Insomnia Causes

Submitted by Thiruvelan on Fri, 06/25/2010
Insomnia Causes

What causes insomnia? Based on the insomnia types, causes of insomnia vary. Learn reasons for insomnia helps to prevent insomnia.

What causes Insomnia?

Insomnia causes are classifying into 2 types; they are:

  • Primary Insomnia Causes
  • Secondary Insomnia Causes

Secondary Insomnia Causes

Secondary insomnia is the symptom or side effect of another health problem. This type of insomnia is often a symptom of emotional, neurological, or other medical disorder.

Emotional disorders that can cause insomnia include depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease are examples of common neurological disorders that can cause insomnia.

Other conditions that can cause insomnia are

  • Conditions that cause chronic pain, such as arthritis and headache disorders
  • Conditions that make it hard to breathe, such as asthma and heart failure
  • An overactive thyroid
  • Gastrointestinal disorders, such as heartburn
  • Stroke
  • Sleep disorders, such as restless legs syndrome and sleep-related breathing problems
  • Menopause and hot flashes

Secondary insomnia also may be a side effect of certain medicines. For example, certain asthma medicines, such as theophylline, and some allergy and cold medicines can cause insomnia. Beta-blockers also may cause the condition. These medicines are useful to treat heart conditions.

Commonly used substances also may cause insomnia. Examples include caffeine and other stimulants, tobacco or other nicotine products, and alcohol or other sedatives.

Primary Insomnia Causes

Primary insomnia is not a symptom or side effect of another medical condition. This type of insomnia usually occurs for periods of at least one month.

A number of life changes can trigger primary insomnia. It may be due to major or long-lasting stress or emotional upset. Travel or other factors, such as work schedules that disrupt routine sleep can also trigger primary insomnia.

Even if these issues are resolved, insomnia may not go away. Trouble sleeping may persist because of habits formed to deal with the lack of sleep. These habits may include taking naps, worrying about sleep, and going to bed early.

Researchers continue to try to find out whether some people are born with a greater chance of having primary insomnia.

  • Psychoactive drugs are stimulants such as caffeine, cocaine, ephedrine, amphetamines, methylphenidate, MDMA, methamphetamine, and modafinil.
  • Hormone shifts such as those that precede menstruation and those during menopause.
  • Life problems like fear, stress, anxiety, emotional or mental tension, work problems, financial stress, and unsatisfactory sex life. Mental disorders are bipolar disorder, clinical depression, general anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia, or obsessive-compulsive disorder.
  • Disturbances of the circadian rhythm, such as shift work and jet lag, can cause an inability to sleep at some times of the day and excessive sleepiness at other times of the day. Jet lag is seeing in people who travel through multiple time zones, as the time relative to the rising and setting of the sun no longer coincides with the body's internal concept of it. Insomnia experienced by shift workers is also a circadian rhythm sleep disorder.
  • Estrogen is considering playing a significant role in women’s mental health (including insomnia). Clinical recovery from depression postpartum, peri-menopause, and post-menopause were shown to be effective after levels of estrogen were stabilizing and/or restore.
  • Certain neurological disorders, brain lesions, or a history of traumatic brain injury
  • Medical conditions such as hyperthyroidism and Wilson's syndrome
  • Abuse of over-the-counter or prescription sleep aids can produce rebound insomnia.
  • Poor sleep hygiene
  • Parasomnia, which includes a number of disruptive sleep events, including nightmares, sleepwalking, violent behavior while sleeping, and REM behavior disorder. In which a person moves his or her physical body in response to events within his or her dreams.
  • A rare genetic condition can cause a permanent and eventually dangerous form of insomnia called fatal familial insomnia.
  • Poor sleep quality can occur because of sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a condition that occurs when a sleeping person is breathing interrupts, thus interrupting the normal sleep cycle. With the obstructive form of the condition, some part of the sleeper's respiratory tract loses muscle tone and partially collapses.