Insomnia is the inability to get to sleep or stay asleep. Find out what causes insomnia.

 Insomnia can take 3 forms

  • You toss and turn instead of falling asleep
  • You fall asleep OK, but then wake up repeatedly during the night
  • You wake up much too early and can't get back to sleep again.

There are lots of remedies for insomnia, but if you've tried self-help strategies and still can't get a good night's sleep, talk to your doctor. This is especially important if sleep deprivation is having a negative effect on relationships, your work performance or endangering your life–as in causing you to fall asleep at the wheel. You may need to be evaluated overnight at a sleep clinic.

 

What causes insomnia?

Whatever the form of sleep deprivation, you will feel groggy and irritable the next day.

The most common causes of insomnia are emotional stress and depression. Other reasons for poor sleep include pain or illness, medications (such as decongestants, diuretics, some antidepressants, steroids and beta-blockers), eating a heavy meal late at night, drinking caffeine or alcohol too near bedtime, or simply trying to sleep in an unfamiliar bed.

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