Insomnia is a persistent condition that makes it hard for you to fall asleep, stay asleep, or both. There are many potential causes for insomnia. These may include medical conditions, psychiatric conditions, lifestyle habits, and eating habits.
There is a range of medical conditions that may contribute to insomnia, such as arthritis, asthma, chronic pain, endocrine problems, gastrointestinal problems, lower back pain, and/or neurological conditions. In addition to medical causes, a person’s ability to sleep may also be influenced by psychiatric conditions like depression and anxiety.
Your lifestyle habits may also impact your susceptibility for insomnia. Scientists have identified several risk factors, such as taking afternoon naps, using electronic devices shortly before bed, having erratic a sleep schedule, and also being a shift worker.
Certain foods and beverages can also cause insomnia. These may include alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, and eating heavy meals shortly before bed.
The symptoms you experience with your insomnia may vary from person to person. However, the most common symptoms most people with insomnia report include:
If your sleep problems make it hard for you to function at your best during the day, it is important to contact the professionals at the California Center for Sleep Disorders as soon as possible.
There are many treatments shown to be effective in reducing insomnia. Your doctor will work with you to determine which option(s) is right for your particular case. Many patients with insomnia find that by practicing regular sleep hygiene they experience better quality and quantity sleep at night. Sleep hygiene involves making the sleep environment most comfortable, creating an unwinding period each night, going to sleep and rising at the same times each night/day, and being mindful of meals and alcohol/caffeine use.
Other potential treatment options for insomnia include behavioral therapy and medication as a last resort.