Insomnia may seem harmless at first, but it can affect your quality of life when it persists for several weeks. Sometimes, lifestyle adjustments, such as eating smaller meals at night and avoiding electronic devices before bedtime, can resolve insomnia. However, if the disorder is due to a medical condition such as chronic pain or anxiety, Dr. Barry Chase may suggest several treatments, including pain management medications and therapy. The following factors can contribute to the development of insomnia:
Stress and anxiety
You may develop stress and anxiety due to various reasons, including family, financial or medical issues, which can cause your body to remain in a state of alertness. This may make it difficult to fall asleep or cause you to wake up multiple times at night, disrupting your sleep pattern. Anxiety can cause constant worry or a myriad of thoughts, making it difficult for your body to relax, leading to muscle tension or a fast heartbeat. Stress and anxiety can result in a continuous cycle of insomnia where you may start worrying about being unable to fall asleep and the potential consequences.
Medications containing stimulants can cause insomnia as a side effect. Similarly, medications such as beta-blockers and corticosteroids can affect your central nervous system, disrupting your natural sleep cycle. However, not everyone may experience this side effect from these medications, and the severity of insomnia may vary from one individual to the next. In addition to this side effect, certain medications may disrupt your digestive system or cause a frequent urge to urinate, interrupting your sleep.
Poor sleep environment
A noisy or too-bright environment can make it difficult for you to fall asleep. Additionally, using electronic devices such as laptops and smartphones in bed can cause insomnia. The blue light from these devices reduces the production of melatonin, the hormone responsible for regulating your sleep cycle. The content from these devices can also stimulate your brain, making it difficult for you to relax and fall asleep. Medical experts recommend avoiding using electronic devices 30 minutes before bed to allow your body to relax and unwind.
Eating large meals before bedtime can result in indigestion, affecting your ability to fall asleep. Foods and beverages high in caffeine, such as coffee and tea, can also disrupt your sleep. Additionally, irregular meal timings or skipping meals can trigger increased cortisol production, affecting sleep patterns. Your provider may recommend eating smaller meals regularly and avoiding caffeine and sugary foods before bed to promote quality sleep.
Chronic pain can be uncomfortable and frustrating, resulting in a lack of sleep or frequent awakenings. The constant physical distress and discomfort can result in depression and anxiety, worsening your insomnia. Insomnia and chronic can result in a downward spiral where chronic pain cause insomnia and inadequate sleep worsens your pain. If left untreated, this cycle can become difficult to break. It can result in emotional and physical exhaustion, weakened immunity, and a high risk of other health problems, such as mood disorders.
If you are having difficulty sleeping, call Dr. Chase or book an appointment online for a diagnosis.