Causes of Insomnia

Mental Causes

In our busy lives many of us are dealing with many stressors. When we fixate on wanting to influence things we can't or we don't influence things we can. This creates a sense of powerlessness and stress . While we are busy these stressors can be put to one side however at night they sit in our mind like a never ending circle of concern we can not break out of, creating stress even when we are not consciously thinking of them. This can stop us switching off, relaxing and allowing sleep to happen.

Physical Causes

Yet another cause can be our frenetic life style where we sleep at very different times each night and over stimulate ourselves with caffeine, alcohol and light pollution from television, computers and phones late at night this can stop the brain from producing the sleep hormone Acetylcholine that facilitates sleep.

Mental Help

This can be looked at as good healthy thinking patterns.  Often our pattern of coping with issues in our lives stems from our childhood years and out of habit we continue these not realising they no longer work for us.  We need to look at these and change habits of - not challenging effectively, getting angry too quickly, or simply avoiding, to manage our challenges in life more effectively.  Often we can do this ourselves but if the issues are too deep rooted we often need to attend therapy for a while.  The goal being to become our own therapist.

Physical Help

This depends on the main physical cause:

  1. Regular times for waking and sleeping

  2. Ensuring there is no light pollution in your bed

  3. Using the bed for sleep and sex only as association of the bed with reading or last minute work on your computer conditions your brain to stay alert.

  4. Do not take alcohol, heavy meals, or caffeine in the two to three hours before you sleep.

  5. Regular physical exercise at least 30 min every day.

  6. Ensure your room and bed is comfortable and warm.

  7. If you can't sleep don't lie worrying get up for a short time.

Medical Complaints and Medication

There are medical conditions that might make it more likely that you have trouble sleeping.  Sleep Apnoea, Hyperthyroidism and chronic and acute pain for whatever reason to name a few.  Here you need to get specialist help from your GP first.  However sometimes we resort to sleeping tablets to aid sleep.  This for most of us can only usefully be a short term solution due to side effects and our body getting use to the chemical and the consequent need to keep changing to another drug to aid effectiveness.
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