For some people, insomnia is familiar, even you yourself may have experienced it. Insomnia is a condition where you have difficulty getting to sleep, often wake up at night, or wake up too early and can’t go back to sleep. If left unchecked, insomnia can spoil your mood, causing serious health problems. Well, to overcome this, you need to know the cause of the insomnia you are experiencing.
Various causes of insomnia that you don’t expect
Reporting from the Mayo Clinic page, severe insomnia can cause complications, such as worsening work performance, and increase the risk of accidents, mental illness, hypertension, and heart disease. Therefore, you should not underestimate insomnia.
To overcome this, your doctor and you will work together to find out the cause of why you are having trouble sleeping. Leat causes that the doctor will consider the most appropriate way to cure insomnia.
The following are some of the causes of insomnia, one of which you may feel.
1. Older age
The older the age, the risk of various diseases will increase. One of them is sleep disorders in the elderly, such as insomnia. This condition occurs because the circadian rhythm becomes weaker with age.
Circadian rhythms are responsible for regulating the body’s biological clock, the clock that regulates the time you go to sleep and wake up. The weakening of the circadian rhythm disrupts the body’s biological clock and is very likely the cause of you not being able to sleep well.
2. Taking too long a nap
Another cause of insomnia that you might not expect, but is very common is a long nap. It’s true that napping has benefits for you, such as increasing alertness, reducing fatigue, making you feel better, and improving memory.
However, taking too long a nap can cause you to have trouble sleeping at night. It’s best if you take a nap for only 10-20 minutes, no more than that. Nap time should also not be later than 3 pm.
3. Drink coffee at night or before bed
Many people use coffee as a medicine to get rid of drowsiness. This is because coffee contains caffeine, which is a stimulant or can increase alertness.
Although, coffee is often a helper for sleepiness during the day, consuming this drink at the wrong time can be a cause of insomnia. Stimulant effects on coffee can appear within 15 minutes after consumption, and the body takes about 4-6 hours for its effects to wear off from the body.
Therefore, you are not advised to drink coffee at night, especially before going to bed. The best time to drink coffee is during the day.
4. Consuming too many caffeinated drinks
Not only the wrong time, drinking too much coffee can also make it difficult for you to sleep. The reason is, the more coffee you drink, the higher your caffeine intake will be.
Automatically, its effect on increasing alertness will be stronger and eventually cause you to have trouble sleeping. The caffeine intake for adults is 400 mg per day, or about 4 cups of brewed coffee.
If you drink more than 4 cups, not only will insomnia occur, you may also experience headaches, a faster heart rate, and frequent urination. Caffeine is not only contained in coffee, but also in tea, soda, energy drinks, and fizzy drinks.
5. Drink alcohol and smoke before bedtime
Not only coffee affects your sleep. Alcohol and cigarettes are also associated with sleep, because it can be a cause of insomnia. Cigarettes contain nicotine, which is a stimulant and can interfere with sleep.
While alcohol, it can make you fall asleep. However, this drink prevents the stage of sleep from becoming more restful, so you are more likely to wake up in the middle of the night.
Alcohol is also a diuretic, which means it can make you urinate more often. The effects of alcohol can disrupt your sleep in the middle of the night, because you need to go back and forth to the bathroom.
6. Physically inactive during the day
Not being physically active during the day, definitely makes you bored. If you don’t do activities you enjoy, you may end up feeling sleepy. Well, lack of activity during the day can make you nap longer. As a result, you can have trouble sleeping at night.
The cause of insomnia most often occurs in the elderly because in old age, the physical activity of the elderly decreases. However, it is also possible for you, who are still young. Especially if you are on a long holiday.
7.Busy playing gadgets before bed
Today, mobile phones, tablets, TVs, and other gadgets are a part of life for many people. Starting from establishing communication to entertaining yourself with various kinds of games.
The function of this versatile gadget unfortunately makes people unable to leave their cellphones, even playing them until they go to bed.
According to the Cleveland Clinic website, there are factors that make cellphones the cause of insomnia, namely:
Blue light from the screen of a cellphone/gadget can suppress the hormone melatonin, a hormone that controls the body’s biological clock. The brain will catch and interpret the light as a sign that the day is still bright, so you are not sleepy. As a result, you cannot sleep at night.
Playing gadgets makes the brain more active. This effect can make the brain so much busier, and you more awake. Eventually, your eyes become more difficult to close.
Browsing social media on your phone can disrupt your sleep, as you might feel anxious or upset after reading the news or seeing a friend’s post that made you jealous. Feeling upset and anxious is what can make it difficult for you to fall asleep.
8. Eating too much at night
Eating before bed is an example of a bad diet. Moreover, if the food you enjoy is large enough to make your stomach full.
This full stomach does not make you sleep comfortably. On the other hand, eating right away can make it easier for stomach acid to rise up into the esophagus. As a result, your stomach can feel heartburn or there is a burning sensation in your chest.
This disorder will get worse, if the food you eat tastes spicy. This is why overeating can lead to insomnia that you may not even be aware of. If you eat at night, make sure to give it a gap of about 2 to 3 hours.
9. Different sleeping hours on weekdays and holidays
Your body needs consistency. If you maintain the same sleep schedule during the weekdays, but are used to going to bed late on the weekends, don’t expect to be able to close your eyes easily.
The condition, dubbed “social jet lag” by experts, occurs because you are effectively forcing your body to switch between two different time zones each week.
You can experience jet lag when you travel to two places that have different time zones, work overtime, or work changing shifts.
10. You are under stress
Every day, there are many things you face including stress. You may be stressed with work, schoolwork, health, finances, to family. The existence of stress makes you more prepared to face various kinds of problems. However, not everyone can handle stress easily.
Stress that is difficult to deal with can be the cause of insomnia. The reason is, to be able to sleep well, your brain and body must be in a calm and relaxed condition. Meanwhile, when stressed, your brain becomes very active and this makes it difficult for you to close your eyes.
Stress and insomnia are interrelated. You will find it difficult to sleep well when you are stressed. Then, you will be more stressed due to insomnia.
11. Less sun exposure
Your body’s biological clock may weaken because you are not exposed to the sun. You need to know that light plays an important role in regulating circadian rhythms, hormone production, and maintaining sleep cycles.
In the elderly who are less exposed to sunlight, the quality of sleep becomes very poor. This condition can also happen to you, especially if you only move in the house, so the possibility of exposure to the sun is very small.
12. Have a mental illness
The most common cause of insomnia is mental illness. People with anxiety disorders, depression, and PTSD may have difficulty falling asleep, sleeping well, or waking up very early and having trouble getting back to sleep.
This condition occurs, due to their bad mood, trauma and fear that arises when they want to sleep, and the brain is busy thinking about negative things because they feel very anxious.
13. Side effects of certain drugs
Every drug has side effects, one of which causes you to have trouble sleeping. There are several drugs that can cause insomnia, such as antidepressants, asthma medications, hypertension medications prescribed by doctors.
In addition, there are also drugs that you can buy without a doctor’s prescription and cause you to have trouble sleeping, namely pain relievers, antihistamines, cold medicines, and weight loss drugs.
14. You have a chronic disease
Having a chronic disease, is very likely to be the cause of insomnia. For example, people who have cancer, symptoms of pain in the affected body part will make it difficult to sleep well.
Some examples of chronic illnesses that can cause you to have trouble sleeping include:
Diabetes (the body’s inability to regulate blood sugar remains normal).
Arthritis (inflammation of the joints).
Diseases that attack the nerves and brain, such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
Asthma (inflammation of the respiratory tract).
15. Have a sleep disorder
Sleep disturbances are the most common cause of insomnia. First, sleep apnea which can make a person stop breathing for a few seconds while sleeping. This condition makes the sufferer wake up gasping for breath and shocked. Often times, they have a hard time getting back to sleep or it takes a long time to get back to sleep.
Second, restless legs syndrome which causes itching, burning, and tingling sensations in the legs so that they constantly move their legs and wake up from sleep. These symptoms will continue to appear, and will disappear with proper treatment.