Top Ten Causes of Insomnia

March 15, 2010

in Insomnia

While everyone experiences insomnia to some degree, those who have chronic insomnia feel there is no cure for them. Before one can cure the condition it’s essential to find the underlying cause. There are many reasons people have insomnia and in varying degrees. Some people have trouble falling asleep while others have trouble staying asleep. The cause of the sleeplessness varies from person to person but before you can begin to treat the condition you must evaluate and analyze the cause. While there are many different things that may contribute to insomnia, the ten must common causes are as follows:

  1. Inconsistent sleep patterns. For good sleep it’s important to go to sleep and wake up at approximately the same time every day. Many people have a tendency to stay up extremely late and wake up extremely late on their days off which disrupts their normal sleep patterns.
  1. Eating heavy meals too close to bedtime. Your body needs time to complete the digestive process, and if you eat your dinner too close to bedtime you will have trouble falling asleep. While work schedules may sometimes affect this process, especially those who may work both a full-time and part-time job without a break in between, eating late will definitely have a detrimental effect on your ability to fall asleep.
  1. Going to bed hungry. This is something many people attempt to do, especially when they are trying to lose weight, and it is one of the worst things you can do for sleep quality. Many people read the advice of stars who say they don’t eat after 6 p.m. and think it is the perfect solution. Instead of trying to go to bed hungry and not be able to sleep, try having a small high energy snack. Serotonin is believed to be a natural sleep aid and is present in many chocolate products—you don’t have to sacrifice your diet but have a small cup of sugar free chocolate pudding or sugar free hot chocolate.
  1. Going to bed exhausted. While it seems to make sense to wait until you are tired to go to bed, you don’t wait to wait until you are completely exhausted or you will have trouble going to sleep.
  1. Getting too many sleep aids.
  1. Smoking
  1. Overuse of caffeine
  1. Temperature in room too hot or too cold
  1. Inability to relax after going to bed
  1. Lack of exercise. While you don’t want to do too much close to bedtime, a little bit of light exercise can actual relax you and help you fall asleep. It can be something as mild as just take a ten or fifteen minute walk outside.

While people may have other reasons they have difficulty sleeping, these are the most common reasons and the ones easiest to address. Some people have chronic insomnia that is related to health conditions or medications they must take; it’s difficult to control those causes. However, if you work on some of the other causes you can at least reduce some of the bouts of insomnia that your health conditions and medications cause.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

usa grants for single mothers June 4, 2010 at 3:11 am

Wow, I never thought that lack of exercise can cause insomnia, need to hit the gym after.

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single mommy June 7, 2010 at 11:00 am

I might be following your steps here because I am experiencing insomnia as well as being a single mommy.

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Miss Bonnie June 7, 2011 at 2:58 pm

Would being axious or excited cause you not to be able to sleep? because i smoke and i dont really do alot of excersise i also have inconsistant sleep patterns because my partner works night shift, but, i dont usually have a problem getting to sleep.

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Marcia Barton January 15, 2012 at 11:59 am

You can try exercise and all the ideas above and still not be able to sleep. Deficiencies in calcium, magnesium, and Vit B12 can all cause insomnia as well as extreme fatigue. Vitamin D is necessary for the absorption of magnesium. I had a son who literally could not sleep and magnesium completely turned him around. A daughter was helped by Vitamin B12. Just make sure you don’t regularly take more than the recommended daily allowance for these vitamins and minerals as too much over a period of time can harm you. Marcia in Utah

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