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8 Reasons You Can't Sleep

Written by: Heidi Jennings, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


Human beings have evolved to need plenty of sleep, and if we don’t sleep properly or don’t get enough, everything else starts to fall apart. Lack of sleep can result in serious complications for the body, yet this is an understated and under-coached cornerstone of the health industry.

A lack of understanding around the reasons for poor sleep is problematic because it becomes very difficult for people to overcome sleep issues if they don’t know what is causing them in the first place.

Below are eight key reasons you may be struggling to achieve deep, restful sleep.

1. A Poor Lifestyle

High levels of stress, high-fat diets, alcohol intake, longer working hours and the pressures of being constantly available via smartphones are all factors contributing to the shorter duration and lower quality of sleep. We get caught in a never-ending merry-go-round, where high stress leads to poor quality sleep, which leads to high caffeine intake to keep us awake, high levels of stress hormones in the body and so the cycle repeats.

2. Digestive Issues

Problems in the digestive system, such as bloating, cramping or pain are directly communicated to the brain, which can trigger the nervous system and keep us alert. High levels of stress lead to excess adrenaline in the body, which can inflame the gut and activate nerves that connect to the brain when food passes through the intestines. Often, we can’t feel this inflammation and wonder why on earth we are awake for no apparent reason.

3. Emotional Issues

Emotional trauma, whether major or minor can cause physical repercussions in the body. Emotional wounds can burn out the neurological system and create scar tissue on the brain, leading to a persistent lack of sleep.

4. Sleep Anxiety

This can be a result of nightmares, PTSD or OCD, and neurological disturbances such as nerve sensitivity that can cause anxiety. Sleep anxiety can also be caused by toxic heavy metals in the brain, leading to a panic response, restlessness or not being able to think straight. Gut problems can also lead to being woken in the middle of the night and can bring with it a feeling of anxiousness for no reason.

5. A Sick Liver

If we have a sick, stagnant or sluggish liver due to a diet high in processed foods and excess fats, it can malfunction in the early hours of the morning, resulting in spasms that can wake us up. This can explain why we can fall asleep normally when we go to bed, wake up in the night, then get back to sleep again. It can also explain those nights when we drift in and out of sleep for the whole night.

6. Adrenal Fatigue

Adrenal fatigue is caused by adrenal glands that seesaw between producing too much and too little adrenaline. They can be underactive during the day, leading to a feeling of lethargy, then become overactive at night, thus disturbing sleep.

7. Sleep Apnoea

Obstructive sleep apnoea can be caused by issues such as inflammation of the bronchial tubes or tonsils, postnasal drip, excess mucus, chronic sinusitis, edema and excess weight putting pressure on the chest and throat. This type of sleep apnoea can often be relieved by machines which force air through the airways during sleep, but of course, the machine won’t address the root cause of the problem.

Non-obstructive sleep apnoea isn’t relieved by machines because the issue stems from the neurological system. Toxins such as toxic heavy metals and herbicides create chemical imbalances in the brain, leading to tiny seizures which are enough to cause a pause in a breath.

8. Neurological Issues

Serious sleep issues such as insomnia are often caused by neurological distress in the body and dysfunctional adrenal glands. The foundation of this type of sleep disorder is PTSD resulting from a traumatic event. Whether this event occurred in the distant past or more recently, it can cause neurological issues, leading to a lack of sleep and involuntary jerking movements.


A key point to remember is that the body is very intelligent and can never ‘forget’ how to sleep correctly. Restoring good sleep is a process than can take time and patience, but the first step in doing so is understanding where sleep problems are stemming from to begin with. Then, when we are able to adopt a holistic approach to healing and allow the body to cleanse itself of toxins, repair and rebuild, great quality sleep will be a natural result.

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Heidi Jennings, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Heidi Jennings is a Holistic Health Coach specializing in Plant-Based Nutrition. After a health crisis left her bedridden and disillusioned with conventional medicine, she embraced a holistic approach to help her heal. She now runs her business alongside her husband Steve, and together they deliver holistic coaching programs to their clients. They specialize in chronic pain, anxiety and depression, stubborn body fat, menopause symptoms, autoimmune dysfunction, and sleep issues by focusing on the five pillars of health; nutrition, exercise, gut health, sleep, and managing stress. Heidi is also a guest speaker and the Amazon 1 Best selling author of ‘From Living Hell to Living Well’. Her mission is to change the lives of 500,000 people around the world by empowering them to take control of their health and happiness.



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