Have you ever had difficulty sleeping at night? More than a third of the French population faces insomnia, and this figure has increased since the start of the pandemic. Whether it’s difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, known as acute insomnia or short-term insomnia respectively, there are multiple explanations for why your sleep may be affected. Although most cases are caused by stress and anxiety, other uncommon sources can also get in the way of a good night’s rest. In this article, we are going to look at some lesser known causes of insomnia. Stay tuned!

Age-related changes:

As we age, our natural circadian rhythm – or sleep/wake cycle – can be disrupted. Older adults may feel sleepier during the day and wake up more often during the night. This is especially true in people who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia.

Medical conditions:

Certain illnesses can affect our ability to get a full night’s sleep. Congestive heart failure, degenerative joint disease, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), thyroid problems, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma and a number of other conditions could be to blame insomnia.

Chronic Pain :

People with chronic pain such as fibromyalgia and arthritis often struggle to get quality sleep due to the discomfort associated with their condition. Also, some medications used to treat chronic pain can cause drowsiness during the day, which can lead to difficulty falling asleep at night. Also, people with chronic pain may wake up frequently at night due to muscle spasms or pain, even if they don’t move much during sleep.

Hormonal imbalances:

Hormonal fluctuations can disrupt our body’s internal clock, leading to difficulty sleeping well at night. Women are especially prone to this type of hormonal imbalance during menopause, when estrogen levels begin to fluctuate dramatically.

Medications :

Certain classes of drugs, such as antidepressants, corticosteroids, and blood pressure medications, can cause insomnia by altering hormones associated with melatonin production. The hormone responsible for regulating the body’s internal clock. Or by causing side effects like sleepiness during the day, which then impairs the ability to fall asleep at night. Similarly, certain over-the-counter medications, such as cold medicines containing pseudoephedrine, may also promote wakefulness by stimulating certain areas of the brain associated with arousal instead of inducing the relaxation necessary for good sleep.

Lack of exercise or physical activity:

Long periods of inactivity can lead to an imbalance in the hormones that control sleep. People who exercise regularly report having deeper, more restful sleep.

Caffeine intake:

Caffeine is a stimulant found in coffee, tea, chocolate, and other foods and beverages. Although some people can consume caffeine without experiencing side effects, others have trouble falling asleep after consuming caffeine too late in the day.

Disturbed sleep schedules:

It’s important to have a consistent bedtime routine that allows the body to adjust and regulate its natural circadian rhythms. Going to bed later than usual or sleeping in on weekends can lead to poor quality sleep during the week.

Exposure to blue light:

The blue light emitted by electronic screens such as TVs and smartphones suppresses the production of melatonin – a hormone important for regulating your body’s internal clock – making it harder to get a good night’s rest.

Smoking cessation:

Another important factor that triggers insomnia. Since nicotine is both a stimulant and highly addictive, this makes it particularly difficult for smokers trying to quit all of a sudden to enjoy a good night’s sleep. The withdrawal period is known by severe episodes of insomnia!

These lesser-known causes of insomnia show that sleep disturbances can come from multiple sources. It is therefore important for people who suffer from it to identify the potential triggering factors in order to find the appropriate treatments to relieve sleepless nights again.

* criptom strives to transmit health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE, the information given can not replace the opinion of a health professional.