If you struggle to get a good night's sleep, it's time to visit your doctor. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 50 to 70 million adults have difficulty sleeping. There are a number of things that can keep you from sleeping. Some require only a lifestyle change to remove the cause, but there can be a medical reason for other cases. Here are some of the common reasons you may be tossing and turning all night.
Acute and Chronic Insomnia
A general practitioner will determine whether you have an acute or chronic case of insomnia. Acute cases last for a few days or weeks and are often triggered by a stressful situation at home or work. Once the stressor has passed, the sleep patterns return to normal.
A chronic case of insomnia is often a result of some physiological situation, such as an illness or the side-effect of a medication. When the cause is identified, adjustments to treatment or medication can be done to help you sleep.
Knowing whether your sleep issues are acute or chronic helps you and your doctor come up with a plan to get your sleep patterns back to a healthy place.
Common Causes of Insomnia
Stress and Anxiety - This often causes brief periods of acute insomnia. Changes in work or home life can prevent you from sleeping. Your doctor may recommend counseling, meditation or other approaches that do not include medication. Since the sleep loss is temporary, it's a good idea to not get your body accustomed to using a medication to fall asleep.
Medical Related Insomnia - A number of health issues can cause sleeplessness including:
- heart disease
- lung disease
Since these can be long-term illnesses, your doctor may recommend medications to help you sleep.
Alcohol, Caffeine and Nicotine - These are stimulants and can prevent you from relaxing enough to go to sleep.
Medications - A variety of medications will affect your sleep including:
Corticosteroids - These are often used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, asthma and allergies. Statins - These are used to treat high cholesterol levels. Alpha Blockers - These medications are used to treat hypertension. Beta Blockers - These can also be used to treat high blood pressure and heart arrhythmia.
Circadian Rhythm Changes- Things that interrupt your normal daily cycles can throw off your sleep patterns. This includes:
- change in work shifts
- noise, light or temperature changes in your sleep area
- excess travel and jet lag
Technology in the Bedroom - A study by researchers at the University of Helsinki in Finland, showed that the use of TVs, video games, mobile devices and computers in the bedroom may affect sleep patterns, reports Medical News Today.
See your doctor, like those at Sound Family Health, if your sleep patterns continue to be interrupted. They will help you find the cause for your sleeplessness among all of these sleep-disrupting situations.