Why You Can’t Sleep
“Insomnia is an indication, not chaos. It’s like an ache. You’re not going to provide a patient with ache medicine without figuring out what’s reasoning the pain.” – Judith Owens
I have found that various physical, emotional, and psychological factors can cause insomnia in a person. Certain medical conditions can also lead to chronic insomnia while acute insomnia can be the result of recent unpleasant events or trauma.
Here are some of the most common causes of insomnia:
1. Circadian rhythm
You can experience insomnia when your circadian rhythm is disrupted due to changes in lifestyle or work timings, jet lag, environmental noise, extreme weather, or high altitudes.
2. Emotional and psychological conditions
Emotional and psychological factors like anxiety, stress, depression, grief, trauma, bipolar disorder, psychotic disorder, and others may result in insomnia.
3. Medical causes
Often underlying medical issues like tumors, brain lesions, arthritis, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, hyperthyroidism, asthma, sleep apnea, acid-reflux disease (GERD), congestive heart failure, chronic fatigue syndrome, and many others may lead to insomnia.
Changing hormone levels like estrogen or during menstruation or due to medicines can result in insomnia as well.
5. Other causes
There can be many other secondary causes like pregnancy, genetic conditions, parasites, an overactive mind, and a snoring partner can also be contributing factors.
Are You An Insomniac?
“Sleeplessness is a desert without vegetation or inhabitants.” – Jessamyn West
In itself, insomnia can be a sign of a serious medical condition. Nonetheless, there are several signs and symptoms of insomnia that can help you identify if you are an insomniac:
- Having trouble sleeping at night
- Repeatedly waking up in the night
- Finding it hard to go back to sleep
- Waking up earlier in the morning than you wanted
- Feeling tired even after sleeping in the night
- Cognitive impairment
- Feeling sleepy and fatigued during daytime
- Feeling irritated, anxious and depressed
- Experiencing mood swings and behavioral issues
- Lack of focus and poor concentration
- Making too many errors, mistake and accidents
- Having severe headaches
- Gastrointestinal issues
- Thinking about sleeping all the time
- Having problem with socializing
How To Overcome Insomnia
“That’s the advantage of insomnia. People who go to be early always complain that the night is too short, but for those of us who stay up all night, it can feel as long as a lifetime. You get a lot done.” – Banana Yoshimoto
If insomnia is affecting your mental, emotional and physical health, then I would suggest that you start changing your lifestyle, behavior, and habits as it can help you beat insomnia without the need for taking any medication.
Here are 9 ways you can cope with insomnia effectively by making small changes in your life:
1. Sleep in a comfortable environment
Make sure your bedroom and your bed are comfortable enough for you to rest properly, mentally and physically. You should be able to control the noise, lighting, and temperature in your bedroom to make it favorable for a good night’s sleep.
2. Avoid stimulants and alcohol
Stay away from caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol. If you can’t eliminate them from your life completely, then make sure you drastically reduce consumption if you want to sleep better and live healthier. Caffeine and other stimulants can keep you up for almost 24 hours.
Moreover, alcohol can make you feel restless despite feeling like a sedative initially. If you are taking medicines like asthma inhalers or decongestants that can function like stimulants, then consult your doctor immediately.