What Causes Insomnia?

Insomnia occurs when you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. The disorder affects people of all ages and can become a chronic problem in some cases. Fortunately, your Sarasota and Bradenton, FL, sleep medicine specialist, Dr. Jeremy McConnell of Florida Sleep Specialists, offers treatments and strategies that can help you get a good night’s sleep.

Why do I have insomnia?

Insomnia can be a short- or long-term problem and may occur for many reasons, including:

  • Stress and Anxiety: It’s difficult to turn off stress and anxiety when you want to sleep. If you can’t stop thinking about problems at work, home, or school, it’s not surprising that you’re having trouble sleeping. Even positive changes in your life, such as a move or a new job, can cause stress that may keep you awake.
  • Poor Sleep Environment: You may struggle to sleep if your bedroom is too hot or cold, not dark enough, or too noisy. An uncomfortable mattress could also contribute to the problem.
  • Sleep Schedule Changes: Did your problem start after you began working the night shift or you changed your normal sleep schedule?
  • Medication Side Effects: Some medications, including those for asthma, allergies, high blood pressure, and colds, can keep you awake when you want to sleep.
  • Health Conditions: Insomnia can also be caused by a health condition that causes pain or discomfort.
  • Stimulants: Drinking alcohol or beverages that contain caffeine, like coffee, tea, or soda, may make it difficult to sleep. Smoking and illegal drugs can also worsen sleep.
  • Your Sex: Women may have trouble sleeping due to pre-menstrual syndrome, pregnancy, or menopause.
    Sleep Disorders: Restless leg syndrome, sleep apnea, and other sleep disorders may affect your ability to sleep well at night.
  • Exercise: Exercising too close to bedtime or not exercising at all may contribute to insomnia.
  • Mental Health Problems: People who have mental health problems may find it hard to fall asleep and stay asleep.

How do sleep medicine specialists treat insomnia?

Your sleep medicine specialist will review your insomnia symptoms, lifestyle, underlying health problems, and other possible contributing factors during your visit to the Sarasota or Bradenton, FL, office. Depending on the cause of your sleep problem, you may benefit from:

  • Improving your sleep habits and sleep hygiene
  • Using cognitive behavioral therapy to reduce stress and anxiety and improve sleep
  • Avoiding spending time in bed unless you’re drowsy and ready to sleep
  • Waking up at the same time every day
  • Avoiding naps and falling asleep on the couch
  • Trying relaxation techniques to reduce stress
  • Taking prescription medication to help you sleep if other methods aren’t helpful

Do you have insomnia? Dr. McConnell of Florida Sleep Specialists in Sarasota and Bradenton, FL, can determine why you’re having trouble sleeping and offer treatment recommendations. Call (941) 792-8383 to reach the Bradenton office or (941) 827-0701 for the Sarasota office.