Understanding the causes of chronic insomnia can be somewhat complex. It is often the result of a number of factors. A lot of those factors are underlying psychological or physical disorders that end up triggering chronic insomnia.
Depression is one of the most common causes of chronic insomnia. Other disorders such as chronic anxiety and bipolar also known as manic-depression also cause chronic insomnia. Researchers found out that about 70% of people diagnosed with depression experience insomnia. Depressed people tend to have abnormal levels of stress hormones. These abnormalities can affect sleep.
However, it should be noted that emotional or mental problems can be caused by insomnia, which is why it can be difficult to determine if the emotional and mental problem triggers insomnia or insomnia triggers the emotional and mental problem.
Also, chronic medical illnesses could be a possible cause as some of them have been known to interfere with the regular sleep pattern. This includes congestive heart failure, heartburn, menopause, arthritis, diabetes, hypoglycemia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, not to mention others. Allergies, hypertension, kidney disease, sleep apnea, asthma, restless legs syndrome, narcolepsy, hyperthyroidism, Alzheimer’s disease, ADHD and Parkinson’s disease can also be underlying causes of chronic insomnia.
Although physical and mental disorders are usual contributing factors in insomnia, they are not the only things that can cause chronic insomnia. Behavioral factors such as addiction to caffeine, alcohol and other substances, disturbed sleep or wake cycles and chronic stress can cause chronic insomnia.
Some Causes of Chronic Insomnia in Women
Hormonal fluctuations can significantly affect sleep. It is known that progesterone helps to sleep. During menstruation, progesterone levels decrease, causing insomnia. During ovulation, progesterone levels go down, causing drowsiness.
Women who are in the first phase of menopause may also develop chronic insomnia because extreme fluctuations in hormone levels occur. The common symptoms of menopause are hot flashes, anxiety, and sweating, and these occur frequently at night during sleep. Women who are in the stage of menopause may also be experiencing psychological distress, causing insomnia.
As people age, waves of growth hormone which is a substance associated with sleep erupt. Stress hormone levels such as cortisol have been found to increase in older people, although the results are not entirely conclusive. It has also been found that levels of melatonin, a hormone that is produced by the pineal gland and is linked to sleep, does not decline as a person ages.
Different treatment options for insomnia
Apart from addressing issues underlying physical and mental problems, you should also examine your daily living habits. The different treatment options for insomnia include behaviors and lifestyle changes as well as natural remedies all of which will help you defeat the causes of chronic insomnia.