The following is from Dr. Rob Hicks on BBC Health:
‘Insomnia is repeated difficulty in getting to sleep, staying asleep or getting enough good quality sleep, despite adequate opportunity, which leads to some form of impairment of performance or wellbeing during the daytime. If it occurs regularly or over a long period of time, it’s called chronic insomnia.
Causes of Insomnia
A common trigger for sleeping difficulties is stress and worry. Some people are particularly vulnerable because they are more likely to show a more extreme response to stress, such as people who are depressed, chronically ill or struggling with other difficult issues such as relationship problems.
Other common causes include physical illness that causes pain, environmental noise, depression, shift work, caffeine or alcohol consumption, and medication side-effects. Other illnesses can disrupt sleep, such as menopausal hot flushes and urinary problems from infection or prostate disease causing night-time waking. Insomnia is much more common in older people.
Once triggered, sleep problems may then be perpetuated by the individuals beliefs and behaviours – they often worry excessively about the effect that inadequate sleep will have on them and so strive excessively hard to get to sleep, take daytime naps or sleep in late which can disrupt the natural rhythm, or turn to medicines or alcohol in the belief that this will help (most just induce unnatural patterns of sleep). A vicious cycle of poor sleep and stress is quickly set up and persists after the initial trigger has passed.
Insomnia contributes to excessive daytime tiredness, which in turn may be responsible for accidents, recurrent infections (inadequate sleep has been show to suppress the immune system), poor concentration, irritability, work and relationship problems and a general inability to cope. In children it may be linked to poor growth.’
We can help you to regulate your sleep patterns and improve quality of sleep.