What Are Other Causes of Insomnia?
- Common stimulants associated with poor sleep include caffeine and nicotine. You should consider not only restricting caffeine and nicotine use in the hours immediately before bedtime but also limiting your total daily intake.
- People often use alcohol to help induce sleep, as a nightcap. However, it is a poor choice. Alcohol is associated with sleep disruption and creates a sense of non-refreshed sleep in the morning.
- A disruptive bed partner with loud snoring or periodic leg movements also may impair your ability to get a good night's sleep.
Who Is at Risk for Insomnia?
In addition to people with the above medical conditions, certain groups may be at higher risk for developing insomnia:
- Shift workers with frequent changing of shifts
- Adolescents or young adult students
- Pregnant women
- Women in menopause
- People who abuse drugs
What Are Primary Sleep Disorders?
In addition to the causes and conditions listed above, there are also a number of conditions that are associated with insomnia in the absence of another underlying condition. These are called primary sleep disorders, in which the sleep disorder is the main cause of insomnia. These conditions generally cause chronic or long-term insomnia. Some of the diseases are listed below:
- Idiopathic insomnia (unknown cause) or childhood insomnia, which start early on in life and results in lifelong sleep problems. This may run in families.
- Central sleep apnea. This is a complex disorder. It can be the primary cause of the insomnia itself or it may be caused by other conditions, such as brain injury, heart failure, high altitude, and low oxygen levels.
- Restless legs syndrome (a condition associated with creeping sensations in the leg during sleep that are relieved by leg movement)
- Periodic Limb movement disorder (a condition associated with involuntary repeated leg movement during sleep)
- Circadian rhythm disorders (disturbance of the biological clock) which are conditions with unusual timing of sleep (for example, going to sleep later and waking up late, or going to sleep very early and getting up very early).
- Sleep state misperception, in which the patient has a perception or feeling of not sleeping adequately, but there are no objective (polysomnographic or actigraphic) findings of any sleep disturbance.
- Insufficient sleep syndrome, in which the person's sleep is insufficient because of environmental situations and lifestyle choices, such as sleeping in a bright or noisy room.
- Inadequate sleep hygiene, in which the individual has poor sleep or sleep preparation habits (described in the following treatment section.)
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/25/2016
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