What Health Conditions Cause Insomnia?

Topics: Insomnia, insomnia symptoms, sleep disorder, sleep problem

Rest is necessary for your health and well-being. But, what can you do if sleep evades you despite all your efforts? Even if you practice good sleep hygiene, you may still struggle with chronic sleeplessness. It is entirely possible for you to develop insomnia, a sleep disorder where the person faces a problem with falling or staying asleep. Typically, this sleep issue is not a primary health problem but a symptom of another condition. It often results from an external factor like a medical disease or disorder. In an attempt to help you understand what medical problems can lead to insomnia, we have prepared a list. Have a glance!

What Health Problems Can Result.

Conditions that might be responsible for causing insomnia

Following health conditions can keep you from getting a peaceful sleep at night:

1. Stress

One of the primary causes of insomnia is stress. Many events like job loss or the death of a loved one can force you to spend sleepless nights. Doctors might call it acute insomnia if it goes away on its own within a few nights. But, when the stress is long-term, it can cause issues like anxiety disorders, panic attacks, and PTSD, which can eventually result in chronic insomnia. The condition is more serious than acute insomnia and might require you to undergo therapy.

2. Dementia

Alzheimer's, a health condition where you lose your memory, and other forms of dementia can leave people feeling unsettled around bedtime. There is a term for people who go through this called ''sundown syndrome'' and ''sundowning.'' In this condition, the person feels uneasy, restless, anxious, confused, or aggressive. It might cause him to start to pace, rock, or even wander off when it is time to rest. In some cases, this behaviour fades slowly as the night progresses, but in others, it might keep one awake all through the night.

3. Irregular Sleep Times

People who do not have a sleep schedule and are used to going to bed at different times are vulnerable to insomnia. This is because inconsistent sleep timings can confuse your body clock and cause circadian rhythm problems. A long flight from another zone, working alternating shifts, or working overnight can be some possible causes of circadian rhythm issues. 

4. Mental Problems

Patients with a mental disorder often find it troublesome to secure a good night's rest. Some mental health issues that can have a role to play in lack of sleep are depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety problems, schizophrenia, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. These issues can make you hyperarousal and keep you tossing and turning in bed. Observing the qualities of insomnia and other symptoms can help determine whether your chronic insomnia results from mental issues or not.

5. Breathing problems

In people suffering from sleep apnea, a breathing-related sleep disorder, the respiratory process gets hindered, which can cause you to wake up hundreds of times in a single night. You might not remember these episodes, but multiple transitions between sleeping and awakening can make you feel groggy and exhausted the next day. In many cases, these breathing issues are related to your weight, but not every time. Besides sleep apnea, nasal allergies and asthma are other breathing issues that can cause insomnia.

6. Pain

If you are in pain, you may find it impossible to drift off to sleep. Several causes can be responsible for this suffering, including arthritis, cancer, fibromyalgia, chronic back issues, or cancer. Also, it is vital to note that pain and sleeplessness share a two-way relationship. While it is true that pain can keep you awake, lack of sleep can increase the intensity of pain and make it hurt more. This might create a vicious cycle. You will have to treat the source of pain first to cure insomnia in this case.

7. Itching

In some people, the cause of sleeplessness is itching. Individuals might have conditions like psoriasis and eczema that make their skin burn and cause an unbearable urge to scratch. Nothing can distract you from the desire to itch, which may leave you unable to drift off. Fortunately, there are several solutions to resolve this problem. One can try meds or creams to soothe the skin. 

8. Menopause

A women's body stops producing progesterone and estrogen, usually in middle age. The change in the balance of hormones and the other shifts in the female body during this time can make you more sensitive to stress. It is possible that severe hot flashes, like adrenaline surges, raise your body temperature. It could be so uncomfortable that you might wake up drenched in sweat.

9. Pregnancy

Another reason that can keep women tossing and turning in their beds at night is pregnancy. It happens because, during this phase of their lives, the women's body goes through hormonal changes, anxiety, vivid dreams, back pain or leg cramps, desire to pee, heartburn or nausea, and trouble feeling comfortable. Due to these issues, you may develop sleep problems.

10. PMS

Women who are dealing with premenstrual syndrome (PMS) or premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) report coping with sleep problems like insomnia. Typically, it happens before or during your periods. At this time, the hormonal shift can affect your body temperature, which can interfere with your sleep. Besides, mood changes and alterations in the amount of melatonin (sleep hormone) produced in your body can also make it harder to get a good night's sleep.


People who fail to catch a good night's sleep may find it troublesome to get through the day. This is why it is vital to treat insomnia as soon as possible. But, for that, first, you will have to treat the underlying cause of the sleep problem, which can be a medical condition in many people. Treating these health issues sooner rather than later can improve your sleep quality and health.

Disclaimer: The information provided in the article has been obtained from reputed medical research organisations. The content is suggestive in nature and should not be taken as medical advice. Before taking any measures, the readers are recommended to contact their healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis.

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