The person suffering from insomnia will have trouble either going to sleep or trouble remaining asleep and often they will suffer from both complaints.

The person suffering from insomnia will have trouble either going to sleep or trouble staying asleep and often they will suffer from both complaints. There is often a cycle of awakening in the early morning hours, usually between 3 am and 4 am, and when they can sleep, their sleep is often restless and disturbed.

Insomnia typically comes and goes if it begins as a result of some dramatic life event. As the stress associated with the event subsides our sleep returns to normal.

Psychological problems

However, it can very quickly become chronic and is a much more stubborn condition to treat if complicating medical or psycho-emotional issues are involved. Research has shown that in all the cases of insomnia that have been analyzed in sleep laboratories, 50% have a strong depression and anxiety component with many sufferers also having understandably strong negative feelings about sleeping and their inability to sleep in general. Apart from the psychological causative factors of insomnia, there are also some physiological factors that can lead to sleeping difficulties.

Sleeping environment

sdqweAn environment not conducive to sleeping can be a major problem. External noise, excessive light as well as an uncomfortable temperature can all lead to restless, disturbed sleeping, that if left unchecked can very easily become a pattern that is difficult to break.


Pain will naturally enough make sleeping difficult. If the pain is chronic and severe, as in the case of arthritis, for example, it will make sleeping the night through very difficult.


Consumption of caffeine (coffee, cola drinks, chocolate) before sleep, will lead to sleeping problems in individuals who cannot process and eliminate the caffeine from their body quickly enough. For these people, the smallest amount of any caffeine-containing product is enough to stimulate their systems to the point where they will be unable to get to sleep.


Alcohol can also have a strong stimulating effect on some people provoking an adrenal response in them, not unlike the fight-flight response. Certainly not a conducive state to going to sleep, or staying asleep.

Bowel and bladder problems

Bowel and bladder problems that require regular visits to the bathroom throughout the night also can play their part in creating a pattern of disturbed sleep that can, unfortunately, become a way of life for many people. Even more so as these types of problems tend to occur as we age when we tend not to sleep as much.

Restless leg syndrome, muscle cramps, depleted blood sugar

swdzxRestless leg syndrome, muscle cramps, depleted blood sugar that tells us it’s snack time at 3 in the morning, smoking that stimulates adrenal hormone secretion, the side effects of certain medications, including sleeping pills if taken for more than a week or two, all can be primary causes of insomnia.