Sleep disorder can caused by a variety of factors depending on the type of disorder. It is important to find out the root cause of the sleep disorder in order to find the right treatment. One of the major cause of sleep disorder is anxiety. Generally, the feeling of anxiety is typically manifested as fear, worry and nervousness. Anxiety often accompanied by physical sensations such as chest pain, nausea, heart palpitations, breathlessness, stomaches and headaches. Emotionally, anxiety often cause a sense of dread and panic. Externally, the signs of anxiety includes pale skin, sweating, trembling. To overcome anxiety insomnia, learning how to relax physically and mentally can help you fall asleep more quickly. It is helpful to learn relaxation techniques which can help you get back to sleep when you wake up in the middle of the night.
Another common insomnia cause is disruption of the body’s circadian rhythm such as in the case of night shift workers. One study has found that 53% of night shift workers fall asleep on the job at least once a week, which implies that their body internal clock cannot adjust to the unusual working times. Unfortunately for the night shift workers, they at a higher risk of health problems and mobile accidents due to drowsiness. Another study conducted in Japan shows that excessive computer work is associated with various forms of insomnia. People who are over involved in their work tend to have trouble sleeping and tend to wake up earlier than usual.
More women tend to suffer from sleep disorder then men, especially insomnia. One of the main reason is the fluctuating female hormones. The female hormone progesterone promotes sleep. The level of this hormone decrease during menstruation, thus causing insomnia. On the other hand, this hormone will increase during ovulation and women may become sleepier than usual. During pregnancy, the vary levels of progesterone hormone in the first and third trimester disrupt normal sleep patterns.
Another possible cause for sleep disorder is due to external factors such as light, noise and uncomfortable temperatures. Depending on the time, too much light or too little can disrupt sleep. Insufficient exposure to light during the day, as occurs in some disabled elderly patients who rarely venture outside, may also be linked with sleep disturbances. One study suggests that when a person is exposed to bright daylight, melatonin levels increases in response to darkness at night, which aids sleep.
Sleep disorder can be a side effect of many common medications, including over-the-counter preparations that contain caffeine. People who suspect their medications are causing them to lose sleep should check with a physician or pharmacist. When people are in pain or sick, they general have medication to help them through the uncomfortable symptoms. Unfortunately, many of these medicines can also cause insomnia to onset or worsen.
Pain and discomfort from an injury, illness, or disability can cause sleep impairment. Among the many medical problems that can cause insomnia are: allergies, arthritis, cancer, heart disease, gastro reflux disease, hypertension, asthma, hyperthyroidism, Wilson’s syndrome and ADHD.
Around 10% to 15% of the chronic insomnia cases are caused by substance abuse such as alcohol, drugs and sedatives. The occasional one or two alcoholic drinks after dinner may help to reduce stress and initiate sleep for some people. Excessive alcohol consumption especially can cause fragmented sleep and cause wakefulness during sleep. Substance abuse can also increase the risk of developing other sleep disorder such as sleep apnea and restlessleg syndrome.
Another common sleep disorder cause is disruption of the body’s circadian rhythm such as in the case of night shift workers. One study has found that 53% of night shift workers fall asleep on the job at least once a week, which implies that their body internal clock cannot adjust to the unusual working times. Unfortunately for the night shift workers, they at a higher risk of health problems and mobile accidents due to drowsiness. Another study conducted in Japan shows that excessive computer work is associated with various forms of insomnia. People who are over involved in their work tend to have trouble sleeping and tend to wake up earlier than usual. Stress hormone, especially cortisol, is found to be the key contributing factor in many chronic sleep disorder cases. High level of cortisols reduces REM sleep. Persistently high levels of stress hormones, particularly cortisol, may be key factors in many cases of chronic sleep disorder, particularly related to aging and psychiatric disorders. High levels of cortisol reduce REM sleep. Abnormal levels of other biologic factors may also a play a role in specific situations
Older people usually experience a higher chances of suffering from sleep disorder due to an imbalance of a particular hormone associated with sleep. This type of hormone is normally secreted in the late night and associate with deep short wave sleep. Older people generally have less short wave sleep. Melatonin levels are lower in elderly people. Some studies suggest this is due to older people tend to stay indoors more and get less sunlight.