Why Am I Tired But Can’t Sleep? Symptoms, Causes, and Next Steps

Why Am I Tired But Can’t Sleep? Symptoms, Causes, and Next Steps

Why Am I Tired But Can’t Sleep? Symptoms, Causes, and Next Steps 

Are you having trouble sleeping at night even though you've been looking forward to it all day? It's possible that you're too tired to sleep.

Today, over  30% of the world's population deals with sleep disorders, including  64% of young people in the UK alone. If you’re in the same boat and have found yourself searching ‘I’m too tired to sleep, what should I do?’ more often than you’d like, we’re here to help. 

This post will discuss everything you need to know about the paradox of feeling excessively tired yet struggling to fall asleep, including potential causes and effective strategies to overcome this challenge. We’ll also share nutrition and  supplement advice, such as  Night-Time gummies, showing you what to do if you’re too tired to sleep.

First, let's understand why getting quality sleep is a must.

The Importance of Quality Sleep

Getting adequate  sleep helps prevent a range of physical and mental health issues like depression and heart disease. Here’s what happens if you don’t get a good night’s sleep:

Poor Memory and Performance

There are many  short and long-term health problems of sleep disruption because sleep has links to several brain functions, including memory, performance and cognition.

Higher Obesity Risk

Although the link between weight gain, obesity and poor sleep is unclear, several studies have linked obesity and poor sleep patterns. 

2018 study suggests that people sleeping less than seven hours at night are more likely to develop obesity and have a higher Body Mass Index (BMI) than those getting adequate hours of sleep. 

Low Emotional and Social Intelligence

Quality sleep is also important for your emotional and social intelligence. You are more likely to disregard other people’s emotions and expressions if you don’t get adequate sleep. 

Higher Inflammation

Sleep deprivation can also lead to increased inflammation. If you're sleeping at random hours and waking up all over the place, it messes with how your body handles inflammation during sleep.

So, in essence, poor-quality sleep negatively impacts your physical, mental and social health. Now, let’s shift our focus to the big question: ‘Why am I too tired to sleep?’

Why Are You Too Tired to Sleep?

Here are some common reasons why you might be too tired to sleep despite overtiredness: 


While everyone experiences stress, prolonged episodes of it can be detrimental to health. Apart from many side effects, stress also negatively impacts the quality of your slumber. That’s because when you’re stressed, your body releases a chemical called cortisol. If this happens in the  evening, you’ll likely feel less sleepy.

This can create a cycle because insufficient sleep can result in a higher release of cortisol. To get your healthy sleep routine back, it's important to de-stress before bed.


If you’re prone to anxiety, overthinking might be the reason you can’t sleep at night. Anxiety-fueled overthinking, or the simple (yet not-so-simple) feeling of anxiety, is often linked to sleep disorders like insomnia. 

If you’ve ever wondered, ‘Why is it harder to sleep when you are tired?’, it’s because your brain still has a lot of thinking to do!

Lifestyle choices

Your circadian rhythm, more commonly known as your body’s internal clock, can get messed up completely due to certain lifestyle choices. These include:

  • Excess caffeine consumption
  • Poor diet
  • Lack of exercise and physical movement
  • Certain medications
  • Consuming alcohol and nicotine
  • Exposure to screens and technology
  • Cluttered environment
  • Dehydration or too much water intake before bedtime

If you suspect your lifestyle choices may be preventing you from sleeping well, we suggest getting in touch with a medical expert to assess your situation better.

What are the symptoms of overtiredness? 

How do you know you are too tired to sleep and aren’t suffering from any other form of insomnia? Look out for these symptoms:


Sleep can affect a person’s mood considerably, and lack of sleep directly results in  decreased positive feelings. You may feel cranky, angry or irritated often if you haven't been sleeping well. Also, you may notice a sudden decline in your decision-making and judgement skills.

Poor Coordination

Overtiredness can make you lose focus. In turn, this negatively affects your coordination. As a result, you may struggle to complete basic tasks like typing or pouring yourself a cup of milk.

Slowed Responses

You may also experience a lack of focus, which in turn leads to slowed or delayed responses. Not only does this affect your day-to-day productivity, but also poses a safety hazard, especially when driving. 

Sore Muscles

When you’re in deep sleep, your muscles repair themselves and recover from the wear and tear of the day’s labour. If your sleeping time is compromised during the night, you are likely to feel more achy and sore during the day.

What to do if you're too tired to sleep

After you’ve figured out the causes and symptoms of feeling too tired to sleep, it’s time to move on to how to fix it. If you’re too tired to sleep, here’s what to do:

Take Magnesium Citrate


Link to product

Magnesium citrate is a natural sleeping aid that works wonders. It is naturally found in citrus fruits, but if you need instant results, you should turn to safe supplements like our  nighttime gummies. Chew two gummies before bed for the best results.

Magnesium citrate can also be an appropriate sleep aid for kids. Be sure to read the dosage instructions for children and consult a doctor if necessary.

Relaxation techniques

If supplements are not your first choice, you can look into other relaxation techniques. Try meditating before bedtime to help your body feel relaxed so that it is easier to fall asleep. You can also declutter your bed and sleeping environment to help yourself relax.

Bonus tip: Use lavender oil to massage your temples for a calming effect.

Sleep tech

We live in an era where every real-life problem has a digital solution, and lack of sleep is one of them. Sleep tech, which makes use of sensors, can also help pinpoint the cause of your tiredness! Some technological sleep solutions that you can look into include sleep-specific apps,  Rezet mattress toppers and sleep-tracking devices.

Lifestyle adjustments

If you identified certain lifestyle choices as the cause of your sleep deprivation, it’s time to make adjustments. For example, if you have a  high-fat diet, switch to a low-fat one. Remember, eating healthy, cutting out alcohol, and daily exercise are all pillars of better sleep. Plus, exercise also helps lower stress levels.

Using sleep mode on your phone

Using sleep mode on your phone is a small step that can go a long way. Turn sleep mode on at night, and you’ll be able to avoid any unnecessary disturbances. Try also to put your device away where you can’t reach it before you go to sleep. 

If you are used to using your phone all the time (especially during nighttime), try replacing it with another hobby like reading books or meditating. 

Avoid caffeine

Lastly, avoid caffeine for at least 6 hours before you sleep. Starting your day with caffeine to feel more energised is fine. However, consuming it later in the day can keep you up at night because caffeine blocks out  adenosine, a chemical that helps your body unwind and go to sleep. 

What does the research say about feeling too tired to sleep? 

Research has established that it is possible to feel overtired and still not be able to sleep. There could be many reasons for this – a hectic lifestyle, an untidy sleeping environment or even some health conditions like  depression, sleep apnea and diabetes. 

Moreover, there’s a strong relationship between the physical and social environment and  sleep health and disorders. Your ambience, neighbourhood, places you visit in your day-to-day life and people you meet in your daily life can all affect your sleep cycle. 

This is because changes in your surroundings can directly impact your mental health, increase or decrease your stress levels, and contribute to your anxiety.  

Moreover, according to  research conducted by the sleep research department of the University of Turku, overtiredness caused by lack of sleep can also negatively affect cognitive performance, especially in  women.


Conclusion: can you be too tired to sleep? 

Absolutely! It is possible to be too tired to sleep if you’re overstressed, suffer from anxiety or have adopted unhealthy life choices. 

Noticeable symptoms include behavioural changes like crankiness, as well as physical symptoms like sore muscles, delayed responses, and poor cognition. 

If you’re suffering from feeling too tired to sleep, here’s what to do in a nutshell:

  • Relax and unwind before bedtime
  • Avoid caffeine and digital devices before bedtime
  • Look into sleep tech
  • Increase your intake of magnesium citrate

Magnesium citrate provides instant results and according to our experts at Novomins, its supplements are the perfect solution for people who have tried everything, but still ask, ‘I’m too tired to sleep, what should I do?’

Novomins’ nighttime magnesium citrate supplements are vegan, raspberry-flavoured gummies made from non-addictive ingredients. Apart from magnesium citrate, the gummies contain chamomile and lemon balm extract. They are also rich in B12, which helps keep the nervous system calm. 

Alternatively, you can  browse our complete catalogue of health products here, including  sleep and relaxation gummies.


How do you sleep when you're overtired?

Keep all your devices away, declutter, exercise and meditate. Before you go to bed, turn off the lights and make sure you’ve created a relaxing, quiet and cool environment.

What are the symptoms of overtiredness?

Overtiredness can have symptoms that are physical, mental and emotional, such as:

  • Headaches and dizziness
  • Sore muscles
  • Weakness
  • Slowed reflexes and responses
  • Impaired decision-making and judgement
  • Moodiness (such as irritability)
  • Impaired hand-to-eye coordination

What happens if you get overly tired?

When you get overly tired, it gets hard to wake up in the morning and go about your regular day. Every small task can make you feel overwhelmed, and you may feel extreme fatigue in your body. You may not feel refreshed even after a nap, and your whole day can be compromised as a result.



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Dr Peter McQuillan
BDS, MFDS P1, Dip Ortho Founder & Chief Formulator
With over 15 years of experience in the healthcare sector, Dr McQuillan is a highly esteemed professional in the healthcare space.


Akil Memishi
BSc Hons Pharmacology, ICH GCP Founder & Chief Clinical Researcher
Akil Memishi, co-founder of Novomins, combines his extensive clinical research experience with a passion for developing scientifically-backed nutritional products.
Review Date:
3 February 2023
Next Review:
3 February 2025
Published On:
22 January 2024
Last Updated:
4 October 2023