Insomnia: What Causes It And What Can I Do? – Sleep is one of the most important aspects of our health. However, far too many of us put it off as something secondary to other things like food and exercise. Humans can’t go long without sufficient amounts of sleep, so that should tell you something about it! Like roughly a quarter of working adults in the US, you may be suffering from insomnia. This is a frustrating and stressful condition, though many people who suffer from it have no idea where it stems from. There are a lot of factors which could cause insomnia. Here, we’ll go through some of the common causes of insomnia and what you could be doing about them.
Cause of Insomnia
We’ll get the physical causes out of the way first. These are the most common, and many of these health problems have widely available treatments. Some are serious and some are pretty. Some conditions cause insomnia in of themselves. These include nasal and sinus allergies, asthma, neurological conditions like Parkinson’s and back pain. Some medications are taken for colds and flu, high blood pressure, thyroid disease and other conditions may also have side-effects which cause insomnia. In some cases, insomnia can be a single symptom of another, less obvious sleep disorder. Restless leg syndrome, for example, often has severe insomnia as one of the main symptoms. People suffering from this condition usually have it much worse later in the day, during periods of rest. The transition from being awake and falling asleep is also one of the worst times for restless leg syndrome. This makes it hard for patients to drift off and then stay asleep. People with sleep apnea also complain about insomnia fairly commonly. Their condition blocks the airway during sleep, causing them to wake up briefly but sporadically through the night. Sometimes, the physical environment of your bedroom is the cause of insomnia. A tiny amount of light in the room can stimulate our eyes, and make it harder to drop off. Some people take to certain kinds of mattresses better than others. Even smaller factors like the quality of your mattress topper can have an impact on the quality of your sleep. Here’s a handy mattress topper advice guide to look at.
If you know you’re suffering from one of these conditions, or you can’t get to sleep for any apparent reason, it may be worth talking to your doctor. In many cases, there are some simple lifestyle changes that can soothe sleeping problems. Setting a cut-off point for using any kind of screen can be pretty effective. Getting more exercise and eating or avoiding certain foods before bed can also help. It’s important to go for healthy, natural sleep before turning to over-the-counter medication. This stuff is effective but has been known to have some adverse side effects. If the problem seems chronic, talk to your doctor. They’ll tell you if and when you need medication.
Conditions & Cause of Insomnia
Another prominent cause of insomnia is anxiety. I’m sure at one point you’ve had trouble getting to sleep because you were nervous or worried. For some people, though, it’s a reoccurring pattern which interferes with sleep on a nightly basis. If you constantly feel overwhelmed by responsibilities, worried about the future, or you’re fixated on some past event, then you may have a problem with anxiety. When this kind of condition carries on for a number of months, the fact that it’s hard to fall asleep may cause even more anxiety and dread. Insomnia and anxiety fuel one another, exacerbating the issue more and more. Obviously, it’s important to nip this condition in the bud. If you think you’re suffering from anxiety, tell your doctor about your symptoms straight away. There are certain proven cognitive techniques which help people to overcome anxiety and drift into sleep. Again, changes in your diet and lifestyle can have a positive impact on the healing process.
Depression is another common psychiatric condition which has a link to insomnia. The severe psychological struggles that come with clinical depression obviously make it hard to get to sleep. However, like anxiety, the relationship between insomnia and depression is a bit of a chicken-and-egg scenario. Insomnia caused by some other factor can lead to drastic changes in a person’s mood, shifts in hormones, and their whole physiology. These have all been known as contributing factors to depression. When a patient has a major depressive disorder, the risk of severe insomnia is increased massively. By the same token, severe insomnia has been shown to worsen or even trigger clinical depression. You may be shocked at the idea that you have such a serious condition, but depression is more common than you may think. If you’ve been having a consistently sad mood, or low energy and insomnia with no real stimulus, then talk to your doctor.
Important & Main Reason of Insomnia
I’ll leave you with one more point about your lifestyle. I keep coming back to this and for one simple reason; it’s important! If you work at home during the evening, it can make it very hard to unwind. Your mind will be locked in work-mode by the time you try to sleep, and the light from a computer screen will make it harder to drop off. Taking naps during the day, even if they’re short, can also disrupt a healthy sleeping pattern. You may be getting up at the right time through the week, and then lying in for hours on the weekend. This can confuse your body clock and make it hard to get back into a healthy pattern. I know you may feel like you need to make up for lost sleep, but getting up at a consistent time is much better for your health! Shift workers need to be especially aware of their sleeping patterns, and how their work patterns can affect their health.
I hope this guide has helped you understand the issue of insomnia a little more. Living with this condition is one of the most frustrating things you may ever have to deal with. However, once you understand the root of it, effective treatment could be closer than you think.