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Insomnia may be caused by a host of different reasons. These causes may be divided into situational factors, medical or psychiatric conditions, or primary sleep problems. Insomnia could also be classified by the duration of the symptoms into transient, short-term, or chronic. Transient insomnia generally last less than seven days; short-term insomnia usually lasts for about one to three weeks, and chronic insomnia lasts for more than three weeks.
Many of the causes of transient and short-term insomnia are similar and they include:
Uncontrolled physical symptoms (pain, fever, breathing problems, nasal congestion, cough, diarrhea, etc.) can also cause someone to have insomnia. Controlling these symptoms and their underlying causes may lead to resolution of insomnia.
Causes of Chronic or Long-Term Insomnia
The majority of causes of chronic or long-term insomnia are usually linked to an underlying psychiatric or physiologic (medical) condition.
Psychological Causes of Insomnia
The most common psychological problems that may lead to insomnia include:
Insomnia may be an indicator of depression. Many people will have insomnia during the acute phases of a mental illness. As mentioned earlier, depression and anxiety are strongly associated with insomnia. Out of the all the other secondary medical and psychological causes of insomnia, anxiety and depression are the most common.
Physiological Causes of Insomnia
Physiological causes span from circadian rhythm disorders (disturbance of the biological clock), sleep-wake imbalance, to a variety of medical conditions. The following are the most common medical conditions that trigger insomnia:
High Risk Groups for Insomnia
In addition to people with the above medical conditions, certain groups may be at higher risk for developing insomnia:
Medication Related Insomnia
Certain medications have also been associated with insomnia. Among them are:
Other Causes of Insomnia
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