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Causes of Chronic and Acute Insomnia

Causes of Insomnia

The key to treating insomnia effectively is to find the underlying cause that is keeping you awake. Approximately half of all cases of insomnia are caused by emotional issues, such as anxiety, stress, or depression. A traumatic recent event could also be the cause of acute insomnia.

However, physical health, daytime habits and your sleep routine are also factors. Once you're able to identify the various causes of your insomnia, you can work with your sleep therapist to create a treatment plan.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Have you recently had a traumatic experience?
  • Do you feel stressed?
  • Are you feeling depressed?
  • Are you experiencing physical pain that makes it hard to feel comfortable?
  • Are health problems interfering with your sleep?
  • Do you have a set bedtime routine and regular sleep hours?
  • Is your sleep environment comfortable and quiet?

When your insomnia is caused by an obvious and temporary cause, it may go away by itself. However, if you're experiencing chronic insomnia, there may be an underlying physical or mental cause.


Anxiety, Stress & Depression

Anxiety, stress and depression are common causes of chronic insomnia. A lack of restful sleep tends to make these conditions worse.

Trauma, grief, worry, anger and bipolar disorder are other common psychological and emotional causes of insomnia. Dealing with these underlying problems is crucial to resolving symptoms of insomnia.


Sleep Disorders

While insomnia is a sleep disorder, other sleep disorders such as late night shift work, jet lag, circadian rhythm disturbances, restless leg syndrome and sleep apnea can cause it. Sleep breathing disorders, such as sleep apnea may be a less obvious cause.


Illness & Other Medical Problems

Numerous diseases and medical conditions can contribute to the causes of insomnia, including allergies, asthma, acid reflux, hyperthyroidism, kidney disease and even cancer. Chronic pain is a major contributor to insomnia, as it may be difficult to make you comfortable enough to fall asleep and stay asleep.



Caffeine containing pain relievers (Excedrin or Midol), slimming pills, diuretics, cold and flu medications, contraceptives, high blood pressure medications, thyroid hormone, corticosteroids, ADHD stimulants, and antidepressants can all interfere with sleep.


Daytime Habits

Using alcohol and sleeping pills to fall asleep can disrupt sleep more in the long-term. Drinking excessive amounts of coffee and energy drinks during the day can make it more difficult to fall asleep at night.

Other habits that may be contributing to an inability to sleep at night, could include:

  • daytime napping
  • irregular sleep schedule
  • heavy meals close to bedtime
  • sugary foods at night
  • exercising too late
  • not enough exercise

Keeping a sleep diary can help you identify your causes of insomnia, and you can work with a sleep consultant to create a treatment plan.

Get help for Insomnia, contact 7HourSleep today to speak to a sleep consultant.

Disclaimer: The information on this website is for education purposes only and intended to answer some of the frequently encountered questions about the meaning of 'Sleep' and 'Fatigue'. If you have any questions regarding the information contained on the website or in the brochures please consult with your healthcare practitioner.