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How to Overcome Sleepless Nights.

December 20, 2019

Overcoming sleepless nights can be tricky.

This is because many conditions can lead to sleepless nights so treatment relies on identifying the cause of the problem.

What methods can you use to make sure you get a decent night’s sleep? We share the most effective ones in this post.

Problems that could be associated with difficulty sleeping.

  • Disturbed mindset – from worry, stress, forms of mental illness like anxiety or mood changes.
  • Physical health conditions causing symptoms like pain or difficulty breathing.
    • Examples include Asthma or COPD – Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.
    • Another medical condition which affects sleep is Obstructive Sleep Apnoea. In this condition, a problem in the upper airway interrupts normal sleep resulting in excessive daytime tiredness.
  • Medicines – prescribed or non-prescribed could have side effects including sleeplessness.

Habits that lead to sleepless nights.

  •  Eat healthily. The type of diet or meals you take could contribute to poor sleep.
    • Heavy carbohydrate meals can lead to sluggish digestion and bloating which disrupt sleep.
    • Some types of foods can be associated with excess stomach acid which can lead to ulcers and affect sleep.
  •  Avoid stimulants close to bedtime  – examples are coffee or other caffeine-containing drinks. Certain recreational drugs may also be associated with sleeplessness.
    • Instead, drinks like chocolate or other milky drinks may help with sleep; and the small, occasional intake of alcohol may help sleep.
    • Excess alcohol consumption (heavy drinking) can lead to sleep disruption.
  •  Take regular physical exercise – early on in the day or a couple of hours before sleep will help.
    • Light exercise like short walks; or yoga can help with sleep.
    • Activities which increase your heart rate for a minimum of 30 minutes at least 5 times a week.
  • Executive planning to de-stress: simply put, this means: plan for the following day or week.
    • If you make out time to plan your schedule or activities in the near future, you are less likely to feel stressed; and more likely to feel fulfilled and productive – which helps relaxation and sleep.

What to do before bed to overcome sleepless nights.

  • Make sure your bedroom is comfortable and work free.
  • Ensure the room is not too hot or too cold and is well ventilated.
  • Avoid using TV, computer or mobile phones in the bedroom.
    • First, they are sources of distracting information.
    • Secondly, digital devices emit artificial blue light.
    • Blue light can boost alertness, heighten reaction times, elevate moods, and increase the feeling of well being.
    • However, prolonged blue light exposure can lead to both physical and mental fatigue; eye strain or other eye problems.
  • Take a warm bath if possible close to bedtime.
  • Relax and shut down gradually; reading a book, relaxing music, meditation may help with this.
  • White noise – non-specific sounds can create a relaxing environment which aids sleep.
    • Using a CD player or an app on your mobile phone is one way to get white noise; there are also devices that produce white noise.

What have you done in the past to help with sleep? Share in the comments below.

If you still struggle to get a restful night’s sleep; have a chat with your doctor to explore the problem further.

More Reading:

Editing By AskAwayHealth Team


All AskAwayHealth articles are written by practising Medical Practitioners on a wide range of health care conditions to provide evidence-based guidance and to help promote quality health care. The advice in our material is not meant to replace the management of your specific condition by a qualified health care practitioner.
To discuss your condition, please contact a health practitioner or reach us directly through

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