How Psychological Distress Causes Insomnia
The most common biological cause of insomnia is psychological in nature. This is referring to psychological distress which is a major issue for many people. Psychological distress can be caused by either emotional worry or by anxiety, which are two different mental states . Psychological distress affects many people and often causes people unable to sleep properly at night, especially in todays tumultuous climate.
Nowadays, many people in this fast paced and information overloaded world barely have any time to clear their head. They are constantly bombarded with informational triggers. Its not until their head hits the pillow at night that they have the time to consciously reflect inwardly. This often causes these individuals to overthink certain events or conversations that took place during the day. Furthermore, they worry about what they must face the next day while lying in bed. The emotional worrying late at night disrupts the invitation of calm sleep related brainwaves into the brain. These calming brainwaves are required to fall asleep naturally.
What Other Problems Can Insomnia Cause
Insomnia can cause daytime sleepiness and a lack of energy. It also can make you feel anxious, depressed, or irritable. You may have trouble focusing on tasks, paying attention, learning, and remembering. Insomnia also can cause other serious problems. For example, it could make you may feel drowsy while driving. This could cause you get into a car accident.
How Does Bright Light Therapy Work
Bright light therapy is also an accepted treatment that has shown some positive results with Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome and Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder . It involves exposure to bright light at early morning hours shortly after waking up, and avoidance of bright outdoor light during the evening hours. This has been demonstrated to readjust the circadian rhythms of individuals to more normal schedules.
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What Are The Differences Between Insomnia And Sleep Deprivation
The difference between insomnia and sleep deprivation is that insomnia is a sleep disorder in which a person has trouble falling and staying asleep, even if they give themselves enough time for rest. Sleep deprivation typically happens when you dont schedule adequate time for rest. Sleep deprivation is a side effect of insomnia because this disorder prevents someone from sleeping enough.
Sleep deprivation and insomnia are usually connected because the first is a byproduct of the latter. Individuals with insomnia will often experience symptoms of sleep deprivation, such as trouble focusing, daytime tiredness, and irritability.
How Insomnia Affects Health
When insomnia is chronic, meaning that trouble falling asleep and staying asleep persists for a long period of time , treatment for insomnia or tests to diagnose an underlying cause of insomnia may be necessary. Depending on the underlying condition, an insomniac’s health may be at risk. Examples include depressed patients whose symptoms are worsened when they are sleep-deprived and any patient with an existing medical condition whose immune system suffers more so when they fail to establish a healthy sleep regimen.
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What Causes Difficulty In Falling Asleep
Accordingly, what do you do if you have trouble falling asleep?
Overthinking, being anxious, or just stressing over things you can’t change activate might lead to chronic stress and interrupted sleep.
One may also ask, what causes lack of deep sleep? Causes for Lack of Deep SleepSleep disorders: There are certain sleep disorders that may disturb deep sleep. Sleep apnea and periodic limb movements of sleep cause recurrent awakenings. Both marijuana and lithium, a medication for bipolar disorder, may also enhance slow-wave sleep.
Regarding this, in which disorder does a person find it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep for a long time?
Insomnia is a common sleep disorder that can make it hard to fall asleep, hard to stay asleep, or cause you to wake up too early and not be able to get back to sleep. You may still feel tired when you wake up.
What to drink to sleep faster?
The Best Drinks for Better Sleep
Insomnia: Causes Symptoms And Treatment
Insomnia is a sleep disorder in which an individual has trouble falling or staying asleep, resulting in poor sleep quality and duration. Insomnia is one of the most common sleep disorders, affecting as many as 70 million American adults each year, according to Cleveland Clinic. Insomnia can be caused by different factors, such as stress, lifestyle habits, irregular sleep schedules, mental health issues, pain, illness, medications, neurological problems, and other sleep disorders.
There are two types of insomnia, acute and chronic. Acute insomnia is a short-term condition where the individual has trouble sleeping for a few days or weeks. Stress is a common cause of short-term insomnia. The other type of insomnia is chronic. Chronic insomnia is when a person experiences this disorder for a longer period.
Chronic insomnia usually occurs at least three times a week and will continue for three months or longer. Signs of insomnia include difficulty falling asleep, waking up in the middle of the night, trouble falling back asleep, and waking up too early. Insomnia symptoms include daytime fatigue, irritability, depression, impaired memory, and difficulty concentrating.
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What Are The Treatments For Insomnia
Treatments include lifestyle changes, counseling, and medicines:
- Lifestyle changes, including good sleep habits, often help relieve acute insomnia. These changes might make it easier for you to fall asleep and stay asleep.
- A type of counseling called cognitive-behavioral therapy can help relieve the anxiety linked to chronic insomnia
- Several medicines also can help relieve your insomnia and allow you to re-establish a regular sleep schedule
If your insomnia is the symptom or side effect of another problem, it’s important to treat that problem .
NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
How Does Insomnia Affect Women’s Health
Insomnia can cause you to feel tired, anxious, or irritable in the short term. Over time, lack of sleep may increase your risk for more serious problems, including:
- Health problems, including diabetes and high blood pressure3,9
- Increased risk for falls, especially in older women17
Women who have long-term insomnia may be more at risk than men with long-term insomnia for mood problems, heart disease and stroke, and obesity.18
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Insomnia Causes Due To Psychiatric Issues
Psychiatric disorders or issues are the most commonly known cause of insomnia.
Anxiety. Many people with an anxiety disorder have trouble with their own thoughts and worries keeping them up at night. When they finally do get to sleep, they often wake up and the anxiety keeps them from being able to fall back asleep.
Unfortunately, not only can anxiety cause insomnia, but insomnia can also cause anxiety. This makes it important to find the root cause of whats going on so the cycle can be stopped.
Depression. Depression is not the same thing as anxiety. But like anxiety, depression can also lead to insomnia. This can be an ongoing, chronic problem for someone thats chronically depressed. It may also be a seasonal condition in someone with seasonal affective disorder , which happens in the dark, gloomy, winter months.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder . For someone with PTSD, being in the dark can bring on flashbacks and feelings of fear and anxiety. If theyre able to fall asleep, they may sometimes awaken with nightmares.
Stress and worry. You dont have to have a diagnosed with a mental disorder to have stress or worry keep you up at night. Often times people have insomnia while going through some kind of stressful life event, such as loss of a loved one, loss of a job, or a divorce, for example.
Who Is At Risk For Insomnia
Insomnia is common. It affects women more often than men. You can get it at any age, but older adults are more likely to have it. You are also at higher risk of insomnia if you:
- Have a lot of stress
- Are depressed or have other emotional distress, such as divorce or death of a spouse
- Have a lower income
- Have an inactive lifestyle
- Are African American research shows that African Americans take longer to fall asleep, don’t sleep as well, and have more sleep-related breathing problems than whites.
How Is Insomnia Diagnosed
There is no specific test to diagnose insomnia. Your healthcare provider will perform a physical exam and ask questions to learn more about your sleep problems and symptoms. The key information for the diagnosis of insomnia is reviewing your sleep history with your doctor. Your provider will also review your medical history and medications you are taking to see if they may be affecting your ability to sleep. You may also:
- Get a blood test: Your doctor may want you do a blood test to rule out certain medical conditions such as thyroid problems or low iron levels that can negatively impact sleep.
- Keep a sleep diary: You may be asked to write down your sleep patterns for one to two weeks This information can help your provider identify patterns or behaviors that interfere with rest.
- Complete a sleep study:Sleep studies are not necessary for diagnosing insomnia. If your doctor has concerns that your insomnia may be caused by sleep apnea or another sleep disorder, you may be referred. You may go to a sleep disorders center or do the study at home.
Trouble Sleeping 7 Common Causes Of Insomnia
by Sleep Center of Middle Tennessee | Last updated Jun 29, 2022
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You toss and turn, turn and toss throughout the night. Before you know it, the sun is shining through your window and your alarm clock is blaring in your ears. You stretch, yawn, and sighanother sleepless night.
Your day is an endless fog, and you cant concentrate at work. When you get home that night, the cycle starts all over again. You know that you cant keep living this. But who can help?
Theres no debate that sleep is essential to overall health and wellbeing. According to the National Institute of Health, Getting enough quality sleep at the right times can help protect your mental health, physical health, quality of life, and safety. Adults need between 7-8 hours of sleep each night for optimal brain performance and physical health. During sleep, your body performs a number of vital restorative functions, from repairing blood vessels to fighting off infections to preparing your brain for the day ahead.
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Insomnia Due To Medical Condition
In patients with insomnia associated with a medical condition, medical disorders may include the following:
Chronic pain syndromes from any cause
Advanced chronic obstructive lung disease
Benign prostatic hypertrophy
Chronic renal disease
Chronic fatigue syndrome
Neurologic disorders may include Parkinson disease, other movement disorders, and headache syndromes, particularly cluster headaches, which may be triggered by sleep.
In a retrospective community-based study, more people with chronic insomnia reported having the following medical conditions than did people without insomnia :
High blood pressure
In addition, people with the following medical problems more often reported chronic insomnia than did patients without such medical problems :
High blood pressure
The sleep disturbance cannot be better explained by another sleep disorder, medical or neurologic disorder, medication use, or substance abuse disorder.
Monitor Your Sleeping Habits
It is therefore worthwhile to observe your own sleep more closely for a while.
One of the best remedies is to keep a sleep diary to take notes on. After a short time you will recognize negative patterns and ways to improve your nights sleep.
Of course, there are other ways to monitor sleep as well . In the linked article you will find, for example, a few apps that do this automatically.
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Challenging The Worries And Thoughts That Fuel Insomnia
Its also helpful to challenge the negative attitudes about sleep and your insomnia problem that youve developed over time. The key is to recognize self-defeating thoughts and replace them with more realistic ones.
|Challenging self-defeating thoughts that fuel insomnia|
|Self-defeating thought:||Sleep-promoting comeback:|
|Unrealistic expectations: I should be able to sleep well every night like a normal person. I shouldnt have a problem!||Lots of people struggle with sleep from time to time. I will be able to sleep with the right techniques.|
|Exaggeration: Its the same every single night, another night of sleepless misery.||Not every night is the same. Some nights I do sleep better than others.|
|Catastrophizing: If I dont get some sleep, Ill tank my presentation and jeopardize my job.||I can get through the presentation even if Im tired. I can still rest and relax tonight, even if I cant sleep.|
|Hopelessness: Im never going to be able to sleep well. Its out of my control.||Insomnia can be cured. If I stop worrying so much and focus on positive solutions, I can beat it.|
|Fortune telling: Its going to take me at least an hour to get to sleep tonight. I just know it.||I dont know what will happen tonight. Maybe Ill get to sleep quickly if I use the strategies Ive learned.|
How To Treat Long Term Insomnia
If you have been suffering from insomnia for an extended period of time you may need a multimodal approach to treatment. This could include
- Monitoring your insomnia and keeping a sleep diary so your healthcare practitioner can look for patterns in your sleep problems
- Psychological help in the form of counselling or cognitive behavioural therapy
- In some cases medication may be required, however, this is usually a last resort and only considered once other options have been explored
- Sleep deprivation is also sometimes an option for short intervals, in order to induce sleepiness. Some patients may also benefit from bright light exposure early in the morning.
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What Prescription Medicines Treat Insomnia
The types of prescription medicines used to treat insomnia include sedatives and certain kinds of antidepressants.22 Prescription sleep medicines can have serious side effects, including sleepiness during the daytime and increased risk of falls for older adults.2,17 They can also affect women differently than men. In 2013, the Food and Drug Administration required drug companies to lower the recommended dose for women of certain prescription sleep medicines with zolpidem, because women’s bodies do not break down the medicine as quickly as men’s bodies do.23
If you decide to use a prescription sleep medicine:
- Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist about any warnings and potential side effects of the medicine.
- Take the medicine at the time of day your doctor tells you to.
- Do not drive or do other activities that require you to be alert and sober.
- Take only the amount of medicine prescribed by your doctor.
- Tell your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist about all other medicines you take, both over-the-counter and prescription.
- Do not drink alcohol.
- Do not take medicines that your doctor has not prescribed to you.
- Talk to your doctor or nurse if you want to stop using the sleep medicine. You need to stop taking some sleep medicines gradually .
How Can I Sleep Better
If you are not getting enough sleep at night, take a look at your sleep routine. Set regular bed- and wake-up times. If you know what time you have to wake up in the morning, count back at least 8 hours from there. Try to stick to the schedule as close as you can, even on weekends.
Here are some tips for better sleep:
- Keep the bedroom dark, cool, and quiet.
- Dont keep a TV or video game system in the bedroom.
- About an hour before bedtime, put away homework and turn off all screens . Turn off or silence cellphones. Consider charging phones outside the room.
- Try a relaxing bedtime routine, like taking a warm bath or shower, reading, listening to music, or meditating before going to sleep.
- Avoid caffeine in the late afternoon and evening.
- Get regular exercise .
- If you are very tired during the day, take a short nap in the early afternoon. Longer or later naps make it harder to fall asleep at night.
Talk to your doctor if you have trouble falling or staying asleep, snore most nights, or you think you’re getting enough rest at night but still feel tired during the day.
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Check If You Have Insomnia
You have insomnia if you regularly:
- find it hard to go to sleep
- wake up several times during the night
- lie awake at night
- wake up early and cannot go back to sleep
- still feel tired after waking up
- find it hard to nap during the day even though you’re tired
- feel tired and irritable during the day
- find it difficult to concentrate during the day because you’re tired
If you have insomnia for a short time its called short-term insomnia. Insomnia that lasts 3 months or longer is called long-term insomnia.