Insomnia: Reasons and Effective Tips to Overcome


Insomnia is the medical term that characterises a sleep disorder. People who are diagnosed with this condition do not sleep for desired or adequate duration, and/or may have difficulty in catching sleep. Proper sleep is very important for your mental and physical health. There are a number of causes of insomnia. The prominent ones are described below.

Medical Conditions and Diseases

A number of medical conditions can cause insomnia as a secondary or allied medical effect. These include chronic pain or pain in the lower back portion of the body, asthma, arthritis neurological diseases including Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, hypothyroidism and other endocrine disorders, sleep apnea, problems associated with the gastrointestinal tract including Acid Reflux, and allergies including sinus and nasal allergy.

Use of Medications

Certain medications can be a cause of Insomnia as a side effect. Medications that are used for treating diseases such as heart diseases, blood pressure, asthma, birth control, depression and thyroid disease may also be a cause of insomnia.

Psychiatric Conditions

Psychiatric conditions including depression may be a cause of insomnia. Disorders associated with the nervous systems and neurons and the accompanying psychological problems and struggle do not allow a person to sleep normally. As hormonal balances and configuration also deteriorate, insomnia can be worsened by chronic depression and other psychiatric conditions. It may be noted that Insomnia may also cause depression.

Lifestyle-related abnormalities

Prolonged abnormalities that do not allow the body to rest and sleep properly or fail to provide it with ample of nutrition and exercise may trigger and can perpetuate insomnia, among other health conditions.
Those who overburden themselves with work and do not give their body the required rest in the night time can suffer from insomnia as well. Generally, around 7 hours of sleep is required for all adults and those who are not getting it for a prolonged interval of time are damaging their health, brain, and neurons. These persons can be affected by Insomnia and other health conditions.
Also, people, those who have irregular sleep patterns can be affected by insomnia as well. Irregular sleep malfunctions the natural clock of the body, as the brain gets confused and the inner physiological and other body systems suffer. Shift workers (who work in rotary shifts) may hence be affected by insomnia.


Stress can be a cause of a number of health and medical conditions including Insomnia. A number of causes of stress are there that are external or internal in nature.  The external causes include major changes in life, conditions related to school or workplace, financial and money related problems, difficulties related to relationships and others. While acquaintances, family members, and children are a source of happiness and support most of the times, they can also be a cause of stress sometimes.
The internal cause of stress can be related to the perception of a particular individual. Some people are highly pessimistic, are not flexible (always employ a rigid thinking approach), have unrealistic expectations from life and want everything or nothing. This attitude can be a cause of stress and main hence lead to insomnia.

Abuse of Stimulants

The brain cells can be activated by substances including caffeine, tobacco, alcohol, and certain drugs among others. The abuse of these substances hence does not allow the brain to rest properly and prolonged and regular tweaking of the brain cells can cause insomnia.

Lack of Exercise

Anxiety is also a known cause of insomnia. Regular exercise helps towards decreasing anxiety, depressive symptoms, and arousal and hence provides for good quality sleep that is of sufficient duration. While Insomnia deteriorates the Circadian Rhythm of the body, exercise improves it and makes it normal again. The heating and cooling effects of exercise may also prove to be beneficial towards rest and sleep.

Measures that offer relief from Insomnia

If you are suffering from insomnia, here are a few tips that will help you sleep for optimal durations. These measures will also improve the quality of your sleep.
  • Avoid the brain stimulants including caffeine and nicotine.
  • Avoid alcohol as it causes frequent arousals while having an initial sedative effect for a short duration
  • Be punctual in your “wake up” time. You need to actively train your own body towards waking up at a given, regular, and consistent time each day.
  • Limit or avoid your naps during the day. These hamper the sleep quality at the bedtime
  • Never miss on your regular exercises. Note: Exercise stimulates the body and brain and hence finish all your exercises at most 3 hours before you go to bed.
  • Refrain from doing any kind of physical or mental activity, except sex, in bed.
  • Avoid eating or drinking anything immediately before going to bed.
  • Have a very comfortable sleeping environment and avoid or control temperature, noise, and lighting.
  • Practice yoga and other relaxing methods to relieve your mind and body of stress.
Insomnia may affect your life in many adverse ways. It may not allow you to work properly at your office or any other job or workplace because you were not able to sleep for a proper duration during the night. Apart from duration, Insomnia may also deteriorate your quality of sleep.  It may cause daytime drowsiness and hence there is a greater probability of an accident or a motor vehicle collision. Insomnia is also bad for your health and causes depression, negative thoughts, bad and depressed mood, irritation, anger, emotional instability and a low energy among other conditions. The above-given measures will provide you relief from insomnia to a certain extent. If the problem persists, talk to a physician.