Insomnia is a symptom and not a condition. This is why it is very essential to find out the cause which triggers this symptom. Here is some help.
Insomnia is a symptom and not a disease. There are many possible causes of insomnia, and some of the common causes are given below.
Any stressful event (such as loss of job, worrying about ---work, money or health; divorce, death or illness of a loved one) can lead to insomnia and the problem may persist even after the stress has been resolved.
Insomnia can be caused due to any underlying mental health problem such as;
- mood disorders (such as depression, bipolar disorder)
- anxiety disorders (such as generalized anxiety, panic disorder or post-traumatic stress disorder)
- Psychotic disorders, (such as schizophrenia)
Physical problem often cause insomnia. Some physical problems which can insomnia are;
- heart disease, such as chest pain (angina), congestive heart failure.
- lung disease, such as chronic bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma.
- neurological disorders, such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's disease, stroke.
- hormone problems, such as overactive thyroid, pheochromocytoma.
- arthritis, joint or muscle problems.
- diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, such as gastro-esophageal reflux disease, irritable bowel syndrome, chronic diarrhoea.
- genital or urinary problems such as incontinence and enlarged prostate.
- sleep disorders such as restless legs syndrome, narcolepsy, sleep apnoea.
- chronic (long-term) pain, neuropathic pain.
Drug and substance abuse
Substance dependence, excessive alcohol consumption, use of recreational drugs, excessive caffeine intake, nicotine can cause insomnia.
Medications (prescribed or over-the-counter medicines) can cause insomnia. Some of the prescription medications that can interfere with sleep include antidepressants, epilepsy medicine, blood pressure reducing medications, allergy medications, stimulants, and corticosteroids. Over-the-counter (OTC) medications, which may cause insomnia include pain medication combinations, decongestants and weight-loss products, as these may contain caffeine and other stimulants. Inform your doctor about all your medications (prescription and non-prescription)
Consequences of insomnia
Note that there are many adverse effects insomnia more serious than what most people may imagine. It can affect your health, work performance, ability to concentrate, behaviour and overall well-being. Do not ignore your sleep problems—consult a health professional for appropriate diagnosis and treatment.
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Read more on Insomnia Prevention.
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