Tuesday, October 30, 2018

What Causes Insomnia and How to Treat It?

Sleep plays an important role in a person’s health, success, happiness, and overall well-being. In fact, sleeping is equally as important as eating healthy and exercising. Not getting enough sleep can affect your mood, the way you act, react, think, learn, work, and interact with others. It can also increase your risk of chronic health diseases.

Insomnia is a sleep disorder that is characterized by difficulty falling and/or staying asleep. Individuals with insomnia usually have difficulty falling asleep, wake up often at night, have trouble going back to sleep, wake up early in the morning, and feel tired once they wake up.

Insomnia can be caused by a lot of factors. Here are the common causes of insomnia:

1. Medical causes

Insomnia can be caused by a lot of medical conditions. These medical conditions can cause insomnia as a side effect or the symptoms of medical conditions can cause discomfort that makes it difficult for a person to sleep.

Some medical conditions that can cause insomnia are acid-reflux disease (GERD), Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, angina, arthritis, brain lesions, congestive heart failure, chronic fatigue syndrome, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, chronic pain, hyperthyroidism, stroke, and tumors.

Medications taken for asthma, birth control, depression, heart disease, high blood pressure, nasal allergies and common cold, and thyroid disease can also interfere with sleep and cause insomnia.

Insomnia can also be linked to other sleep disorders such as sleep apnea and restless legs syndrome.

2. Psychological problems

Psychiatric conditions and psychological problems like anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression, or psychotic disorders can cause insomnia.

Insomnia can be a cause and a symptom of depression and depression can also cause an individual to have insomnia. Insomnia is more severe in patients with major depressive disorders. It can also trigger or worsen depression and depression can also trigger or worsen insomnia.

Symptoms of anxiety that can result in insomnia include:
  • Getting caught up in deep thought
  • Troubled about the past
  • Worried about the future
  • Tension
  • Feeling overwhelmed
The stillness of the night keeps the mind wondering and worrying which can keep a person awake. It can bring out fears and stressful thoughts in a person.

3. Hormones and other biological factors

Hormones can cause insomnia such as estrogen that brings about hormone shifts during menstruation. Individuals with hormonal imbalance also usually have trouble sleeping.

Sometimes, insomnia can be caused by neurotransmitters located in the brain that are involved in sleeping and waking activities. There are a lot of possible chemical interactions in the brain that could prevent one from having quality sleep. This may be the cause of insomnia for individuals who can’t identify the cause of their insomnia.

4. Disruptions in sleeping pattern or circadian rhythm

Interferences in your normal sleeping schedule can cause insomnia. Disruptions such as jet lag or change in work shift usually makes it hard for an individual to fall asleep or to sleep uninterrupted.

5. Environmental factors

Extreme temperatures (extreme cold or extreme heat), environmental noise, high altitude, and light are some of the things that you cannot control and can cause you trouble sleeping.

6. Significant life stress

Going through stressful and traumatic experiences such as losing a loved one, changing or losing a job, divorce, and moving can make you worry and think a lot which could result in insomnia.

7. Unhealthy lifestyle and bad sleeping habits

Insomnia can also be triggered by certain habits and behaviors when it comes to sleeping.

Bad sleeping habits such as the following can cause insomnia:
  • Taking naps in the afternoon
  • Sleeping later or longer to make up for lost sleep
  • Working at home in the evening
  • Watching too much television or playing too much computer games at night
  • Working in different shifts
The following bad habits (food, drinks, or habits) can cause insomnia:
  • Coffee
  • Alcohol
  • Heavy meals before bedtime
  • Smoking
Insomnia can cause serious problems and illnesses so it’s important to have it checked and treated right away once it becomes regular. Treatment may involve medication, therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), stimulus control, mindfulness and relaxation training, and alternative medicine or home remedies such as cbd-oil-help-your-sleep.

This is a guest blog entry.

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