How to Sleep: Why Finding the Root Cause of Why You Can’t Sleep Matters

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Discover the root cause of why you can’t sleep, and what you can do about it.

For many people, their sleep troubles are a symptom of another problem. Find the root cause of your sleep troubles to help you stop tossing and turning all night.


From bedtime habits to stress reduction, let’s take a look at why a holistic approach to sleep is so effective. At the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition, students learn more than the fundamentals of nutrition – they learn how to use symptoms to help them find root causes of health issues.

What is Insomnia?

Insomnia is the inability to fall asleep or stay asleep at night.


Why Can’t I Sleep?

The root cause of your insomnia may be something you can change. To rule out medical conditions causing insomnia, a sleep study can be done. However, insomnia can also be caused by many aspects of your lifestyle:

  • Stress
  • Irregular sleep schedule
  • Poor sleep habits/environment
  • Pain
  • Physical illness
  • Airway blockages
  • Weight
  • Medications
  • Perimenopause
  • Prostate or Bladder Issues
  • Age
  • Alcohol/Caffeine
  • Allergies
  • Inactivity
  • Poor Gut Health


How to Sleep Better: A Holistic Approach to Help You Sleep Better

You can’t sleep. Here’s what you can do about it: 

  1. Design a Healthy Sleep Environment

Brain-stimulating activities are best avoided close to your bedtime, as is sticking with a fairly regular sleep schedule. Reducing sleep-disrupting factors such as light, noise, and temperature can help you sleep:

  • Dark blinds or eye masks to reduce light
  • Cozy or heavy blankets
  • Lower temperature in the room
  • Use white noise or earplugs


  1. Adjust to Reduce Pain

Physical pain can cause you to wake often during the night, or make falling asleep difficult. Support sore joints with pillows to find positions that help. Incorporate pain-reducing techniques into your bedtime routine, such as warm baths or cold compresses. Consider massages, gentle stretching, or other manipulative therapies to reduce pain. If your pain is caused by digestive distress, consider incorporating gut-healthy habits into your day.


  1. Be Physically Active

You can improve your sleep by being more active during the day. Moderate aerobic exercise boosts slow-wave (deep) sleep, which is thought to be nourishing to the body. But, time it right – aerobic exercise releases endorphins which feel great and make you feel awake.


  1. Natural Products for Better Sleep

Some natural products have been traditionally used to help with sleep, including melatonin and magnesium. You’ll find more details in Your Guide to Better Sleep.


  1. Consider Root Causes

Is it possible the reason you can’t sleep isn’t your partner’s snoring or the light in your bedroom? In some cases, your trouble with sleep is actually a symptom of something else. If so, looking at the root cause can help you find possible solutions.



3 Common Root Causes of Sleep Troubles: A Holistic Approach to Help You Sleep Better

Let’s take a quick look at some common root causes of sleep troubles.


  1. Gut Health

Growing evidence suggests that gut health influences how well you sleep. How well you sleep, also seems to impact how healthy your gut microbiome is. It’s all related to the gut-brain axis. More research is needed, but it appears a healthy gut microbiome (wide diversity of helpful microbes) can increase how long and well you sleep.


  1. Stress

One of the most common symptoms of stress is trouble sleeping. Exposure to stressful events impairs normal sleep function, according to research. Luckily, science has found many natural ways to reduce stress.


  1. Perimenopause

Your sleep is impacted by hormones. Women have more sleep disturbances as they progress through the stages of menopause. Research shows 42% of women experience sleep disturbances during perimenopause and 60% post-menopause. It’s unclear why this trend occurs. The anxiety, hot flashes, backaches, and joint pain that can also occur in stages of menopause may also play a role in why you can’t sleep. Luckily, studies show exercise helps.



Can’t Sleep: 8 Surprising Symptoms You May Not Realize Are Caused by a Lack of Sleep

Some of the most common complaints we have are symptoms of not getting enough sleep, including:

  • Delayed Reflexes
  • Trouble Remembering Things
  • Irritability
  • Trouble Concentrating
  • Feeling Unwell/Sleepy
  • Heart Disease
  • Diabetes
  • Depression/Anxiety


If you’re struggling with some of these symptoms, it might be time to take a closer look at what might be the root cause of your sleep troubles. Finding the root cause can help you find your way towards better sleep and overall wellness.


How to Help: Holistic Approach for Those Who Can’t Sleep

There’s nothing better than a good night’s sleep. Wake feeling rested, positive, and energetic – it’s the hallmark of wellness. But, insufficient sleep is a global public health problem. How can you help?


Specially designed to help you learn how to uncover the root causes of symptoms to improve wellness, Symptomology is one of the keystone courses in the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition’s program. It’s like nowhere else – this program differentiates you from other health coaches.


Learn how to help people find root causes and feel better.




The impact of stress on sleep. J Sleep Res  2018 Dec;  27(6): e12710.

Sleep during the perimenopause: A SWAN Story. Obstet Gynecol Clin North Am 2011 Sep;38(3):567-586.

Effects of exercise on sleep in perimenopausal women: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Explore 2023 Sep-Oct, 1995): 636-645.

Gut microbiome diversity is associated with sleep physiology in humans. PLoS One 2019; 14(10): e0222394.