There can be many medical conditions (some maybe mild and others more serious) which can lead to insomnia. Symptoms of the condition can cause discomfort and make it difficult for a person to sleep.
- Nasal/sinus allergies
- Gastrointestinal problems such as reflux
- Endocrine problems such as hyperthyroidism
- Neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease
- Chronic pain
- Low back pain
- Acute pain
Some of the Medications prescribed for medical conditions such as those taken for the common cold can be loaded with caffeine which can keep you awake. Nasal allergies, high blood pressure, heart disease, thyroid disease, birth control, asthma, and depression can also cause insomnia. We can take a cocktail of chemicals to alleviate symptoms of one thing, but when combined, may contribute to insomnia.
In addition, insomnia may be a symptom of underlying sleep disorders. For example, restless legs syndrome—a neurological condition in which a person has an uncomfortable sensation of needing to move their legs which can lead to insomnia. Some patients who suffer with restless legs syndrome typically experience worse symptoms in the later part of the day and when there are long periods of inactivity, which means that falling asleep and staying asleep can be difficult. An estimated 10 percent of the population suffer from restless legs syndrome.
Apnea is another sleep disorder linked to insomnia. Where a person’s airway becomes partially or completely obstructed during sleep, leading to pauses in breathing and a drop in oxygen levels. This causes the individual to wake up briefly but repeatedly throughout the night.
If you have trouble sleeping on a regular basis, it may be a good idea to look at your lifestyle, health and wellbeing. Ask yourself could there be any underlying medical issues contributing to your sleep problems? In many cases, there are simple steps that can be taken to improve sleep like avoiding bright lighting which can trick your mind into thinking it is daytime, when your biological set up is sending messages of tiredness, but your mind is interpreting the bright light for daylight, causing a conflict within, when the mind and body want to naturally wind down and external stimulus is distracting the natural process causing chaos.
Look at your routines
Maybe a change in your routine would help!
Do not have drinks that contain caffeine, in the evening, replace them with herbal drinks or good old fashioned water, limit possible distractions, such as a TV, computer, or pets. Get to know what works for you try different things, maybe have a bath instead of a shower, have a regular massage, meditate, do some breathing exercises, yoga, how about an evening walk, or come along to a relaxation class, learn different techniques to relax.
You should not simply accept poor sleep as a way of life – talk to your doctor or a therapist for help.
Insomnia & Depression
Insomnia can also be caused by psychiatric conditions such as depression. To read more about depression click here.
Psychological struggles can make it hard to sleep, insomnia itself can bring on changes in mood, and shifts in hormones and physiology can lead to both psychiatric issues and insomnia at the same time.
Sleep problems may represent a symptom of depression.
Studies show that insomnia can also trigger, or worsen depression, it can be a vicious cycle.
It’s important to know that symptoms of depression i.e. low energy, loss of motivation, feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and insomnia can be linked, and one can worsen if left untreated.
The good news is that each of these symptoms are treatable regardless of which came first.
Insomnia & Anxiety
Anxiety symptoms that can lead to insomnia include:-
- Feeling stuck in memories of the past
- Worrying about your future
- Feeling overwhelmed by your life’s responsibilities
- Feeling out of control
Anxiety could be associated with onset insomnia, waking up during the night and not being able to return to sleep. The quiet and inactivity that night time brings can create stressful thoughts or even fears that keep a person awake.
There are cognitive and mind-body techniques that can help people with anxiety settle into sleep, improve the quality of their sleep and general wellbeing, so stop suffering in silence, restore the equilibrium within and take action.