Are you looking to understand the common causes of insomnia, as well as the best ways to treat this frustrating condition? If so, you’ve come to the right place.
In this post, we’re going to highlight some of the most common symptoms you’re likely to experience when you have insomnia, and we’ll also show you some of the best ways to overcome the condition and restore your natural sleep patterns.
With this in mind, let’s get started.
First of all, insomnia can be caused by a wide range of factors – and it’s quite possible that several different ‘triggers’ are causing your insomnia. Most commonly, insomnia develops when you are going through stressful periods of your life- although it’s equally likely to be caused by an underlying health condition (which you may or may not be aware of already).
Stress and anxiety are certainly the biggest culprits for most insomnia. Perhaps you have a stressful event coming up at work, or maybe you’re going through financial struggles. In these cases, it’s not uncommon to lie awake at night, with racing thoughts and difficult relaxing.
However, these worries can also be more general in nature and not tied to a particular event. Despite the differences, the result is using the same – and insomnia soon becomes a chronic problem that plays havoc with your sleeping schedule.
Another contributing factor to insomnia is having a poor sleep routine. For example, if you often take naps throughout the day – this can make it much harder to fall asleep at night. You may also struggle to sleep due to the lack of a ‘wind down’ routine. Many people may watch brightly colored televisions, computer screens, or even smartphones before they sleep – and this can make it harder to fall asleep when bedtime arrives.
It’s also important to consider your lifestyle factors that could affect your sleeping routine. As an example, people who drink alcohol or caffeine can have difficulty with sleeping, and even nicotine acts as a stimulant – so smoking can contribute to insomnia as well. There’s also the chance of developing insomnia after working unusual hours – such as shift work.
For some people, insomnia is caused by a preexisting medical condition. If you suffer from anxiety disorders or panic attacks, this can affect your sleeping patterns – as well as mood disorders such as bipolar disorder and depression. What’s more, there’s also several physical health conditions which can be contributing factors to insomnia. These include hormonal problems like an overactive thyroid, respiratory conditions, and even heart conditions like angina.
Finally, certain medications are likely to cause insomnia, so it’s important to be aware of these side effects. Commonly, epilepsy medicines and antidepressants can cause insomnia, as well as high blood pressure pills like beta blockers. Ultimately, if your insomnia is becoming unmanageable, it will be wise to talk to your doctor if you are using these medications – to see if there are any alternatives available for your particular condition.
So now that you’re aware of the common causes behind insomnia, what can you do to treat it?
In general, there’s a variety of ‘self-help’ treatments that can work wonders when it comes to overcoming insomnia. It’s wise to begin by addressing your sleep habits – so try not to nap during the day, and set an alarm to wake up at a specific time in the morning.
It’s also very beneficial to begin an exercise program, because the extra activity will leave you feeling tired physically, which makes it easier to relax when it comes time to fall asleep.
You’ll also need to alter your bedtime habits. For example, make sure never to drink alcohol or caffeine too close to your bedtime – and try to leave at least 4 hours between your last consumption. It’s also important to have a ‘wind down’ routine that doesn’t involve brightly colored screens. Many people find meditation can help them relax, or reading a few pages of a book (it’s best to read a real book, rather than read from your computer or Smartphone).
Learning how to relax can be an important aspect of recovering from insomnia. If you suffer with racing thoughts, then it’s worth taking up a mindfulness meditation course. Studies have shown that a simple 15 minute practice session, every day, for 8 weeks – will actually cause permanent chances in the brain – leaving you more relaxed and calm. This certainly goes a long way towards stopping the racing thoughts that so often accompany a bout of insomnia.
What’s more, it can really help to make your bed as comfortable as possible, which often improves your relaxation even further. If you can, aim to invest in a quality pillow and mattress. You may even benefit from a memory foam mattress topper, which are reasonably affordable, and allow you to make even a tired, old mattress more comfortable by quite some margin…
In this post we will talk about the most common causes of insomnia and its various symptoms, as well as different ways to overcome this condition.