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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. The International Classification of Sleep Disorders, has classified insomnia into multiple categories:

  1. Adjustment insomnia (acute insomnia): short-term or acute insomnia usually do to stress or environmental changes
  2. Psychophysiologic insomnia (primary insomnia): prolonged stress with chronic insomnia
  3. Paradoxical insomnia: little or no sleep at nights with rare normal night sleep because of a pattern of consciousness throughout the night, or where near constant awareness of environmental stimuli occurs
  4. Insomnia due to medical condition: insomnia associated with disorders such as advanced chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), arthritis, cancer, renal disease, fibromyalgia, neurologic problems, Parkinson's disease, and chronic fatigue syndrome
  5. Insomnia due to mental disorder: depression, schizophrenia, and maniac phase of bipolar illness, for example
  6. Insomnia due to drug or substance abuse: for example, alcohol abuse, stimulant abuse, caffeine abuse
  7. Insomnia not due to substances or known physiologic conditions, unspecified: temporary diagnostic term used for suspected but unproven underlying mental, physiological or environmental problems
  8. Inadequate sleep hygiene: proper sleep scheduling, routine use of alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, frequent daytime napping, using the bed for watching TV, snacking, or reading and/or studying for tests or work related subjects
  9. Idiopathic insomnia: long-term insomnia begun in infancy or childhood with no readily identifiable underlying cause
  10. Behavioral insomnia of childhood: insomnia in children based on adult caregiver observations
  11. Primary sleep disorders causing insomnia: insomnia due to restless leg syndrome, obstructive sleep apnea/hypopnea (shallow breathing) syndrome, nocturia (need to urinate at night) or circadian rhythm disorders for example
Return to Insomnia (Symptoms, Causes, Remedies, and Cures)

See what others are saying

Comment from: shane73, 35-44 (Patient) Published: February 11

I have been sleeping an average of 5 to 6 hours a night for 30 years I am sure it's enough for my body to function. I am a chronic pain patient due to DDD (degenerative disc disease) and my sleep fell off to 4 hours or less in the past few months. I spoke to my doctor, he put me on trazodone, and gave me an extra oxycodone for bedtime. Now I am getting to 6 to 7 hours of sleep a night. Trazodone is non-habit forming, and seems to work quite well. I have tried all kinds of sleep medications, and hate them all. Trazodone works well so far and it is cheap to fill my prescription.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: Asad, 19-24 Male (Patient) Published: August 21

I have anxiety. If you continue to stay anxious and develop serious anxiety you are more likely to suffer from insomnia.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: Mustang sally, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 20

Since childhood, I have had bouts of insomnia. I first took medication in high school and then again in my late 20s. Now I am dealing with excessive stress, am menopausal, and can't sleep without medication. I tried oxazepam, which did not work; trazodone, which worked for about a week; 10 mg of Valium which gave me an average of 4 � hours of sleep; and now am on 5mg of Valium and 25 mg of Elavil, which give me 6-7 hours of sleep. I weaned myself off Valium within a week of going from 7.5 mg to 0, and did not sleep for 4 nights and was feeling rage. My doctor advised taking 5 mg of Valium again with Elavil.

Was this comment helpful?Yes

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