You might be suffering from insomnia if you do not sleep enough or if your sleep quality is poor. Insomnia can be a condition that makes it hard to sleep or stay asleep. 

Insomnia is: 

  • Transient: sleeping poorly for several nights 
  • Short-term: sleeping badly for 2 to 3 weeks 
  • Chronic: sleeping poorly most or all nights 

Insomnia symptoms include: 

  • Sleeping problems 
  • Waking up in the middle of the night 
  • Waking up too early 
  • Sleep rhythm disorders (difficulties maintaining healthy sleep patterns) 
  • Abnormal behaviors during sleep (sleep-disruptive behaviors) 
  • Feeling tired or sleepy throughout the day; feeling down or anxious (irritable) 
  • Concentration problems 
  • Memory problems 
  • Accidents 
  • Headaches and stomach and intestinal disorders, including diarrhea and constipation, as well as upset stomach 
  • Weight gain or loss 

What causes sleep problems? 

Data shows that although many people believe emotional stress is the cause of their chronic inability to sleep, nearly half of all chronic inability to sleep is caused by emotional problems like depression and anxiety or physical problems like breathing problems, RLS and PLM, side effects from certain drugs, and disturbances in the body’s inner clock (circadian rhythm). According to a National Sleep Foundation Sleep in America poll, older adults are more likely to experience sleep issues if they have one or more medical conditions. 

Researchers have found that sleep problems can be caused by: 

  • Aging, including: 
    • Changes in health: less active 
    • Take medication (s). 
    • Sleep patterns can change, and you may wake up early. 
  • Schedule changes at home, work, or school 
  • Emotional disorders include: 
    • Anxiety 
    • Bipolar disorder 
    • The following are some of the ways to reduce your risk: 
    • Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) 
  • Circadian rhythm disturbances can be caused by changes in schedule, activity, illness, medication, travel (jet lag), and aging. 
  • Conditions such as: 
    • Alzheimer’s disease 
    • Arthritis 
    • Cancer 
    • It is diabetes. 
    • Gastro esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) 
    • Heart failure and heart disease 
    • Breathing problems and lung diseases 
    • Heart Disease 
    • Overactive bladder 
    • Overactive thyroid 
    • You can also find out more about pain. 
    • Parkinson’s disease 
    • Stroke 
  • Medications, including: 
    • Prescription drugs, such as: 
      • Allergy medication 
      • Antidepressants 
      • Some heart and blood pressure medications 
      • Corticosteroids 
      • Ritalin and other stimulants 
    • Non-prescription or OTC drugs, such as pain medication 
      • Decongestants 
      • Weight loss drugs 
    • Sleeping pills, both prescribed and non-prescription, are often misused or overused. 
  • Menopause symptoms, such as night sweats and hormonal changes 
  • Poor sleep habits (poor sleep hygiene), including: 
    • An irregular sleep schedule 
    • Uncomfortable sleeping conditions, such as those that are too hot, too cold, noisy, and bright. 
    • You can stimulate yourself at night with these activities. 
  • Pregnancy 
  • Stimulants like caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine 
  • Stress can be caused by family, health, school, or work problems, as well as events in life such as divorce, job loss, and illness. 
  • A heavy or large meal eaten before bedtime can cause heartburn, acid reflux, and discomfort. 

The following conditions can also disturb sleep: 

  • Jet lag 
  • Klein-Levin syndrome 
  • Narcolepsy 
  • Nightmares 
  • Night terrors 
  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) 
  • Periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD) 
  • Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) and Sleep Walking (somniloquy) 
  • Snoring 
  • The grinding of teeth (bruxism) 

Insomnia Treatment 

The treatment for insomnia is dependent on the cause of your sleep issues. Some people can restore healthy sleep patterns through good sleep habits. Medical conditions like sleep apnea or restless leg syndrome may require medical assistance in conjunction with good sleep habits to manage the condition. Doctors may prescribe medications to restore healthy sleep patterns.