Insomnia is a sleep disorder characterised by difficulty falling or staying asleep or the inability to enjoy quality uninterrupted sleep.
Sleeplessness can affect anyone at any age; however, the condition is much more common among the elderly.
Although it is a sleep disorder on its own, insomnia can also be associated with various other medical conditions that trigger a disturbance in one or more body systems, rhythms or patterns.
Here are five causes of Insomnia.
- Anxiety and stress
Anxiety at work, school or in relationships creates an emotional burden that can weigh on a person’s mind. Depending on the severity of the stress, those thoughts and worries may continue and even grow into the night, making sleep challenging or impossible.
- Breathing disorder
Interruption in regular breathing patterns or oxygen uptake can also affect sleep. The discomfort associated with breathing disorder such as asthma triggers a disturbance in the breathing patterns which can make sleep difficult.
- Pain or injury
Everyone has had an injury or illness that causes so much pain that sleep becomes a challenge. Tossing and turning to find the most pain-free position and the inability to move freely can all hamper one’s ability to sleep. Using painkillers for accompanying inflammation, congestion or weight management can also agitate sleep patterns as they may contain caffeine or other stimulants.
Certain substances and activities, including eating patterns, can contribute to insomnia. If you can’t sleep, review the following lifestyle factors to see if one or more could be affecting you like alcohol, caffeine and intake of heavy meals.
- The brain
In some cases, insomnia may be caused by certain neurotransmitters in the brain that are known to be involved with sleep and wakefulness. There are many possible chemical interactions in the brain that could interfere with sleep and may explain why some people are biologically prone to insomnia and seem to struggle with sleep for many years without any identifiable cause—even when they follow healthy sleep advice.