Main Causes of Insomnia – What Causes Sleep Deprivation?

There are four most important things we do and sleep is one of them. If you are wondering, the others are breathe, drink and eat.

But this is not the time to discuss those three. What we are here to determine are the main causes of insomnia i.e. sleep deprivation.

Sleep is something the body needs to rest and skimping on it can lead to serious conditions such as diabetes, Alzheimer’s, heart disease and obesity. Fatigue and tiredness are just obvious consequences.

This is how important sleep is for our bodies.

What Are The Main Causes of Insomnia?

The world today is a difficult place to live in and many of us find it hard to switch off when night comes. There can be plenty of insomnia causes. Therefore, I am introducing the most common causes of sleep deprivation.

1. Other Sleep Disorders

Despite what is often believed, insomnia is not the only existing sleep disorder. The truth is, there are many other disorders that can cause sleep deprivation.

Restless leg syndromeOne of these sleep disorders is restless legs syndrome. This syndrome is characterized by an uncomfortable, restless legs sensation.

The symptoms of restless legs syndrome include increased desire to move the legs, therefore people with this syndrome are unable to fall asleep. My mom has it and trust me, even I find it difficult to fall asleep when I am in the same room with her.

When a sleep disorder causes insomnia, it is best to treat that disorder first. Fortunately, there are many home remedies for restless legs syndrome that can help you do this.

This was just an example, but there are many other sleep disorders that can cause insomnia.

2. Allergies

Congestion and itchiness are some of the most common causes of insomnia.

Researchers from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America reported that about 59% of Americans has troubles sleeping when they suffer from allergies.

Sleep hygiene and remedies for allergies can help you prevent and avoid insomnia.

3. Poor Sleep and Schedule

People need a sufficient amount of uninterrupted sleep hours every day. Even if you are sleeping a lot, this does not mean that your body is resting all the time.

Some people suffer from insomnia because they are waking up during the night or waking up too early.

Poor sleep and a difficult schedule can be serious causes of insomnia. The most common cases of insomnia caused by a hard schedule are the people with irregular working shifts.

We work when we have to, and some jobs require people adjust their sleep pattern in a way that can affect their sleep quality.

Just think of nurses, doctors in the ER. They work a few day shifts in a row, then night shifts, then back to day shifts. It is very hard for their body to adjust to that schedule that keeps changing.

4. Environment

There are plenty of things in your environment that can cause insomnia. From noise to temperature, light exposure, electronic devices and even pets, the environment is one of the most common causes of insomnia.

If you are suffering from insomnia, try to determine what in your environment prevents your brain from resting or keeps it active.

Perhaps you can solve this once you identify the problem.

5. Long Trips and Jet Lag

How could we not mention this. If you have ever been on a long trip overseas you know how hard it is to adjust to a new time zone, especially when it is greater than 6 hours.

It’s going to take up to a week, depending on the conditions you find after you arrive (quiet environment and climate, for example).

If your trip is work related you may not have time to rest once you arrive, and by the time you adjust it may be already time to go back and start all over again.

Jet-lag can definitely cause insomnia, but you can usually solve it by clearing your schedule and with the help of some Melatonin.

6. Pain and Inflammation

A person with chronic pain or some kind of inflammation is at high risk of developing sleep disorders. The inflammation can spread throughout the body and cause an uncomfortable sensation that, in turn, can cause sleep deprivation.

When you are suffering from any pain, even if you manage to fall asleep it can be sufficiently strong to wake you up during the night.

7. Stress

Being stressed for any reason can cause insomnia. This is the case for both adults and children.

The reason why stress is a common cause of insomnia is elevated cortisol. When cortisol levels are high, the person is less likely to be able to fall asleep.

This surely has happened to you too, right? Even for something as simple as an important upcoming meeting, presentation or an event.

It happens to all of us and it is normal if it affects us for one or two nights. But when it lasts longer it can become real sleep deprivation.

8. A Newborn In The House

All parents, and especially mothers, know this very well. A newborn baby need to be fed every two hours for the first few weeks.

Baby and sleep deprivationIt slowly gets better, but it’s going to take months before a baby can sleep all night.

Women that just gave birth can suffer from sleep deprivation for quite a long time, and this can lead to stress, fatigue and postpartum depression.

A baby is always a big blessing, but can also be the cause of insomnia for a while.

9. Some Medications or Health Issues

Sometimes even just a simple cold can cause a very poor sleep, especially when accompanied by runny nose or sore throat. They shouldn’t last long, but be prepared to having poor sleep for a few nights.

Drugs prescribed for certain conditions can also be the cause of insomnia. There are few over-the-counter meds with stimulant effects which may lead to temporary sleep deprivation.

Some prescription medications are known to disrupt the REM phase, tamper with the enzymes levels in the body and block the production of melatonin.

Luckily, there are alternatives to almost every medication out there. If a certain medication causes sleep deprivation for you, try natural remedies or ask your doctor to prescribe something else.

10. Bad Dieting Habits

Bad nutrition is one of the main causes of insomnia.

Why? Because even though you may not be aware of this, there are certain foods and beverages that can affect your sleep.

Caffeine and nicotine are bad for your sleep.

You should also avoid eating too much before bed, because the digestion process can cause sleep deprivation.

Alcohol may help you fall asleep initially, but it disrupts the REM phase of your sleep, affecting the overall sleep quality.


If you want to treat insomnia, the first thing you need to do is determine the cause of your sleep deprivation. When you do, you can work on improving your daily habits, changing your medications or treating other conditions that cause it.

Additionally, you can always opt for some home remedies for insomnia.

 

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