I went through a phase of many months in which I couldn't fall asleep.
I'd be completely exhausted, but once the lights were out and my head hit the pillow, my mind and body couldn't relax enough to fall asleep. It sometimes took several hours before I finally drifted off. A few times, I was awake all night.
The worse part of this "can't fall asleep" syndrome is the anxiety that develops as a result. When you've had several nights of wakefulness, you start feel panicky that you won't be able to fall asleep tonight.
Your anxiety makes it more difficult to relax and doze off. It becomes a vicious cycle that can lead to a full-blown anxiety disorder or depression. Exhaustion can be mentally, emotionally, and physically crippling.
Meanwhile, you may have a partner who is zonked out the minute they lie down in bed. They are sawing logs while you're tossing and turning and counting several herds of sheep.
Why do some people fall asleep at the drop of a hat while you are struggling for a few hours of shut-eye?
There are a myriad of reasons why people have difficulty falling asleep. Stress, an overactive mind, hormones, depression, and drinking alcohol can impact your ability to fall asleep quickly.
Anxiety and an overactive mind are the most common culprits undermining your ability to doze off.
Assuming you don't have a medical condition interfering with your sleep, you can train yourself to fall asleep faster with a few science-backed techniques.