Causes of Insomnia and How to Cope With Insomnia?

There are various causes of insomnia and every cause has a particular solution let’s discuss the major causes of insomnia and how to cope with insomnia.

Causes of insomnia and ways to cope with insomnia are discussed

Anxiety and depression

When special anxieties come into our lives, we tend to have especially broken sleep with worries coming thick and fast during the night.

A feeling of depression in spits or mood is a normal experience after disappointments-being made redundant for example or after bereavements or if we are waiting with a sense of foreboding for something to happen that we know will a sense of foreboding for something to happen that we know will be unpleasant, such as an appearance in court on account of drunken driving, or in connection with a divorce.

Indeed sometimes the sense of waiting with uncertainty is worse than the final knowledge of the outcome.

Depression under these circumstances is an understandable reaction to the circumstances of life and it will often be accompanied by sleep that really is impaired.

To talk to others about your bereavement is not a sign of weakens. It helps you to adjust to the new pattern of life.

If some other stress affecting sleep arises from a situation over which you have control, try to resolve it by decision-making, and the sooner the better.

Two years of bitter litigation can do you harm: better to settle by negotiation for something less and get the affair over in two months. Better when suffering anxiety to be driven to a decision for action than to take tranquilizers and then be forever putting off the resolution of life’s difficulties.

So many hurts arise from family relationships; and it is up to someone to say sorry first, perhaps again and again. To kiss and make up at bedtime it better than resentfully lying there half-awake.

When the time of stress has passed, the depression can be expected to lift, and sleep returns to normal.

If anxieties cause a bad night after a bad night and you feel that soon you may no longer be able to cope, a change in life-style-either temporary or more permanent may be the only solution.

A vacation might be all that’s required to get back to a more relaxed pattern of sleeping and give back the energy you need to deal with the problems at work or at home.

If, though you find it impossible to shrug off the anxieties wherever you are, and your sleep troubles seem to be locked into an ever-worsening spiral, then maybe the time has come to tackle the underlying causes by making a radical alteration to the way you live: changing jobs, perhaps, or taking a position with less pressure and responsibility.

There are, however, some people for whom sustained lowering of spirits and a sense of inner anxiety and foreboding cannot be explained or understood in terms of life’s circumstances: and we recognized that they are suffering from an illness affecting the nervous system.

Their usual energies and interests desert them; they no longer feel able to cope with the simple tasks of life; their concentration seems impaired; they become self-critical and feel that they should ‘fight it’ or pull themselves together.

They often say they are feeling weepy, more sensitive about what other people might be thinking of them, and sometimes that life is not worth going on with-and all this with someone who has generally been a lively and active person and for whom there are no special problems manifest in life at the time.

The gloomy thoughts often revolve around awareness of the body, with fears of cancer or of going out of the mind near to hand; and never more so that in the small hours of the morning, for it is then that such people feel especially wakeful.

They probably do not wake up more during the night than many others of their own age, but the thoughts that come are not happy and will sometimes lead them to pace about in the night, make tea and sit in the kitchen, worrying-Depression of this kind is one of the most important causes of the complaint of insomnia that doctors seek to recognize because there are treatments available for this illness-usually antidepressant drugs. When the general depression is relieved, sleep recovers too.

A depressive illness is one of the most common kinds of psychiatric trouble, probably affecting at least 10 percent of the population one or more times in life. So-called postnatal depression can be severe in a small proportion of women after childbirth.

Depressive Illness can affect anyone at any age, but it is more likely to occur for the first time in the latter half of life. For an unlucky few there may be repeated episodes, and some can be troubled by what is termed manic-depressive illness.

Their periods of depression are set against spells of weeks at a time when they feel excessively energetic, confident, and happy. They have a zest, perhaps, for rising at three in the morning to rush around singing and whistling while doing the housework, their elation reaching a pitch that other people recognize as unnatural.

Fortunately, this condition responds well to modern treatments, once the first feelings of reluctance about seeking help are overcome.

Inevitably, depressive illnesses sometimes occur at a time of life when there are also genuine problems surrounding the sufferer, so that the recognition of whether or not the poor sleep and depression is caused by something to e regarded as an illness, and treated as such, is not always quite as easy as it has been made to sound here.

It is a matter for your family doctor to decide, and, if he or she wishes, a psychiatrist too.

Recurrent noise

The link we have already noted between satisfaction and dissatisfaction with sleep on the one hand, and the sense of contentment on the other, emerges when people complain of being kept awake by the noise.

People who live near airports, for example, are subjected to noise, to which many of them very reasonably object.

Interviewers called upon nearly 6,000 people living near London Airport, the districts in which they lived being graded into areas of particularly high aircraft noise, and areas of lesser aircraft noise.

The interviewers asked questions about health, difficulty in getting to sleep at night, waking frequently in the night, and also asked about the degree to which each person felt annoyed by the amount of aircraft noise.


Overall, those who lived in areas subject to high levels of aircraft noise did seem to suffer some impairment to their psychological health and particularly complained of difficulty in getting to sleep and of waking in the night.

Much the most striking association, though, was between a declaration of feeling annoyed by aircraft noise and complaints about difficulty in sleeping.

We can get used to regular noises, and sleep through them, but if they are noises about which we hold angry opinions, then, sure enough, they will keep us awake.

Widely spaced double-glazing helps to keep our noise, and some find ear-plugs helpful, although most people don’t persist with them. Most importantly, if there is nothing you can do to stop the noise, is to try to forgive the rudeness offered by its originators.

Physical discomfort


A severe toothache will keep us awake on occasions, and a recommended dose of a mild pain-killer such as aspirin or paracetamol (acetaminophen is the United States) will usually reduce the level of pain so that we can sleep through the night and awake the next morning ready for a visit to the dentist.

It is worth checking the contents of proprietary across-the-counter pain-killers, as many contain caffeine, which is a stimulant that makes, sleep harder to attain.

Pain at night can be a problem for those who suffer from arthritis.

They get stiff in their joints when they lie still so that when they move they experience a sudden twinge of pain which briefly disturbs their sleep.

While generally, it is true that too many people take too many pain-killers, we would advise you, if your sleep is persistently broken by pain to take a pain-killer prescribed by your family doctor rather than to court sounder sleep with sleeping pills. If you suffer regularly from chronic back pain, then a good bed is essential. It should have a firm base and mattress. 


Children more often than adults get threadworms, which have a curious biological clock of their own that prompts them to wriggle out just at bedtime. Sleep delayed by an itchy anus should prompt suspicion of threadworms, an inspection of the anus and faces, and, if the worms are visible as white, 2-cm/1-in long threads, a visit to the doctor.


Expectant mothers in the last few months of pregnancy are likely to be feeling tired; and when they want to get as much sleep as possible to cope with the impending labor, they may find it more difficult to sleep.

The enlarge abdomen makes it difficult to toile comfortably; the baby’s kicking prevents a consolidated night’s rest, and they may need to urinate several times during the night. In addition to these problems, they may be anxious about the delivery, the baby’s health, or even whether a particular sleeping position might harm the fetus.

First of all, let us say there is no position you can adopt while you are asleep that will affect the baby. Of our suffusion for better sleep is probably the best for the sleep and health of pregnant women is a little regular daily exercise: a good walk in the fresh air is all you need.

Pregnancy is a time when back-ache is especially common, and a firm mattress to support the ligaments while you sleep is again sensible.


We would advise expectant mothers not to take sleeping drugs because the unborn child could be affected by any drugs the mother takes.

They can cross the placental barrier and with some drugs, there is a small risk of malformations of the fetus (alcohol is no exception). Doctors prescribe as few drugs as possible during pregnancy, and use only those they know are safest.

Although there are mild sedatives, it is better to avoid the possible sense of guilt that might follow should anything at all happen to be wrong with the baby when it is born, whether the abnormality could have been caused by the drug or not.

Breathing difficulties

People who have heart and chest disease, and difficulty in breathing at night, also often suffer from broken sleep, though the extent to which they feel it is a disability is rarely expressed in such vivid terms of dissatisfaction as by many a person sound in heart and lung, but of a tense, anxious disposition.

Bronchitis and wheezing

A warm atmosphere is good to sleep in for most people with chronic bronchitis. In cold climates, the heating of winter air also means a very dry atmosphere, and, for children or adults with wheezy chests, warm but more humid air is advisable. The old-fashioned steam kettle in the bedroom achieved this.

A modern kettle is just as effective, as can be more expensive humidification systems; but if a dry, hacking cough is ruining your sleep, one or two wet towels hung in the room-perhaps on a warm radiator-can at least help, and many find comfort form proprietary menthol rubs.

If you cannot breathe through your nose, breathe through your mouth, and humidify the room. Never on any account sniff salt water, nor put any chemicals in your nose unless prescribed by a doctor: they can cause long-term damage and recurrent nasal blockage.


The name for this condition is derived from the ancient Greek word meaning breathlessness. It is a rare but troublesome complaint that causes severe long-term broken sleep, most often in overweight men.

When the sufferer falls asleep, and obstruction in the air passages of the throat prevents him from breathing for ten or twenty seconds at a stretch.

Then the controls for maintaining the body’s chemistry force the sleeper to take two or three violent snortings breathes that almost wake him up.

This whole performance is repeated as a sequence for long periods of the night so that the apnea sufferer never really gets a sound night’s rest, and in consequence, is sleepy during the day.

Causes of insomnia and how to cope with insomnia

A persistent cough or wheezy chest can disturb sleep. Warm, humid aid – achieved here with a radiator and a humidifier – helps to soothe troubled breathing.

The first line of treatment in most cases is to lose weight. However, in rare instances, the obstruction to breathing during the night makes it difficult for blood to be pumped through the lungs so that a strain is put on the heart.

Surgical treatment has been devised whereby a special little tube can be inserted below Adam’s apple, to be used only at night. Sleep is then accompanied by a smooth succession of breaths, there is no sleepiness by day, and no strain on the heart.

Apnoea can also occur in children who have excessively large tonsils and adenoids. If it does, the child is sleepy by day and able to concentrate on lessons at school.

Breathing difficulties by day and by height will lead parents to decide that a visit to the family doctor is required.

Although the operation for removal of tonsils and adenoids is less popular today than in former years, it may be recommended for your child so that he or she may breathe properly at night.

Unable to concentrate on lessons at school. Breathing difficulties by day and by night will lead parents to decide that a visit to the family doctor is required.

Although the operation for removal of tonsils and adenoids is less popular today than in former years, it may be recommended for your child so that he or she may breathe properly at night. 


The very mention of snoring is guaranteed to provoke mirth. It should be noted that the snorts which punctuate periods of apnoea differ from ordinary snoring, in that the latter is usually in the form of a regular melody with only occasional variations.

It is the listener who complains, not the snorer. At least one person in ten is a snorer, both men, and women of all ages. Snoring does not harm, though it may result in a dry mouth.

The snorer, upon awakening, has difficulty in understanding how the alleged noise could have been so great if he himself slept through it.

The sounds may have ranged from a gentle buzz or a low whistle to a prolonged roaring, reminiscent of a pneumatic drill.

The marriage vows do not include a promise to endure snoring till death brings a parting and excessive snoring has been considered justification for divorce, at least in the United States.

Snoring has also led to threats to kill the snorer by infuriated dwellers in the same tenement. Like aircraft noise, the seriousness of the effect upon the listener depends upon how readily the listener becomes annoyed.

The snorer should avoid evening alcohol and keep slim, but generally speaking, medical science has little to offer; and so it seems that friendly tolerance, ear-plugs, or separate bedrooms must provide the answers. Innumerable devices have been patented as treatments.

Snoring commonly occurs with your mouth open while lying on your back, so some of the devices have entailed elastic bandages for keeping the mouth closed.

Another device was a small ball that emitted a squeaking noise when the snorer rolled on to his back, the noise is intended to prompt him to turn back on his side.

One invention patented in the United States in 1961 involved a chin-strap with a battery-operated vibrator and an automatic alarm, both of which were designed to go off whenever the snorer’s mouth opened during the night.

Most of these must have been at least as disruptive of a partner’s sleep as the snorer’s own gentle sounds.

There are, of course, other common causes of insomnia, such as synthetic drugs, tobacco, and alcohol.

Whatever the cause of your poor sleep, there is one question that is probably uppermost in your mind.

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