What are the causes of chronic insomnia?
Insomnia has many possible causes including:
Underlying medical condition can disturb sleep: chronic pain, nocturnal asthma, heart failure, hormonal changes associated with menopause. Medications used to treat these conditions can also disturb sleep.
Depression, anxiety and stress can be associated with sleep problems. People with insomnia are also at increased risk of developing a psychiatric problem.
Sleep apnea, restless legs and other sleep problems can disturb sleep
Alcohol, caffeine and smoking close to bedtime, poor bedtime routine and other habits can disturb your sleep.
Some people may be more prone to insomnia than others due to neuro-transmitter differences in their brain. Poor sleep can also become a habit over time.
However if Arjun develops unhealthy habits, he is more likely to develop chronic insomnia
Arjun hears bad news about his father. The stress leads to difficulty sleeping for several nights. When the stress resolves, he should be able to sleep again.
However, if Arjun develops unhealthy habits (listed below), he is more likely to develop chronic insomnia.
Spends more time in bed (to compensate for not sleeping)
Sleep will become very light
Drinks alcohol to help him sleep
Alcohol will help him fall asleep, but will cause night-time awakenings.
Uses cellphone when he is not able to sleep
Cell phone emits blue light, which suppresses melatonin (hormone required to fall asleep)
Smokes when he cannot sleep
Nicotine in cigarettes is a stimulant
Drinks excessive amounts of coffee, tea, soft drinks
These drinks contain caffeine, which stimulate the brain
Thinks and worries about sleep
This creates anxiety about sleep