Do I Have Insomnia? Uncovering the Reasons for Your Inability to Sleep

Millions of people have trouble sleeping, either regularly or on occasion. If you have a case of insomnia, however, it can become a real problem. Lack of sleep affects both your mental and physical health. It’s important, therefore, to find out what’s keeping you awake at night so you can search for an effective solution. There can be many different causes of insomnia. Let’s look at a few of the most common.

Environmental Causes

Noise can make it difficult to sleep, as can a room that gets too much light. An uncomfortable mattress can put a strain on your back and joints, making it harder to sleep. There may be other, more subtle, environmental causes of insomnia as well. For example, some people may be sensitive to electromagnetic energy coming from devices and outlets.

Diet and Lifestyle

Engaging in high energy activities right before bed, such as strenuous exercise, can make it hard to wind down and get to sleep. There is also the question of sleeping according to your inner clock. If, for example, you have a job where you work through the night, it may be hard to sleep during the day. Some people, however, are just the opposite and sleep more soundly during the day. Eating heavy meals, or foods that are very spicy, can be a factor that contributes to insomnia. Caffeine, alcohol and even prescription medication can also interfere with sleep.

Medical Causes

In some cases, insomnia can have a medical cause such as respiratory or heart problems. If you have a family history of any ailments relating to the heart, lungs, or asthma, there is a good chance that you have a pre-disposition for something like that. Conditions such as sleep apnea, where breathing is obstructed during the night, cause people to awaken frequently. According to an oral surgeon who specializes in sleep apnea treatment, snoring is often a symptom of sleep apnea. If you often wake yourself up from snoring or an inability to breathe, you might want to consult a specialist about your options for surgeries to correct this.

Tips to Overcome Insomnia

Because there are so many possible causes of insomnia, it’s important to identify what the problem is. In some cases this is quite obvious, as when you need to cut back on caffeine or stop eating spicy chicken wings at midnight. Sometimes, however, the causes are not so obvious and you may have to do some trial-and-error experiments to find out what works for you. Here are some suggestions:

·        Change Your Sleeping Environment: If you are dealing with noise, try a noise canceling device. Sometimes even changing the position of your mattress can help. If necessary, get a new mattress. Turn off all electrical devices in your room, including circuit breakers.

·         Get More Exercise: Getting more activity during the day can help you sleep better at night. Just avoid working out late at night or close to bedtime.

·         Relax Before Bed: Give yourself at least an hour to wind down without the stimulation of TV, computers or phones. Many people find that reading before bedtime helps.
·         Eat a Light Snack: While heavy meals can contribute to insomnia, going to bed on an empty stomach causes some people to wake up in the middle of the night with hunger pangs. Eating a light and nutritious snack such as nuts, yogurt or cereal can be a good middle ground.

·         Seek Medical Help: If you can’t identify the cause of your insomnia or it’s severe, you should ask your doctor’s advice.
The first step in overcoming insomnia is to identify the cause. In some cases, your inability to sleep might be impacted by several different factors at once. You may have to make some lifestyle changes to sleep better, but it’s definitely worth it as your health will improve and you’ll have more energy. Some causes are more obvious than others, so you might have to consult with a medical professional to truly find the root of the problem.

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