Insomnia is a common sleep disorder. Most of us are aware of how it feels to have been without sleep.
Insomnia may be the primary problem, or it may be caused due to some other medical conditions or substance use such as alcohol.
Sometimes, insomnia can be caused by psychiatric or medical conditions. Poor sleeping habits, use of certain substances, and certain biological factors may also contribute to the development of insomnia.
Recently, scientists have started considering it as a problem of your brain. Brain is unable to stop you being awake. Scientists say that your brain has a sleep cycle and a wake cycle. When the sleep cycle is turned on, wake cycle is turned off, and vice versa. They say that insomnia can be causes due to disturbances in either of these cycles.
Worries and concerns about your school, finances, health, or about your family can cause you stress. Stress can keep your mind active and awake at night leading to lack of sleep and difficulty in staying asleep.
Certain life events such as the loss of a loved one, major trauma, loss of job, divorce, and the like may put you at stress. This can also make it difficult to sleep.
Some people may develop sleep problems due to problems at work. Having general worries about daily and routine activities also make your sleep patterns worse.
All these stress and anxiety causing things can cause your mind to race while you are in bed. This makes sleep difficult and of poor quality.
Jet lag, changes in job shifts, working late in office, being on high altitudes such as on mountains, extreme heat or cold are examples when your circadian rhythm can be disrupted.
Your circadian rhythm acts as an internal clock that guides about things such as your sleep cycle, wake cycle, metabolism and body temperature. If your body's circadian rhythms are disturbed, it can lead to insomnia.
If you eat a lot in the night or evening, it can make you feel physically uncomfortable. You may experience heartburn, acidity, heaviness, which may keep you away from sleep for a longer time.
Poor sleeping habits may affect your sleep and cause insomnia. These may include things like:
Many mental disorders can affect sleeping patterns of a person. These may include:
Insomnia can be an unwanted side effect of many medications. These medical conditions may be mild or more serious. In some cases, a medical condition itself causes insomnia. In other cases, symptoms of a particular condition cause discomfort that can make it difficult for you to sleep. Some of them are:
Many prescription drugs or over the counter medicines can cause difficulty in falling asleep.
If you experience insomnia symptoms over a long period such as 2-3 weeks, in particular, when you are at risk because of the various conditions discussed above, you should contact a sleep specialist or a general physician. Read about signs and symptoms of insomnia here.
Definition of Insomnia The amount of sleep a person requires. . . .
There is no definitive test that can tell if you have insomnia.. . . .
Do You Have Any of These Insomnia Symptoms? Data from National Institutes of. . . .
Treatments for insomnia Insomnia is a common disorder that. . . .