Insomnia (cont.)

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What causes insomnia?

Insomnia may have many causes and, as described earlier, it can be classified based upon the underlying cause.

Situational and stress factors leading to insomnia may include:

  • jet lag,

  • physical discomfort (hot, cold, lighting, noise, unfamiliar surroundings),

  • working different shifts,

  • stressful life situations (divorce or separation, death of a loved one, losing a job, preparing for an examination),

  • illicit drug use,

  • cigarette smoking,

  • caffeine intake prior to going to bed,

  • alcohol intoxication or withdrawal, or

  • certain medications.

Most of these factors may be short-term and transient, and therefore insomnia may resolve when the underlying factor is removed or corrected.

Sleep hygiene

Sleep hygiene can play an important role in insomnia. Poor sleep hygiene includes physical factors such as:

  • using the bedroom for things other than sleeping,

  • eating or exercising prior to sleep,

  • going to bed hungry,

  • sleeping in a room with too much noise or lighting, or

  • doing work in bed.

Medical and psychiatric conditions

Medical and psychiatric conditions may also contribute to insomnia.

Some of these common medical conditions may include:

Common psychiatric problems can be responsible for insomnia including:

Some common physiologic conditions can lead to insomnia such as:

Other causes of insomnia may be related to sleep disorders including:


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Insomnia - Treatment Question: Please describe your effective treatments with insomnia.
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Insomnia - Causes Question: What caused your insomnia?
Insomnia - Sleep Hygiene Question: Describe the types of sleep hygiene you practice to treat insomnia. What works for you?
Insomnia - Medications Question: What medications have you taken to relieve your insomnia? Please relate your experience.
Insomnia - Symptoms Question: What are the symptoms of your insomnia?

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