Insomnia is a fairly common medical condition, and doctors are just beginning to get the hang of treating it. The key to treating insomnia in most cases is to determine the cause of the insomnia. Oftentimes, this is more difficult than it sounds. Yet, being aware of the risk factors and potential causes of insomnia could help you to treat your own case of the disorder.
Risk Factors Add to the Causes of Insomnia
There are certain characteristics that make a person more likely to experience insomnia. For example, females, the elderly, and people who suffer from depression are all much more likely to get insomnia than other groups. When conditions such as anxiety, stress, use of medications, or a medical problem occur, then these might cause someone to become more susceptible to the disorder as well.
Different Causes of Insomnia – Different Lengths of Time
One of the ways to classify insomnia is by how long it lasts. Transient insomnia is short term, intermittent insomnia occurs on and off, and chronic insomnia is long term. Each of these variations is caused by different factors. Transient and intermittent insomnia are frequently caused by one or more of the following factors: extreme temperatures, stress, change in surrounding environment, noise, jet lag or other schedule disruptions, and medication side effects.
Causes of chronic insomnia are different and are usually more difficult to pinpoint. Typically, chronic insomnia is caused by an underlying mental, emotional, or physical disorder. Depression, kidney disease, arthritis, sleep apnea, heart conditions, asthma, restless leg syndrome, hyperthyroidism, Parkinson’s Disease, and narcolepsy are all potential underlying causes of chronic insomnia.
However, chronic insomnia can also be caused by behavioral factors. For example, substance abuse, such as the misuse of caffeine or alcohol, can lead to chronic insomnia. Other behavioral factors include: excessive napping, smoking cigarettes, disrupted sleeping habits, and prolonged anxiety over lack of sleep.
Going to the Source
Looking at the causes of insomnia can help to determine what the best method of treatment might be. Frequently, you can solve your insomnia problems simply by removing the cause. This typically means ending a behavior that might be causing the condition.
Nobody expects you to determine the cause of your insomnia on your own. Your doctor can be a major help in finding out what causes your insomnia; so make sure to consult him or her before you give up hope.