What Is it?
If you suffer from insomnia, this could mean that you have difficulty falling or staying asleep. You may wake up many times in the night or very early in the morning, and be unable to get back to sleep. Insomnia sufferers wake up without feeling refreshed and are constantly tired.
What Are The Causes Of Insomnia?
There are many possible reasons for insomnia. It is vital to understand the cause in order to determine the best course of action. Insomnia can be caused by both physical and mental health conditions, so it is important to talk to your GP initially to understand this. Some of the main causes of insomnia are:
- Stress and anxiety – This is one of the most common causes of sleep problems. Stress and anxiety can cause the racing thoughts that make sleep difficult, and you are also more likely to experience disturbed sleep once you get off. Furthermore, if these sleep problems persist over a period of time, you may also develop anxiety about going to sleep which can exacerbate the problem.
- Trauma – Following a traumatic event, such as an accident or a bereavement, sleep problems can occur. People often report sleep being interrupted due to bad dreams. You may also experience long-term sleep problems as a result of childhood trauma, such as abuse or childhood bereavement.
- Lifestyle factors/stimulants - Lifestyle choices can affect sleep, such as drinking alcohol, taking recreational drugs or using stimulants such as caffeine and nicotine. It can be helpful to avoid these, especially at night. Other lifestyle factors may involve changes in working or life routines, such as shift work or childcare. The increase in use of smart phones and tablets PCs mean many people are using these devices just before bed, and the light from these devices acts as a stimulant and can affect sleep.