You are lying awake staring at the clock again. You think to yourself how much you need to get to sleep. You are gripped in the clutches of insomnia. You don’t know what to do about it or how to find a cure. So how do you figure out how to get the sleep you need? You find out about insomnia causes. That’s the first step to figuring it out.
There are many things that can cause insomnia. Many insomnia causes can be medical or psychological. Others causes may be lifestyle related.
What we know for sure is that around 60 million people in the US suffer from insomnia each year. We also know that experts disagree on the exact insomnia causes.
Now if this makes you feel hopeless, don’t feel that way. It is more related to making an effort to find the cause of your insomnia as an individual. Then you can find a cure that works for you.
What Is Insomnia?
Insomnia defined is simply the inability to fall asleep or stay asleep.
Insomnia can be either acute or chronic. Acute insomnia is a short term problem that usually doesn’t last and resolves on its own. It usually appears due to some life circumstance or other short term issue. Acute insomnia usually doesn’t require any type of medical intervention.
Chronic insomnia, on the other hand, is an ongoing problem that can lead to further medical issues due to sleep deprivation. It can be the cause of accidents on the job or on the road. Chronic insomnia may result in excessive daytime sleepiness that can affect your life and your performance at work.
Medical Causes Of Insomnia
Some medical conditions or treatments can be the cause of chronic insomnia. Some medications that are used to treat medical conditions may cause you have trouble sleeping. Over the counter medications may also play a role.
Some medical causes of insomnia include:
- Chronic Pain– Chronic pain can make it hard to fall asleep or stay asleep due to the pain you are feeling. Chronic joint or back pain may make it hard to find a comfortable position so you can fall asleep. Movement while sleeping can aggravate the pain and can cause you to awaken.
- Sinus Issues– Sinus problems can cause you to have trouble breathing which can interfere with sleep. Sinus drainage can also cause problems with breathing as well as cause nausea or even vomiting in some individuals.
- GERD– Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease can also interfere with sleep due to heartburn or even the backup of acid into the upper esophagus and aspiration of acid into the lungs. This can wake you up and is extremely painful.
- Asthma– Asthma symptoms can cause interference with sleep if you wake up suffering shortness of breath, or are having a hard time breathing while trying to go to sleep. Asthma can cause chronic cough at night which makes it difficult to sleep.
- Medications– Some medications can cause insomnia such as those used to treat heart disease, thyroid disease, asthma, etc. Over the counter medications can also contain substances that can cause insomnia, such as decongestants.
- Other Sleep Disorders– Other sleep disorders such as restless legs syndrome or obstructive sleep apnea can cause sleep disturbances which can interfere with falling asleep, or in the case of obstructive sleep apnea, getting the right kind of sleep. For more information on sleep apnea, you can read this post.
- For information on restless
legssyndrome you can read about it here.
Psychological Conditions As Insomnia Causes
There are also psychological conditions that can cause insomnia in some individuals. Depression and anxiety can have effects that can manifest in the inability to sleep.
Depression can also lead to sleeping too much, which can then cause a person to not be in a natural sleep cycle.
Anxiety can also lead to trouble sleeping.
Treatments For Insomnia
There are treatments you can try at home before you see a doctor. Some of them may work for you.
Magnesium has been studied and seems to have an effect on sleep. You can get natural magnesium from foods, or you can take magnesium supplements.
Lavender essential oil has proven calming and soothing properties due to the chemical Linelool contained in the oil. This is one of many plant constituents found in the oil that work together to give Lavender its calming and soothing properties. WebMD says “Lavender oil is calming and can help encourage sleep in some people with insomnia, research shows.” You can use Lavender essential oil in a diffuser in the bedroom or in a bath before bed. This link will take you to the essential oil I recommend.
Warm milk may be an old time remedy but you can give it a new twist by drinking warm almond milk. Almond milk has lots of calcium which helps your body produce melatonin.
Even though around 60 million people in the US are dealing with insomnia, many don’t think to visit their doctor. If you are suffering from chronic insomnia, and home remedies aren’t working for you, you should see a medical professional. You may even be referred to a sleep specialist who is board certified in treating sleep conditions.
Whatever you do don’t ignore your insomnia. Lack of sleep can lead to symptoms of sleep deprivation and can ultimately lead to further health issues or serious accidents.