Triggers and Impact — What Causes Insomnia?
Insomnia is a condition that affects nearly one quarter of the population at some point in their lifetime, with 10-20% of people suffering from severe cases. It is characterized by difficulty falling asleep and/or staying asleep night after night, which can negatively impact your health, mood, and overall functioning.
In addition, lack of consistent, restful sleep can cause the onset of obesity, depression, anxiety, and increase your risk of serious disease.
Insomnia can affect people of all age groups; however, it is more prevalent in adult women than adult men. There are physical, psychological, and environmental factors that can contribute to the onset of insomnia.
Short-term bouts of insomnia can be triggered by recent events, abrupt lifestyle changes, or special circumstances. For chronic cases, often there is an underlying medical condition that triggers the insomnia. Following are factors that are commonly understood to be what causes insomnia in many people.
Drugs, Alcohol, and Medicine: Caffeine, nicotine, heart or blood pressure medicine, allergy medication, weight loss medications, and antihistamines can interfere with sleep. Alcohol consumption and illegal drug use also cause insomnia.
Circadian Rhythm Disruptions: Jet lag (time zone change syndrome), shift changes at a job, altitude changes, or even temperature changes can disrupt your internal body clock or circadian rhythm, which dictates how your body responds to the daily cycle of light and dark. This disruption can cause sleep problems until your body has had time to properly adjust.
Psychological Issues: Stress, anxiety, depression, or other mental or emotional issues can lead to insomnia.
Medical Conditions: Several medical complications can trigger insomnia, such as brain tumors, strokes, GERD, asthma, hyperthyroidism, heart disease, and other serious conditions.
Hormonal Changes: Estrogen and hormonal shifts during menstrual cycles are known causes of insomnia in women.
In addition, genetics, pregnancy, or sleeping next to a snoring partner play can cause insomnia, among many other factors.
It is imperative to consult your doctor if you are experiencing insomnia for whatever reason. Your physician will talk with you about your symptoms, conduct a medical exam and may order additional testing before prescribing a treatment plan to address your specific situation.
Your treatment may or may not include prescription sleeping medication, antidepressants, over-the-counter sleep aids, antihistamines, or melatonin. There are also non-medicinal remedies that can help you get the restful sleep.
These can include improving your sleep hygiene trying relaxation techniques, or undergoing a variety of therapy approaches such as cognitive therapy or stimulus control therapy. For more information on the condition, treatment and what causes insomnia, please see the articles listed below.
Facts About Insomnia
Take this Insomnia Test
What is Chronic Insomnia?
Symptoms of Insomnia
Dangers of Long-term Insomnia
Insomnia in Children
Depression and Insomnia
Physical Effects of Stress
Menopause and Insomnia
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Facts About Insomnia
What Causes Insomnia?
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Published by Jules Sowder