You overstimulate in the middle of the night
If you’re in bed, anxious, and your mind is running a million miles a minute, you’re better off getting out of bed. But what you do next is key to ultimately falling back asleep. Stay away from anything too stimulating, like checking email or social media, which can be bad insomnia causes, says Carney. Pick an activity you look forward to—like knitting or reading a novel you’re into—to help minimize the anxiety that many people feel during episodes of insomnia. Can’t shake that nervous feeling? Consider one of these drug-free sleep aids.
You use your device before bed
Not all electronics before bed are bad, says Breus, who acknowledges that some of his patients fare better when they can wind down with some TV before they go to sleep. But activities that are highly interactive—answering emails, texting, posting on Facebook or Tweeting—prevent your brain from shutting down and can promote insomnia. Learn more about why going on social media before bed can keep you awake.
You watch the clock
“The worst thing you can do when you can’t sleep is to look at the clock,” says Breus. “You immediately start doing the mental math of how many hours you have left until you wake up, which makes you feel more anxious. This elevates adrenaline and cortisol, hormones that make you feel alert and further disrupt sleep.” Try to move (or remove) your physical clocks if these insomnia causes are a problem for you. Try these other weird sleep tricks instead.