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What causes insomnia?

Andrew Bellingham

Andrew Bellingham

Pharmacist | 20+ Years | BPharm | Dip Clin Pharm

You’re not alone if you struggle with insomnia. It’s a widespread issue that disrupts your sleep, making it hard to fall or stay asleep.

Unfortunately, in this digital age, it’s becoming increasingly common but finding the underlying causes can help you get one step closer to having a good night’s rest. 

Before we take a look at the causes of insomnia, if you’re currently dealing with the condition and want to see our 12 minute process to getting over it, simply open the article in another tab before continuing with this one.

What are the causes of insomnia?

Insomnia is a complex sleep disorder which can be caused by one or multiple of the following causes. If you think any of them apply to you, consider ways to overcome those individual situations and your insomnia should improve too. 

Here are the most common causes of insomnia:

  • Stress & anxiety: feeling stressed or anxious can make it hard to sleep, especially when your mind is racing with thoughts

  • Poor sleep habits: things like irregular sleep schedules, spending too much time on screens before bed, or having a disruptive sleep environment (i.e., too loud or light) can all mess with your ability to sleep well

  • Medical conditions: Issues like chronic pain, asthma, or gastrointestinal disorders (like acid reflux or irritable bowel syndrome) can mess up your sleep patterns and lead to insomnia

  • Medications: some medicines, like those for asthma, allergies, or depression, can cause insomnia as a side effect

  • Disruption of your circadian rhythm: changes in your work schedule, travelling across time zones, or working night shifts can throw off your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle

Understanding what’s behind your insomnia can help you figure out how to improve your sleep and feel better overall.

Frequently asked questions about insomnia

What are the symptoms of insomnia?

Symptoms of insomnia include difficulty falling asleep, waking up frequently during the night, and feeling tired upon waking.

How is insomnia diagnosed?

Insomnia is diagnosed through a combination of medical history, sleep habits assessment, and possibly sleep studies to rule out other sleep disorders.

What are the complications of chronic insomnia?

Complications of chronic insomnia may include increased risk of mental health disorders, and impaired cognitive function.

A woman sits on the side of her bed wondering how long her insomnia is going to last

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