What causes insomnia?
Insomnia causes are not as complex as one would think. Yet, as with many other things, there is much misinformation. Our end goal, again, is to provide information on insomnia the causes and cures. Let’s start with the possible causes.
Habits make a difference
The majority of insomnia is not the result of a medical issue. Most often it can be cured via two methods:
• Schedule and Ritual
That seems a bit simplistic. However, after viewing daily “bed sheets” (daily log of activities and sleep times) it becomes clear as to what the problems are.
For instance, often after spending a sleepless night or two someone with insomnia will grab sleep when they can. Sometimes that means catching a nap in the evening for a few hours.
Then bedtime comes. It is no surprise that sleep doesn’t come. Then around 4 sleepiness hits. What to do you do now?
To drink or not to drink…
Caffeine intake after 6 is often an understood culprit. However, some people are effected slightly (but enough to ruin the onset of sleep) if they drink anything caffeinated as much as 6-8 hours before bed time. Once the onset of sleep is interrupted getting back in the “zone” is more difficult.
Which brings up the leading cause of insomnia: Missing the target zone.
You won’t find “target zone” in any medical dictionary. However, the basis is easily understood. As with most things there are opportune times to engage. It is this way with job interviews, conversations, sex, and yes, sleep.
Your body triggers you based on the amount of sleep debt you have and based on your past sleep patterns as to when it is time for bed. Now, if you have no regimented bed time then you will have a problem. If you have no sleep debt (not the case with those with insomnia) you will also have trouble. Though, only for one night or so as you will build a debt or sleepiness up to be able to “repay” it by getting sleepy the next night.
Therefore, anything that interferes with that “target zone” becomes the something that is moving your bull’s eye for getting sleep.
Coffee, late night adrenalin rushes, hard exercise, and the like are culprits of sleep. They cause insomnia. That is easily seen. Most of us know that, but do not address the issue with seriousness. A few early morning car accidents because of the lack of sleep might bring the seriousness to a head. If you have not had one be thankful and do something about it now.
There are also sleep thieves that are not as “accepted.” Alcohol could be one. Funny, as that is often thought of as a depressant. Doctors have even recommended having a glass of red wine or two before bed. The problem is that alcohol is not JUST a suppressant. Several hours after consumption the body is revved up again by it.
You might have noticed this, if you are a drinker, by waking up after a few hours of sleep following a night of drinking. Alcohol, because of all the chemicals and the body’s reaction to them, causes interrupted REM sleep, thus why you will not often be fully rested after such a night.
Therefore, while alcohol might help with the onset of sleep, a drink of the brew willnot keep you in a stage of productive sleep. It will interrupt it.
So, if you suffer from insomnia regard that late night cocktail as your enemy. For now at least.
Other causes for insomnia that can be self-diagnosed and then sought help for are:
• Feelings of hopelessness or depression
• Undiagnosed psychological trauma
Once you have been able to pinpoint your cause or causes for insomnia then you can seek the cure or combination of solutions for your sleep problems. We have yet to discuss medical conditions that might have an impact on your sleeplessness. If the above do not seem to be what you deal with than you might want to check the medical conditions.
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