What causes insomnia?
Insomnia can be caused by a variety of medical conditions, neurological conditions, mental health conditions, lifestyle habits, sleep disorders, stress, and some medications. Sometimes, a cause cannot be identified.
Common causes of insomnia
Common causes of insomnia include:
- Alcohol use
- Anxiety or worry
- Certain medications
- Disruption of normal sleep schedule, such as rotating shift work or travel across time zones
- Drinking coffee or other caffeinated beverages or using other stimulants
- Environmental distractions, such as noise, lights, or temperature extremes
- Menopause symptoms such as hot flashes
Other causes of insomnia
Less commonly, insomnia may be due to chronic conditions or sleep disorders. Examples include:
- Medical conditions that can cause chronic pain, such as arthritis, neuropathy and injury
- Medical conditions that can interfere with breathing, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD, includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis), and congestive heart failure (deterioration of the heart’s ability to pump blood)
- Sleep disorders such as restless leg syndrome
- Tobacco use
What are the risk factors for insomnia?
A number of factors increase the risk of developing insomnia. Not all people with risk factors will get insomnia. Risk factors for insomnia include:
- Advanced age
- Depression or other psychological disorders
- Female gender
- Irregular schedule or work hours
Reducing your risk of insomnia
You may be able to lower your risk of insomnia by:
- Avoiding alcohol before bed
- Avoiding caffeine, tobacco, and other stimulants for at least eight hours before bedtime
- Avoiding daytime napping
- Avoiding large meals before bed
- Exercising early in the day
- Limiting potential distractions than might keep you awake
- Observing a regular sleep schedule
- Preparing your bedroom to enhance sleep
- Relaxing before going to bed
- Using your bed only for sleep or sex
What is insomnia?
If you have insomnia, you have trouble falling asleep or remaining asleep. You may not feel refreshed when you wake up. Insomnia may be temporary or acute, or it may be chronic (symptoms occur three or more times a week for more than a month). Insomnia may be due to emotional, neurological, medical or sleep disorders or due to certain medications, stimulants, or drug or alcohol use.... Read more about insomnia introduction
What are the symptoms of insomnia?
If you have insomnia you may not feel refreshed when you wake up or you may feel drowsy while you are awake. Drowsiness may contribute to accidents, lack of focus, inattention, and poor performance. Anxiety or depression may occur, or worsen if already present.... Read more about insomnia symptoms
How is insomnia treated?
Treatment of insomnia begins with seeking regular medical care throughout your life. Regular medical care allows a health care professional to provide early screening tests. Regular medical care also provides an opportunity for your health care professional to promptly evaluate symptoms and your risks for developing insomnia.... Read more about insomnia treatments