Sleep Disorders

Know about the six causes and risk factors of insomnia

The everyday life of a person is significantly impacted by insomnia which refers to a condition wherein one has trouble falling asleep or remaining asleep for a while. The inability to rest adequately can affect one’s overall relationships, work productivity, and health. There are various types of insomnia and its treatment varies depending on that. Primary insomnia is the condition that is not a symptom of any other disease. It can be chronic or even acute in nature. Chronic insomnia is a long-term condition while acute insomnia may last only a few days or weeks.

  • Depression:
    A common cause or risk factor of insomnia is depression. The chemical imbalance caused due to depression in the brain tends to affect the sleep patterns. Also, the stress, fear, and problematic thoughts that occupy one’s mind may prevent them from getting a good night’s sleep. Insomnia is also one of the prevalent symptoms of other mood disorders as well. For example, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder can lead to insomnia and difficulty in sleeping.
  • Anxiety and stress:
    When one is stressed or occupied with too many things, it can be difficult to fall asleep with so many things in mind. It sometimes even makes it impossible to fall asleep. Traumatic events and difficulties that one face like losing a job, the death of a loved one, divorce, or heartbreak can cause a lot of stress and anxiety in the long-run. Chronic stress about these issues can lead to insomnia.
  • Stimulants:
    Stimulants are usually drinks that contain caffeine such as tea, energy drinks, coffee, and soft drinks. These stimulants tend to disturb sleep patterns as drinking coffee as early as late in the afternoon and can cause difficulty in sleeping during the night. Tobacco also contains a stimulant known as nicotine which increases the difficulty in sleeping whereas alcohol is a sedative that usually is considered as helpful in falling asleep. However, the same tends to disturb and prevent deeper stages of sleep. This may lead to insomnia in the long run as deep stages of sleep are necessary to take adequate rest.
  • Age:
    As we age, our sleep pattern tends to change and these changes may lead to insomnia. Older adults usually tend to have trouble in sleeping well for an eight-hour period. Various research conducted has proven that usually men and women over 60 years old experience insomnia and its symptoms.
  • Sex:
    As compared to males, females are twice likely to experience insomnia. Menopause and menstrual cycle cause hormonal shifts which are further responsible for insomnia. Also, the time leading up to menopause causes hot flashes and night sweats which further cause difficulty in sleeping. This period is known as the perimenopause period. Also, a lack of the hormone, estrogen is known to contribute in sleep difficulty.
  • Sleeping difficulty:
    Sleep deprivation can be caused due to worrying about not getting enough sleep. One can try changing their bedtime routine which eases sleeping. Some of the tips that can help in curing sleeping difficulty are avoiding gadgets or work in bed, taking a relaxing bath before sleeping, listening to soothing music, and the like.