What Causes Insomnia?
If you are hoping to live a life long enough to enjoy your golden years you will need to do everything you can to maintain good health. This means dealing with issues that may be negatively affecting your health. One aspect of personal health that many people have trouble with is getting enough sleep. Not being able to sleep is known as insomnia which can result in the development of more serious health issues.
What exactly is insomnia?
Insomnia is considered a disorder in which you have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. The disorder can be acute, which means it is a short-term condition or it can be chronic, meaning the condition is long term. If your insomnia lasts from one night to a few weeks, it is considered acute. However, if insomnia continues for at least three nights each week for three months or more it is categorized as chronic insomnia.
Types of insomnia
Primary and secondary are the two types of insomnia that you can suffer from. Primary insomnia is not caused by any other health problem or condition. On the other hand, secondary insomnia is linked to other health conditions, such as depression, asthma, arthritis, heartburn, or cancer. Secondary insomnia can also be linked to pain or side effects of medication. Substance abuse can also result in secondary insomnia.
What causes primary insomnia?
Primary insomnia is commonly caused by significant life events that increase your stress. This may include loss of employment, divorce, the passing away of a loved one, or moving to a new place. Your physical environment can also cause primary insomnia. For example, your home may be too noisy or there may be too much light coming into your bedroom for you to fall asleep easily. Being in an environment that is too cold or too hot can also cause primary insomnia.
Dramatic changes to your schedule is another common factor causing primary insomnia. For instance, you may be experiencing jet lag from taking a trip. A new shift at your job may be throwing your sleep schedule off.
In some cases, primary insomnia may be genetic in origin. Insomnia may be a condition that runs in your family.
What causes secondary insomnia?
Other health conditions and issues are the cause of secondary insomnia. Some of these causes may include mental health conditions such as anxiety or depression. Also, bodily pain from an injury or other ailment can contribute to secondary insomnia for many people.
Secondary insomnia can also be a result of substances that you consume. This may include illicit drugs which make it hard for you to sleep. Alcohol, tobacco and caffeine can also be the culprits of sleeping difficulties. Also, certain types of medications may cause secondary insomnia.
Other sleep disorders can result in secondary insomnia. One of these disorders is sleep apnea which causes your breathing to stop and start. Another sleep disorder that can cause insomnia is restless leg syndrome which results in an irresistible urge to move your legs.
Certain physical issues and health conditions can contribute to secondary insomnia, such as pregnancy, Alzheimer’s disease, or dementia. Additionally, ADHD, PMS, and menopause are also potential causes of secondary insomnia.
How do you treat insomnia?
If you are suffering from acute insomnia, which is short-term, you will likely not require treatment. On the other hand, your doctor may want to prescribe sleep medications, but you should be careful of the side effects. Those dealing with chronic insomnia may require behavioral therapy.
Any opinions are those of the author and not necessarily Raymond James. Any information provided is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a recommendation.