7 Medical Problems that Contribute to Insomnia

7 Medical Problems that Contribute to Insomnia

If you are one of those people who can`t fall asleep at night even though you really want to, or can`t stay asleep long enough, maybe you should read this. Given the statistics of people who suffer from insomnia, one can freely say that insomnia is one of the most common medical disorders in the 21 century, and it is not unusual if it happened to you. Many reasons lead to insomnia, but we are mostly concerned with the medical ones. Here are some of the medical reasons you could have insomnia.


Acute insomnia that is often described as a brief episode of difficulty sleeping, should not last longer than three months and is often caused by stressful life events such as loss of a loved one or some big unexpected changes in a person`s job. As much as unpleasant and worrying as it is, this type of insomnia should not worry you much, as it is usually resolved without any treatment. However, there is one type of insomnia that you should be concerned about, and that is chronic insomnia. Chronic insomnia is a long-term problem that lasts longer than three months. Panic attacks, PTSD and anxiety disorder are some of the conditions that may lead to chronic insomnia.

Irregular Sleep Times

If you are one of those who lack consistent bedtime due to working overnight or working in shifts or maybe even traveling for work between different time zones you are likely to confuse your body clock. A confused body clock leads to sleep distortion and keeps you up when it`s time for bed. Sometimes, not being able to sleep at “normal” times is only because you have a different circadian rhythm that puts you out of sync with regular activities.

Mental Illness

Clinicians find insomnia to be one the most common symptom of mental illnesses including anxiety, depression, bipolar, and obsessive-compulsive disorders. Their patients often come to seek help for insomnia, but they end up being diagnosed with a mental disorder. Patients suffering from depression are more likely to develop sleep disorders.

Breathing Problems

Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder where a person is short of breath and has interrupted breathing during their sleep. It is not unusual for people who suffer from sleep apnea to experience fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and headaches due to sleep deprivation. Asthma and nasal allergies may also cause sleeplessness, but luckily these conditions can be medically treated. It is not uncommon for obesity to be related to sleep apnea.


“Sundown syndrome” or “sundowning” is a condition where people with Alzheimer`s and other forms of dementia become increasingly confused, anxious, aggressive,and restless which prevents them from sleeping. When this happens they may yell, pace, or wander off. As fading light is considered to be the trigger the symptoms may worsen at night.


Conditions like cancer, arthritis, fibromyalgia, or chronic back pain cause sleep disturbances. So chronic pain may not be the only thing you have to deal with. To make things worse disturbed sleep may additionally exacerbate chronic pain.


Conditions such as psoriasis and eczema give you Itchy skin that almost always goes hand in hand with burning red rash and pain. Sometimes itching can be so severe that you can hardly get distracted let alone fall asleep. And even if you do fall asleep, you may find yourself wide awake in the middle of the night scratching yourself. This kind of pain causes great discomfort, but luckily you can soothe your skin by using medicines prescribed by a doctor.

What Insomnia Does to You

There are serious health risks related to insomnia. It can disrupt your daily life and make you feel anxious, depressed, cranky, and even forgetful. People who suffer from Insomnia are more prone to car crashes. Obesity, high blood pressure, and heart disease are all closely related to insomnia.

What May Help

By making changes in your daily life routines you can relieve insomnia. It is well known that caffeine, even in normal doses, can cause insomnia. So it is better not to consume it. Stay away from difficult discussions, greasy foods, and noise. Enrich your life by exposing yourself to sunlight while doing exercise in the morning. A hot bath or reading before going to bed might help you relax and have better sleep.