonin, serotonin, oxytocin and the other happy chemicals in your body!


Bad food habits. You’re probably wondering how food is relevant to restless sleep, right? The food you eat and the diet you follow can directly affect your sleep quality. Eating large, carbohydrate rich dinners, drinking caffeinated beverages after 5 pm and not drinking enough water impacts your sleep. Start snacking healthy, eat melatonin rich foods and you’ll realise that one of the key causes of restless sleep was your food!

Lifestyle choices. You may be studying hard and working till late at night. Or you stay up late trying to finish that final episode of Game Of Thrones. How you live your life can affect the quality of your sleep and can cause restless sleep. Your brain is awake and stimulated, you’re not winding down for the right and constantly active. If you do that, you won’t enjoy good sleep or fall asleep fast. Take a moment and reflect on your sleep habits. Try a sleep routine and incorporate these simple hacks to sleep better!


How to overcome restless sleep?

Restless sleep is caused due to a variety of reasons that are internal or external to your system. If you can understand how to overcome it, it’ll be great! Meditation, reflection and relaxing before you sleep can help your brain and body switch off!

Find simple ways to reduce stress and anxiety and incorporate mindfulness into your day and you will find yourself enjoying better sleep and being in a happier state of mind.

Evolve’s guided audios help you fall asleep faster, overcome restless sleep and improve sleep quality over time! The Evolve app is now live globally on Android & Apple, click here to try for free!

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