Insomnia Treatment - Causes

Are you stressed? If known, discuss the reason(s) for or causes of your insomnia.

Share your story with others:

MedicineNet appreciates your comment. Your comment may be displayed on the site and will always be published anonymously.Patient Comments FAQs

Enter your Comment

Tell us a bit about your background to make your comments more useful to other MedicineNet users. (Optional)

Screen Name: *

Gender of Patient: Male Female

Age Range of Patient:

I am a: Patient Caregiver


* Screen Name will appear next to the published comment. Please do not include your full name or email address.

By submitting your comment, and other materials (collectively referred to as a "Submission") to MedicineNet, you grant MedicineNet permission to use, copy, transmit, publish, display, edit and modify your Submission in connection with its Web site. MedicineNet will not pay you for your Submission. You represent that you have all rights necessary for MedicineNet to use your Submission as set forth above.

Please keep these guidelines in mind when writing your comment:

  • Please make sure you address the question asked.
  • Due to the overwhelming number of comments received, not all comments will be published.
  • When selecting comments to publish, our staff will choose those that are educational and complement the topic. Please try to stay on topic.
  • Your comment may be edited. We would typically edit comments to make them clearer and more readable. We will remove personal information such as last names, email and web addresses, and other potentially harmful information.
  • We will not notify you if your comment has been published. We suggest that you check back on the topic article regularly.
  • We do not provide medical or healthcare advice, treatment, or diagnosis.

Thank you for participating!


I have read and agree to abide by the MedicineNet Terms and Conditions and the MedicineNet Privacy Policy (required).

To prevent our systems from spam, please complete the following prior to submitting your comment.

Please select the black triangle:

What is insomnia and what causes it?

Insomnia is difficulty falling or staying asleep, the absence of restful sleep, or poor quality of sleep. Insomnia is a symptom and not a disease. The most common causes of insomnia are:

  • medications,
  • psychological conditions (for example, depression, anxiety),
  • environmental changes (travel, jet lag, or altitude changes), and
  • stressful events or a stressful lifestyle.

Insomnia can also be caused by poor sleeping habits such as excessive daytime naps or caffeine consumption and poor sleep hygiene.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine estimates 30% of adults have some symptoms of insomnia, 10% have insomnia symptoms so severe they cause consequences such as daytime sleepiness, and less than 10% have chronic insomnia.

Insomnia may be classified by how long the symptoms are present.

  • Transient insomnia usually is due to situational changes such as travel, extreme climate changes, and stressful events. It lasts for less than a week or until the stressful event is resolved.
  • Short-term insomnia usually is due to ongoing stressful lifestyle or events, medication side effects or medical conditions and lasts for one to three weeks.
  • Chronic insomnia (long-term insomnia) often results from depression, digestive problems, sleep disorders, or substance abuse and continues for more than three weeks.

Transient insomnia may progress to short-term insomnia and without adequate treatment short-term insomnia may become chronic insomnia.

Some of the medications and substances that can contribute to insomnia are:

  • caffeine and coffee,
  • tobacco,
  • alcohol,
  • decongestants (for example, pseudoephedrine),
  • diuretics (for example, furosemide [Lasix], hydrochlorothiazide [Dyazide]) especially if taken in the evening or at bedtime,
  • antidepressants (for example, bupropion [Wellbutrin, Wellbutrin SR, Wellbutrin XL, Zyban], fluoxetine [Prozac]),
  • appetite suppressants (for example, sibutramine [Meridia], phentermine [Fastin]), and
  • amphetamines.
Insomnia also may be the result of withdrawal from:
  • benzodiazepines (for example, diazepam [Valium], chlordiazepoxide [Librium], lorazepam [Ativan]),
  • alcohol,
  • antihistamines,
  • amphetamines,
  • cocaine,
  • marijuana, and
  • other addicting drugs.

Insomnia can also result from poor sleep-related habits (poor sleep hygiene).

Return to Insomnia Treatment (Sleep Aids and Stimulants)

STAY INFORMED

Get the latest health and medical information delivered direct to your inbox!