We can all tell the signs of an overtired child—hyperactivity, fussiness, clumsiness, mood swings, and more. As soon as we see these signs, we know it’s time for bed. What about as we become adults? Do we experience signs our body is overtired? Absolutely, and all too often we avoid recognizing the issue. The countless restless days always start with a cup of coffee to wake up and a drink or two at night to unwind. You’re officially too tired to sleep and are now escalating the problem. Sound familiar? We’re here to tell you why you might be too tired to sleep, the signs to pay attention to, and how you can get back on track.

What’s the Difference Between Being Sleepy and Being Tired?

First, let’s discuss the difference between being sleep and being tired. Is there a difference? We often use both terms interchangeably, but they most definitely don’t mean the same thing. When you are sleepy, you’re probably yawning constantly, can’t focus, and struggling to keep your eyes open. Sleepy is a forerunner to sleep. Your body is experiencing these symptoms to signal you that it needs sleep or that it’s close to bedtime. On the other hand, when you are overtired, your body doesn’t get to this step. You can feel mentally and/or physically tired, but still won’t be able to fall asleep. Nights will be filled with tossing and turning, and you’ll wake up in the morning feeling no more rejuvenated.

Why Am I Too Tired to Sleep?

Being overtired is not limited to just children. As adults, our brains are always running thinking about the next task we must finish or figuring out what the next day’s agenda is. Smartphones and new technology continue to become a larger part of our days making communication easier now more than ever. We are always available when someone may need us, even if that means giving up rest making it difficult to find the “off-switch.” The work/life balance is always being pushed to new limits and we may be sacrificing more than our bodies are ready to handle. The more we refuse to recognize these signs that we are overworking our brains and are too tired to sleep, the harder it will become to fall asleep at night. So, how do we reprogram our bodies to know when it’s time to go to wind down? The first step is recognizing the signs you’re too tired to sleep.

What Are the Signs of Being Too Tired to Sleep?

Sleep isn’t about only getting enough to function but giving the time your body needs to recharge. When you continuously cut yourself short on several hours of sleep, your body starts to send you these signs. After every busy day that passes you wait for the moment to relax in bed, but when you’re finally there your mind can’t help but race. Even throughout your days, you find it hard to focus your attention. Maybe you’re starting to catch colds more frequently than normal. All of these are indications that your body needs a break. Some additional symptoms include anxiety, muscle tension, and poor coordination. So, we’ve concluded that you’re too tired to sleep, now what?

Tips to Try When You’re Too Tired to Sleep

Undoing weeks or even months of putting off the fact we’ve been depriving our bodies of the sleep it desperately needs goes beyond just cutting out coffee after lunch and putting the technology down at a reasonable hour. Let’s analyze a couple more cognizant solutions on what to do when you’re too tired to sleep.

• Relax. There are days when everything is a breeze and then there are days when a million things are happening at the same time, but never an in-between. When you find yourself in those tense days, it is essential to give yourself little moment, even just 5 minutes, to unplug and regroup. Take a walk outside or step away from your desk to just focus on relaxing your mind and muscles. We recommend trying deep breathing exercises. If you have an Apple watch, take advantage of the Breathe app. And if you have enough time for a quick yoga class during lunch, A+ for you!

• Practice Mindfulness. Mindfulness is the practice of complete awareness–physically, mentally, emotionally—without judgment. When you find your mind racing, take a moment to ground yourself by being mindful in the present moment. Look at your surroundings and see where you are. Pause your thoughts hold for a second and review them from a step back without the emotion.

• Turn Notifications Off. Technology is a love/hate relationship. We know it’s brought a lot of positives and we are still learning about some of the negatives. When it comes to sleeping at night, give yourself the time your body needs to decompress so it can start to feel sleepy.

• Get Out of Bed. It’s been said before your bedroom should be for only two things: sleep and sex. When you get in bed, your body should feel comfortable and signaled to relax. If you’re going through a stressful time and your mind is constantly racing, you don’t want to associate your bedroom with negative emotions. Don’t be afraid to go into another room, make a note, get your thoughts down, and cleanse yourself of the stress before getting back to bed.

Visit Our Sleep Center in Jacksonville, FL

Getting enough sleep often gets overlooked and we don’t start to take notice until the issue has been going on for a while. If you’ve tried every tip and trick in the book, it may be time to seek out professional help. At Jacksonville Sleep Center, we are dedicated to helping patients improve their quality of life through a better night’s sleep. When you’re too tired to sleep and can’t seem to get back to your normal sleep patterns, schedule your complimentary consultation with us. We will work together to find the best solution and treatment option for you. Contact us today.