Did you know that the underlying cause of a sleeping disorder could be a psychological or physical problem or both?
While ageing is one of the most common causes of insomnia, a sleeping disorder could have other serious underlying causes too. The symptoms and causes of a sleeping disorder may sometimes overlap. Read about some of the causes/symptoms that could help diagnose a sleep disorder:
- Mild or severe depression : Studies reveal that up to 90 percent of patients diagnosed with depression experience some degree of sleeping problems. On the other hand, a sleep disorder could also increase the likelihood of a person developing depression.
- Anxiety disorders : Anxiety disorders such as social phobia and generalized anxiety are also both a cause and effect of a sleep disorder. Insomnia could worsen anxiety disorder symptoms and hinder recovery.
- Stress : Constant worry about work, finances, family and/or health could easily keep you in a cycle of thoughts throughout the night. Traumatic events like the illness or death of a friend/family member, loss of job or divorce are other common causes of stress-related insomnia.
- Alcohol, nicotine and caffeine : All kinds of caffeinated drinks such as cola, tea and coffee are stimulants and drinking these beverages close to bedtime could easily disrupt sleep. While alcohol might help in initiating sleep, excessive alcohol consumption could interfere with deep restful sleep and cause you to wake up during the night. Tobacco products containing nicotine are also stimulants. Hence you will find that people with problems of substance abuse may often report lack of sleep as a major concern.
- Bipolar disorder : Research reveals that most bipolar disorder patients experience lack of sleep if hit by a severe episode. Poor sleep could also trigger manic behaviour.
- Unhealthy sleeping habits : Yet another common cause of insomnia is unhealthy sleeping habits. These typically include irregular bedtimes, unscheduled naps, working in the bed, watching TV, eating late or undertaking other stimulating tasks before bed (playing video games, checking messages, browsing the internet etc). These habits could easily disrupt your natural sleep cycle and cause insomnia.
- Ageing : Sleeping disorders become more common as you age. Older people might experience changes in their regular sleeping patterns. For instance, sleep may not be as restful as before or they may wake up earlier than their usual time. Older people are also often given prescription drugs for various health issues. These medicines can also interfere with sleep and increase the risk of insomnia.
Almost everyone experiences some sleep-related issues every now and then. But if your insomnia lasts for over three or four months and is interfering with your routine activities, showing symptoms like those listed above, it might be a good idea to visit a counsellor and seek help.
Insomnia is not a unique problem and a lot of people simply ignore the symptoms. There are others who believe that there is no suitable treatment for this sleeping disorder and may not want to take medication. The fact is that insomnia and related symptoms can actually be treated with the help of cognitive behavioural therapy and other alternative methods of treatment. So there is much hope for all those struggling with sleep disorders. There are sleep recovery programs available that are scientifically designed to improve your sleep pattern and help you adopt nourishing sleep habits.