What Health Conditions Cause Insomnia?

  • By: Joseph Benson
  • Time to read: 14 min.

What health conditions cause insomnia? Insomnia is a very common health condition which is usually caused due to one of several health conditions. The exact cause of insomnia can be determined only through an examination by your doctor.

Interestingly, some serious health problems like heart disease, cancer, asthma and allergies, high cholesterol levels and depression can lead to insomnia.

Insomnia is a symptom, not an illness. While most people experience insomnia at some point in their lives, chronic insomnia affects 18 million U.S. adults every year.

Having trouble sleeping is often the result of physical and mental health conditions, medications, lifestyle issues and stress … so it’s important to determine the cause of your insomnia before trying to find a solution.

If you have insomnia, you’re not alone. Every year, over 15% of American adults have trouble sleeping. They can’t fall asleep; they can’t stay asleep; or they wake up and can’t get back to sleep.

The prevalence of insomnia is higher in women than it is in men. Medical problems, such as heart and blood pressure disorders, depression, breathing problems, and rheumatoid arthritis are the most common medical causes of insomnia.

Less common underlying medical conditions include pregnancy, restless legs syndrome, thyroid disease, menopause and chronic pain. Insomnia is a frequent complaint of people with a wide range of medical conditions.

Insomnia can be caused by many organic and psychiatric disorders. The cognitive behavior of insomniacs is often impaired during the first part of the night but they can sleep soundly or wake up too early in the morning.

Insomnia is a common complaint with a wide range of possible causes. Most people who suffer from insomnia have actual sleep disorders that can be diagnosed by a healthcare provider.

The most common related disorders include: sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome and periodic limb movement disorder. Insomnia is the inability to fall or stay asleep through the night.

Common health and lifestyle factors can contribute to this condition. People who experience heart disease and high blood pressure are at greater risk of insomnia.

Key Points

  • What health conditions cause insomnia?
  • Can insomnia cause health problems?
  • How sleep disorders affect health
  • How often does insomnia occur
  • Can illness cause insomnia
  • What illness causes lack of sleep
What Health Conditions Cause Insomnia?

What health conditions cause insomnia?

Insomnia is a common problem that affects about one in three adults. However, it’s not clear how many of those people have a specific medical condition that is causing their sleep problems.

Some health conditions can cause insomnia and worsen existing sleep problems. These include:

Cancer and cancer treatment. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy can interfere with the body’s natural circadian rhythms, making it hard to fall asleep or stay asleep at night. Surgery can also cause pain that keeps you awake.

Heart disease. Heart disease and heart surgery can cause shortness of breath during sleep, which disrupts your ability to breathe deeply and stay asleep throughout the night.

Diabetes. Having high blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia) either because of diabetes or diabetes medication can make falling asleep difficult by slowing down your metabolism and lowering your body temperature at night.

It also increases your risk for heart disease, which may cause sleep disruption as well as fatigue during the day when blood sugar drops too low.

Anxiety – Anxiety is one of the most common causes of insomnia, especially when the anxiety is caused by something that happened during the day or night.

For example, if you have an important interview coming up and you can’t sleep because you’re worrying about it all night long, then this may be an example of anxiety-induced insomnia.

Depression – Depression can also contribute to insomnia. If you feel depressed or sad all the time, then this can make it difficult for you to fall asleep at night and wake up in the morning feeling refreshed.

Chronic pain – Chronic pain can keep you awake at night because it interferes with your ability to relax and sleep comfortably through the night. This is especially true if your chronic pain is caused by an injury or illness that has not been properly treated yet by a doctor or healthcare professional.

Menopause – Menopause can cause changes in hormone levels that affect sleep patterns, which can lead to insomnia in some women during this time period in their lives.

Insomnia can be triggered by a number of different health conditions. The following are some of the most common:

Heart disease. Heart disease, including coronary artery disease and heart failure, is one of the most common causes of insomnia.

Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid). Hyperthyroidism is an overactive thyroid gland that can cause insomnia.

Menopause. Menopause-related sleep problems are often caused by hot flashes and night sweats, which disrupt sleep patterns.

Sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a condition in which you briefly stop breathing during sleep, causing you to wake up repeatedly throughout the night without even knowing it.

Stress and anxiety disorders. Stress, anxiety and depression can all lead to insomnia as well as other sleep problems such as restless legs syndrome or periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD).

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What Health Conditions Cause Insomnia?

Can insomnia cause health problems?

There’s no doubt that poor sleep can leave you feeling tired and irritable. But is it possible that poor sleep can actually cause health problems? The answer is yes, but the link between insomnia and physical health problems is often unclear.

Some studies have found a link between insomnia and heart disease, for example, but other research has shown no connection between the two conditions.

The same goes for other physical ailments such as depression, diabetes and obesity. While some studies suggest that people who suffer from insomnia also have more of these conditions than those who sleep well, others find no link at all.

If you’re concerned about your sleep quality or the possibility of developing such problems as high blood pressure (hypertension) or diabetes, talk to your doctor about how these conditions may be related to your insomnia and whether there’s anything he or she can do to help improve both your health and your sleep patterns.

Chronic insomnia is a serious condition that affects a person’s quality of life. It can make you tired, cranky and even depressed. It can also make you more likely to get sick and die earlier than people who sleep well.

It’s no surprise, then, that researchers have been looking into whether insomnia causes health problems or is itself caused by them.

There’s new evidence that insomnia may be linked with an increased risk of heart disease. A study published in the journal Sleep found that people who had trouble falling asleep or staying asleep were more likely to have high blood pressure than those who slept well.

The study also found that women with insomnia were more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety than those without it.

Insomnia can be a sign of a serious health problem, but it may also be an independent condition. Insomnia is a sleep disorder that causes you to have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep or waking up too early.

If you have insomnia, you may find it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep for an adequate amount of time. You may also wake up and not be able to return to sleep. This can lead to daytime sleepiness and difficulty concentrating and functioning during the day.

If you have short-term insomnia (less than three weeks), there’s no cause for concern. But if you have long-term (chronic) insomnia (more than three weeks), it can have a negative impact on your health and well-being.

Insomnia can affect your mood, concentration and memory; make everyday tasks more challenging; and increase your risk of accidents at home or work.

In addition, many people who don’t get enough sleep are at higher risk of developing obesity, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes all conditions that increase the risk of heart disease, stroke and kidney failure later in life.

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What Health Conditions Cause Insomnia?

How sleep disorders affect health

Sleep disorders are conditions that prevent you from getting a good night’s rest. They can be caused by a number of factors, including stress, anxiety and depression. Sleep disorders can cause problems in your daily life, such as difficulty concentrating and making decisions.

Sleep disorders also put you at risk for other health problems, such as heart disease and diabetes. If you have a sleep disorder, it’s important that you seek treatment to keep these risks down and improve your overall health.

The most common type of sleep disorder is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). This condition occurs when the soft tissue in your throat collapses while you are sleeping, blocking air from entering your lungs. Breathing stops for 10 seconds or more during each episode of OSA.

In addition to feeling tired during the day, people with OSA may experience symptoms such as snoring loudly, daytime fatigue and headaches.

OSA can be treated with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), which involves wearing a mask over your nose while sleeping that keeps airways open with steady pressure from an air compressor system connected to a mask worn around the face or nose.

Other treatments include lifestyle changes such as losing weight or quitting smoking if applicable.

Sleep disorders have been linked to health problems, including:

Heart disease. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and insomnia are associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease. In one study, people who had OSA were twice as likely to die from a heart attack or stroke compared to those who didn’t have the disorder.

Diabetes. People with obstructive sleep apnea may be at risk for developing diabetes because they don’t get enough oxygen during sleep, which affects metabolism and other processes in the body.

In one study, about half of people with sleep apnea developed diabetes within five years of being diagnosed with the condition.

Depression and suicide. Insomnia is linked to depression and suicide risk in older adults, according to research presented at SLEEP 2016, an annual conference of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies LLC.”

Sleep disorders are common, and they affect people of all ages. The most common sleep disorders include insomnia, restless legs syndrome, sleep apnea and narcolepsy.

Many people don’t know they have a sleep disorder because they may not have any symptoms during the day. Sleep disorders are often undiagnosed or misdiagnosed as other conditions.

Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder. It affects about 30 percent of adults and 15 percent of children at some time in their lives. Insomnia can be short-term (acute), where symptoms occur for less than three weeks, or chronic, where symptoms last longer than three weeks.

Millions of people suffer from chronic insomnia every year, which interferes with their daily activities and quality of life.

Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is another common form of insomnia that causes uncomfortable sensations in your legs when you’re sitting still or lying down at night.

Symptoms include an urge to move your legs or arms because it feels like they’re falling asleep or moving on their own; unpleasant tingling or pain in your feet, legs or hands; and sometimes feelings of warmth in your legs that makes you want to move.

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What Health Conditions Cause Insomnia?

How often does insomnia occur?

Insomnia is a common problem. The National Sleep Foundation reports that nearly two-thirds of Americans report having problems sleeping at least a few nights a week, and more than one-third say they have occasional insomnia.

The condition can become more frequent or chronic with age. In fact, insomnia affects as many as 40% of people over 65 years old.

How often does insomnia occur?

Insomnia affects 37% of men and 31% of women. In addition, older adults are more likely to experience sleep problems than younger adults: 43% between the ages of 65 and 74 years and 60% between 75 and 84 years report trouble sleeping at least a few nights per week.

Insomnia is a common problem that affects about 30 percent of adults. The most common cause of insomnia is stress, but there are many other factors that can contribute to the condition, including poor sleep habits, medical conditions, medications and other health problems.

The frequency of insomnia varies from person to person. If you’ve been experiencing symptoms for a long time, you may have developed a chronic condition. In this case, insomnia can last for weeks or months and may be difficult to treat.

On the other hand, if your insomnia is caused by stress or anxiety over something specific like an upcoming event or vacation, it may only last for a few days.

Insomnia that lasts less than three weeks is considered short term; it’s more likely that this type of insomnia will resolve on its own without treatment.

Insomnia is a very common problem. It occurs in about 50% of adults at least once in their lifetime, and about 10% of adults have chronic insomnia (4 weeks or more of poor sleep per month).

Insomnia may be caused by an underlying medical condition, such as depression or arthritis. But most insomnias are “primary” insomnia — meaning there’s no clear cause for the lack of sleep.

In other words, primary insomnia isn’t caused by anything else (such as depression or anxiety) and doesn’t get better with treatment for those conditions.

Some people with insomnia do fine without treatment. For others, insomnia can cause problems with work, school or relationships. If your sleep problems are disrupting your life, it’s important to talk to your doctor about getting help.

What Health Conditions Cause Insomnia?

Can illness cause insomnia?

Illness is one of the most common causes of insomnia. Most people have experienced difficulty sleeping after an illness, particularly if they were sick for several days or longer.

This is often true even if you had a mild illness, such as a cold or stomach bug. The reason that illness can cause insomnia is because it disrupts your normal sleep cycle.

The way we sleep has two main phases: rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep. During NREM sleep, which makes up about 75 percent of your total sleep time, your brain activity slows down and your muscles relax.

In contrast, during REM sleep which makes up about 20 percent of your total sleep time your brain becomes more active and your muscles become less relaxed. You move more during REM sleep than in any other stage of sleep.

Yes, illness can cause insomnia. Being sick is hard enough on its own, but when you’re also dealing with insomnia, it can make you feel even worse.

Insomnia is an inability to fall asleep or stay asleep. It’s a common problem that can affect anyone at any age. Myriad factors can cause or worsen insomnia, including stress, anxiety and depression. But so can illness.

When you’re sick, your immune system is working overtime to fight the infection or illness and may be too busy to get everything else done properly like sleep. Chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease can take a toll on your body and make it difficult to sleep well.

Other illnesses that may cause insomnia include the flu, pneumonia, meningitis and encephalitis (swelling of the brain). If you have cancer or are undergoing chemotherapy treatment for cancer, you may have trouble falling asleep because of side effects from medications used during chemotherapy.

While I was sick with bronchitis, I could not sleep. The coughing kept me awake. The congestion made it hard to breathe. The fever left me tossing and turning all night long.

When you get sick, your body needs more rest than usual. Your immune system is busy fighting the infection, so it’s often difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep when you have a cold or the flu. Colds and other viral illnesses are especially likely to cause insomnia because they make you feel worse in the daytime and tired at night.

Many people have trouble sleeping when they’re sick with an upper respiratory tract infection (like a cold) because of their stuffed-up noses and runny noses, which can cause them to wake up several times during the night. Sore throats and coughs are also common symptoms of these infections.

If you have a fever, it can make it feel harder to fall asleep or stay asleep, too especially if you’re also feeling tired from lack of sleep already, as well as from being sick!

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What Health Conditions Cause Insomnia?

What illness causes lack of sleep

Lack of sleep is a common problem for many people. Sleep disorders are the most common form of health impairment. The most common sleep problems are insomnia (trouble falling asleep or staying asleep), restless legs syndrome, and sleep apnea.

Insomnia is the inability to fall asleep or stay asleep, or waking up too early in the morning and having trouble getting back to sleep. Insomnia is usually associated with poor quality of life.

Fatigue and daytime sleepiness, mood disturbances such as anxiety and depression, and relationship problems due to poor communication between partners who are both suffering from insomnia.

People with chronic insomnia may experience a range of physical symptoms such as headaches, digestive problems, changes in blood pressure, and weight changes.

Restless legs syndrome causes unpleasant tingling sensations in your legs that often occur when you’re resting or sitting still for long periods of time (for example sitting on an airplane).

It can also cause unpleasant crawling sensations in your arms or other parts of your body. These feelings get worse when you’re resting or sitting still but they can also occur while you’re trying to fall asleep at night or while you’re awake during the day (even after just walking around). Restless.

Insomnia is a common sleep disorder that affects up to 40 percent of the population. It’s defined as having trouble falling asleep, waking up frequently throughout the night or waking up too early in the morning.

Insomnia can be caused by a variety of factors, including stress, anxiety, depression, hormonal changes like menopause or pregnancy, certain medications and lifestyle choices such as caffeine consumption or exercising too late in the day.

If you have trouble sleeping more than three nights per week for about a month or more, let your doctor know. Your doctor may ask questions about your sleep habits and lifestyle and perform several tests to rule out other medical conditions.

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What Health Conditions Cause Insomnia?

Final verdict

You might be surprised to hear that there are numerous health conditions that can cause insomnia. But perhaps this shouldn’t come as a complete shock given the fact that sleep and health are closely entwined.

In the end, there doesn’t appear to be a single pattern when it comes to specific conditions causing insomnia. Some ailments impact sleep quality whereas others directly interfere with sleep onset or duration.

In other words, the answer is not clear-cut when it comes to differentiating between health conditions that cause insomnia and those that don’t.

There are a variety of health conditions that can prevent an individual from sleeping well at night, including some unexpected ones.

While insomnia is usually the result of stress or depression, it could also be mouth breathing or allergies. Nighttime allergies put considerable stress on your breathing and will disrupt your normal sleeping patterns.

Stressors, such as anxiety and depression, interfere with a good night’s rest as well. In addition to these common causes, other health conditions can cause insomnia.

Insomnia can be caused by a range of health conditions, but it’s important to be able to identify if you have one in order to effectively address the underlying cause of your insomnia.

Do keep in mind that insomnia is often a symptom of another health condition, rather than the disease itself. If you’re concerned about your sleep, see a medical doctor to rule out any possible health conditions and treat them as they arise.

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