You cannot fall asleep even when you are tired and sleepy; you wake up frequently and cannot go back to sleep; you wake up too early for your standards…if you are experiencing any or all of these symptoms – you might be suffering from insomnia. While it is alright to know the insomnia symptoms, but more important is to know why you cannot go to sleep. As once you know the cause of insomnia – you are a couple of steps ahead on your way to recovering from the distressing condition.
If you believe in the saying that there is no smoke without a fire, then you should also realize that insomnia symptoms will not happen without a cause. Broadly speaking the cause of insomnia can be broken down into two classes: psychological or non-medical and medical cause of insomnia.
Insomnia can be classified according to the duration of the symptoms as well as according to the causes. In the second category, there can be primary cause of insomnia and secondary cause of insomnia. The primary causes include those not related to any other medication or psychological disorder and the secondary causes of insomnia have a direct bearing to medical issues.
What are the non-medical causes of insomnia?
- Bedroom environment including room temperature, lighting, noisiness, unfamiliarity are some of the causes of insomnia. Working in different shifts often disturbs the circadian rhythm, disturbing normal sleeping patterns. Jet lag could also be a culprit.
- There are several emotional issues which may leave us mentally devastated resulting in insomnia. Job loss, death of a spouse or a child, divorce, marital disharmony, family disputes are some of the common causes of insomnia, which are non-medical by nature.
- Stimulants like methamphetamine hydrochloride, excessive use of caffeine, tobacco and alcohol can be viable causes of insomnia.
- This category also includes substance abuse and use of narcotics.
What are the medical causes of insomnia?
- There are several health disorders which can be the cause of insomnia. These include respiratory disorders or conditions affecting your breathing patters. Other disease conditions which can provide causes of insomnia include diabetes, arthritic pain, heart ailments, asthma. Health conditions like obesity can be responsible for your insomnia. This health condition often leads to another condition called GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disorder and heartburn, both contributing factors to insomnia. Chronic pains, hyperthyroidism, Parkinson’s disease are other medical causes of insomnia.
There is no denying that the causes of insomnia are difficult to find and takes time and energy but they are critical for the right diagnosis of the underlying condition. Many causes of insomnia can be traced back to poor lifestyle choices, stressful work environment, imbalanced diet, lack of exercise, past trauma or mental problems, chemical imbalances in the brain, etc.
What are the most common causes of insomnia?
- Rampant and excessive use of stimulants like coffee, tea and aerated sweetened drinks in the late evening or afternoon. Tobacco products also stimulate the heart and brain. Alcohol may induce sleep initially, but will wake you up from the deeper sleep stages.
- Stress and depression might go hand in hand resulting in insomnia. People suffering from one or both these conditions would find it difficult to go to sleep and may resort to temporary measures like alcohol, etc, which further aggravate the situation.
- Medication and health problems can be viable causes of insomnia. In case you are currently on some set of medications, you must talk to your doctor about how they may be interfering with your sleep. Your doctor may then adjust the dosage or completely change the medication.