Wondering about insomnia related health problems? Insomnia or difficulty sleeping can leave you anxious about potential health problems.
Learn about the medical reasons for insomnia, how insomnia affects your health, and what to do about it.
Lack of Sleep Can Increase Your Chances of a Stroke
According to the Huffington Post based on a 2012 study, adults who regularly slept fewer than six hours a night have FOUR TIMES the risk of stroke symptoms.
Insomnia Related Health Problems: Insomnia Increased Hunger Hormones
Lack of sleep changes your hormones, causing you to crave junk food and eat more than usual. According to a 2012 review of 18 sleep and appetite studies by the Huffington post, getting less than 6 hours of sleep can increase your production of the hunger hormone (ghrelin) and limits leptin (responsible for helping you balance your food intake).
Insomnia Related Health Problems: Diabetes Risk Increases with Insufficient Sleep
According to Health.com in 2012, cutting back on sleep increases insulin resistance in fat cells. Another study by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases found that, among healthy teens, the ones who slept least had the highest insulin resistance, and therefore were not using insulin effectively.
Insomnia Related Health Problems: Insomnia Contributes to Dying Young
According to an article in Time magazine, short sleepers seem to die younger than people who sleep 6.5-7.5 hours a night. A 2010 study showed that men who slept less than 6 hours a night were four times more likely to die over a 14-year period.
What Causes Insomnia?
- Unhealthy sleep habits
- Environmental factors
- Medical conditions
- Certain medications
Lifestyle Factors That May Cause Insomnia
- Emotional or psychological stress or worry
- Anxiety associated with significant life events (changes at work, changes at home, divorce, death of a loved one, becoming ill, etc.)
- Elevated levels of circulating stress hormones (increased cortisol levels makes you feel “wired”)
- The room is too warm, or it’s too hot outside
- Bright lights and/or exposure to TV and cell phone screens prior to sleep
- Exercising too late
- Drinking alcohol before bed (although alcohol is a sedative it can make you fall asleep initially, but may disrupt your sleep later in the night)
- Drinking caffeine after 4 PM (Caffeine is a stimulant. A 2005 National Sleep Foundation poll found that people who drank four or more cups/cans of caffeinated drinks a day were more likely to experience at least one symptom of insomnia at least a few nights each week than those who drank zero to one cups/cans daily. Caffeine can stay in your system for as long as eight hours, so the effects are long-lasting. If you have insomnia, do not consume food or drinks with caffeine too close to bedtime.)
- Smoking/vaping tobacco products late in the evenings (Nicotine is also a stimulant and can cause insomnia, in addition to many other health problems. Smoking these close to bedtime can make it hard to fall asleep and to sleep well through the night.)
Medical Causes of Insomnia
- Gastrointestinal problems such as reflux
- Thyroid problems or hormonal imbalance
- Neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease
Medications That Cause Insomnia and Disrupt Sleep
There are several medications that cause insomnia and disrupt sleep (see detailed list of medications that can cause insomnia). If you are experiencing sleep disruptions and are on one of these medications, talk with your doctor to discuss your symptoms and find possible alternative treatments. Do not stop or reduce any medications if you have not first consulted with your prescribing doctor.
Insomnia Related Health Problems, I Need A Solution…
Elika MFT offers an insomnia program that is a safe, effective, and natural solution to insomnia without the use of sleeping pills.
Don’t be another statistic, contact Elika today to learn how she can help you fix your insomnia and go from sleepless nights to getting the sleep you dreamed about in as little as 6-10 sessions.