Causes and Risk Factors for Insomnia
Causes and Risk Factors for Insomnia

Causes and Risk Factors for Insomnia


Insomnia can have a great impact on your daily life. Whether you face difficulty in staying asleep or falling asleep, it can have an effect on your overall health condition, productivity and relationships. If you suffer from insomnia, your walk in gp at Medical Express Clinic will find out the type you have.

Primary insomnia is not a symptom of another condition rather, it can be acute or chronic. Acute insomnia may last for only a few days or weeks while chronic insomnia is a long-term condition. If insomnia stems due to underlying condition, it is known as secondary insomnia. It is the common kind of sleeplessness that can either be acute or chronic.

Read on to know about common causes and risk factors for insomnia.

Stress and anxiety

If you have lots of stress, then this might be the reason why you cannot sleep peacefully at night. There might be some problems at school, work or with family that can make you feel anxious. This might make it impossible for you to sleep properly. Some traumatic situations like divorce, job loss or death of loved one can lead to stress and chronic sleeplessness.

Depression

Depression is a common problem of insomnia that occurs due to chemical imbalance in your brain thus, affecting sleep pattern. Alternately, you might be too distressed by troubles or fears that prevent your good night’s sleep. Insomnia can be a common symptom for mood disorders. Anxiety, bipolar disorder or post-traumatic stress disorder can lead to sleep problems.

Sex

Females experience from insomnia in the same way like males. Hormonal shifts during menstrual cycle and in menopause are considered to be a major cause for sleeplessness. Insomnia takes place during the time that causes menopause, also known as perimenopause, when hot flashes and night sweats disturb your sleep. According to private gps in London, the lack of estrogen may be the reason for sleeping problems in postmenopausal females.

Age

Insomnia might increase due to age with the change in your sleep pattern. Adults usually face trouble with continued sleep for eight hours. They might need to nap even during the day to complete recommended eight hours of sleep over 24-hour period.

Medications

Several over-the-counter medications can lead to insomnia. Decongestants, pain medications and weight-loss products have caffeine or other stimulants. Antihistamines can make you feel drowsy at first, but lead to frequent urination, that disturbs your sleep.

Many prescription drugs can disturb sleep patterns. Some of these include:

  • allergy medicine
  • antidepressants
  • blood pressure and heart medicines
  • stimulants

Stimulants

These drinks usually consist of caffeine that stimulates your brain:

  • tea
  • coffee
  • energy drinks
  • soft drinks

This might interfere with your proper sleep habits. If you drink coffee in the late afternoon, then this might keep you away from falling asleep at night. Nicotine present in tobacco is another stimulant that restrains sleep.

Alcohol is a sedative that might help you to fall asleep initially, however it prevents deeper stages of sleep which are necessary for complete rest.

Medical conditions

Several medical conditions can cause insomnia. Sleep problems are related to chronic medical conditions or their symptoms that include:

  • arthritis
  • diabetes
  • chronic pain
  • sleep apnea
  • cardiovascular disease
  • frequent urination
  • obesity
  • overactive thyroid
  • menopause
  • cancer
  • breathing difficulties
  • gastroesophageal reflux disease

Obesity

Sleep disorders are related to obesity. Adults who sleep for less than six hours every night have obesity rate of nearly 33 percent. The obesity rate for the ones who sleep for seven to eight hours per night is usually 22 percent. This pattern has been found in both men and women across all age groups.

Sleep disorders

Common sleep disorders like restless leg syndrome might disturb your sound sleep. This crawling sensation occurs in the lower part of legs that can be lessened with proper movement. Sleep apnea is a breathing disorder usually characterized due to short pauses in breathing and loud snoring.

Environmental changes

Long-distance travel or shift work can have an effect on the circadian rhythm of your body. This is usually 24-hour behavioral, biochemical and physiological cycle that has direct exposure to sunlight. This rhythm is internal clock that regulates body temperature, metabolism and sleep cycles.

Sleep habits

If you are worried about inadequate sleep, then this can cause sleep deprivation. If this is your case, try changing bedtime routine. Some tips to follow are:

  • Take a relaxing bath
  • Listen to soothing music
  • Try not to eat before going to bed
  • Do not watch TV or work in bed

Whether you have acute or chronic insomnia, losing weight due to obesity or overweight, following healthy sleeping pattern and avoiding overuse of stimulants can help to have good night’s sleep. You may discuss with the Best Private GP in London about your sleep problems who will assess your health condition and give proper medications to see if you can sleep peacefully at home.