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What Causes Insomnia? 15 Key Culprits


If you are someone who spends most of the night tossing and turning, checking the time on the clock, you are not alone. According to some recent statistics, close to 20% of Brits suffer from some sleep disorder.

Symptoms of InsomniaCauses of Insomnia

Insomnia is a complex condition that is still being studied. So far we do know that certain circumstances make people more prone to insomnia:

  • Age – people over 60 are more susceptible
  • Gender – females, on average, are more vulnerable
  • A history of depression can make you more susceptible

The main culprits of insomnia are:

  • Shift work, night shifts particularly
  • Anxiety
  • Grief
  • Depression
  • Stress
  • Stimulants like nicotine, caffeine and alcohol took too soon before bed
  • An overactive thyroid
  • Steroid use
  • Certain prescription medications (if you are currently taking any speak with your doctor about insomnia side effects)
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Menopause and not flushes
  • Gastrointestinal conditions such as heartburn and indigestion
  • Conditions that make it hard to breathe like asthma and sleep apnea
  • Chronic pain

As I mentioned, depression is one of the most common causes of chronic insomnia. In these cases, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) focusing on sleep hygiene can help. CBT aims to target the thoughts and actions that are disrupting your sleep night after night. This therapeutic strategy encourages good sleep habits while relieving anxiety.

Some therapists may use a combination of relaxation and biofeedback to reduce anxiety in clients. Other may employ different strategies like breathwork.

Therapists recognise that each client is an individual with individual needs. One to one talking therapy will help a therapist determine the specific causes – in some cases, there may be multiple culprits – and put together a comprehensive strategy for relief.

If you have insomnia and would like to explore this, please get in touch with me. I would be more than happy to discuss how I may be able to help you get the rest you need.

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