Insomnia – Symptoms and Causes

The main cause of insomnia must be localized in order to apply the correct treatment and also to try and understand the disease and the effects on the patient. In obtaining such information, the patient will know in the future when it would be placed in the same situation what could be the risks and what he or she should do.

Some stress and situational factors can include: working in different shifts, having jet lag, feeling physical discomfort (cold, hot, unfamiliar surroundings, noise), stressful life situations (separation or divorce, death of a loved one, preparing for an exam, losing a job), cigarette smoking, illicit drug use, certain medications, alcohol intoxication or in some cases withdrawal or caffeine intake prior from going to bed.

These factors will be transient and short termed thus insomnia will disappear when the factor will e corrected or removed.

Also there is a correct sleep hygiene that must be taken into account in trying to get a maximum full rest from your hours of sleep including and the black list will include: exercising or eating prior to sleep, using the bedroom for other things than sleeping, going hungry to bed, doing work in bed or sleeping in a room with way too much lighting or noise.

Contributing to insomnia are some psychiatric and medical conditions and here is a list of the most common: congestive heart failure, breathing problems from lung disease or chronic heart, obesity, obstructive sleep apnea, acid reflux, hyperthyroidism, urinary problems, fibromyalgia, chronic pain, dementia or Parkinson’s disease. Psychosis, depression, mania, posttraumatic stress disorder or anxieties are also common psychiatric problems that could be causing insomnia.


Studies have shown that some physiologic conditions like menstrual cycle, menopause, fever, pregnancy or pain can lead to the development of medium or severe insomnia. Some sleep disorders have been linked also to it like sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome (which would be creeping sensations in the leg during one’s sleep and it would e relieved only by leg movement), sleep walking, circadian sleep disturbance ( due to the biological clock an unusual sleep pattern) or periodic limb movement disorder ( the involuntary leg movement during sleep).

Studies have shown that there are other causes that would lead to insomnia, in specific cases, which will include psychophysiological insomnia. This derived insomnia would be a learned behavior of a person in preventing sleep due to their inability to relax their mind and the racing thoughts from it. It can become a long term problem and the thought of going to bed will cause anxiety and a mental increase in thought pattern thus leaving the person fully energized and not able to sleep.

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