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What Causes Insomnia?

by Michael Crichton / Jun 15, 2017 / category : headache / 12541 views
What Causes Insomnia?

There is no one reason why some have insomnia and others don’t, but most experts do agree that it is often brought on by stress and anxiety.

Short-term insomnia, which is the most common, can be caused by many factors. Sometimes taking certain medications interrupts normal sleep. When you suspect your medications are causing you to lose sleep, you should check with a physician or pharmacist.

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Caffeine often disrupts sleep, as we all have experienced at one time or another. Even nicotine can cause wakefulness and quitting smoking can also be a cause of short-term insomnia.

Depending on the time of day too much or too little light can disrupt sleep. There are many different causes. Another common cause can be a person’s reaction to change or stress.

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Sometimes a major or traumatic event sparks an occurrence. Examples could be:
Injury or surgery
The loss of a loved one
Job loss

Some develop temporary insomnia after a relatively minor event, like extremes in weather, an exam at school, trouble at work or even just traveling. In most of these cases, when the condition resolves, normal sleep returns.

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Treatment is usually resorted to when the sleepiness continues for more than a few weeks or interferes with the person’s normal functioning. A full physical would be in order to see if there is some illness at the bottom of the problem.

We should also be sure to address hormones, as they seem to play a major role in insomnia in women. Although such insomnia is most often temporary, it can certainly play havoc in someone’s life. During menstruation, the level of a certain hormone (progesterone) plunges, causing insomnia. It’s been shown that during pregnancy, this same hormone changes within the body greatly in the first three months and the last three months and that insomnia often results. The same is true for menopause. But when you find a woman with chronic insomnia after the age of 50, it is likely due to other causes.

Chronic Insomnia is another story. It seems to have more deep-seated roots. But it can be a mixture of reasons.

A large percentage of chronic insomnia cases prove to have some sort of psychological basis. Most often, the cause of insomnia is anxiety and depression. But it should be noted that insomnia may itself cause emotional problems, so it is often unclear which condition triggered the other, or if they both have a common source. Evidence exists in a national survey by the US Department of Health and Human Services. They found that 47 percent of those reporting severe insomnia also reported feeling a high level of emotional distress.

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Pain and discomfort from an injury, illness, or disability can also impair sleep. When people are in pain or sick, they general have medication to help them through the uncomfortable symptoms. Unfortunately, many of these medicines can also cause insomnia to come about or even to get worse.

Other causes have been shown to contribute to insomnia such as substance abuse, working on a shift such as all night shifts at work, high levels of stress hormones and imbalance in hormones. The normal aging process has been known to cause insomnia, possibly due to hormonal changes. There may also be a genetic link.

So, yes, many various factors contribute to this malady, but who suffers from it and does it affect some more than others?

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