Why Am I Suffering From Insomnia?

    Understand the underlying cause of chronic insomnia.

    There are several reasons why one might experience insomnia. Known risk factors include older age, female gender (especially peri- and postmenopausal), personal and family history of insomnia, and a tendency to be easily woken up during sleep. Many patients with insomnia also suffer from mental illnesses, including depression, anxiety, substance abuse disorders, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). 

    Some patients with other medical concerns, such as diabetes, hypertension, cancer, and chronic pain, are at higher risk of suffering from insomnia. Insomnia can also occur alongside other sleep disorders, such as obstructive sleep apnoea, whereby a patient will stop breathing for brief periods during sleep due to the airway being blocked. 

    Furthermore, some medications and substances such as coffee, tea, beta-blockers, and certain antidepressants increase the risk of insomnia. Therefore, treatment of insomnia would involve managing the co-existing medical problem, such as depression and anxiety, given that these two conditions would affect and perpetuate the severity of insomnia. In many cases, however, a definite cause may not be found.

    Information provided by:

    Dr Keith Hariman headshot

    Dr Keith Hariman

    Specialist in Psychiatry, OT&P Healthcare

    Please note that all medical articles featured on our website have been reviewed by qualified healthcare doctors. The articles are for general information only and are not medical opinions nor should the contents be used to replace the need for a personal consultation with a qualified medical professional on the reader's medical condition.

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