Question: why do we have trouble sleeping sometimes? And why it is easier to sleep when it's dark?

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  1. @goudie01 Argh! I have trouble sleeping sometimes, it can be so annoying! especially when I’m super tired, but my body just lies there – being awake! For me personally, I think it’s sometimes because my brain is still too busy, thinking or worrying about something, and won’t let me rest. I often find if I write down what is buzzing about in my head, I’m then able to stop thinking, relax and fall asleep. Sometimes it might be because we don’t have the best sleep patterns (sleeping in too much or sleeping during the day can throw our bodies out of whack – this can happen to shift workers or people suffering from jet lag after a long flight across time zones too). It might also be linked to something in the environment (like noise or being too hot or too cold).

    It’s easier to sleep when it’s dark because of our clever body clocks. The biological term is ‘circadian rhythm’ and most of the time, this makes us alert during the day and sleepy at night. One of the major cues for our body clock to know when is ‘awake time’ is light. Parts of our eyes tell our brain how much light is about and this help regulates hormones (an important one that is linked to light and sleep is called ‘melatonin’) that let our body know if it’s time to get active, get hungry or get sleepy. Light is a really important cue to lots of animals – it’s the thing (when the length of daylight in the day gets shroter) that tells birds when it’s time to migrate to avoid really cold Winters – and getting some sunshine makes us happy! but now I’m just getting distracted. Great question – thank you! 🙂


  2. Can’t add anything to Mia’s excellent answer. Make sure you have a routine that let’s you relax before bed so you get a good sleep. Avoid things that stimulate your mind before bed (for my 11 yo it’s chocolate and an iPad).


  3. @goudie01 Yes, I have had that problem too, but what I have found is that even when you are laying there thinking, “Why can’t I sleep?” you are actually dozing off and waking up again, so you are getting more sleep that you realize.
    Another thing I have found is that if you think about something other than “Why can’t I sleep?” then you are more likely to fall asleep and stay that way. So when I wake up in the middle of the night, I find fun things to think about.