What can be the cause of insomnia?

Sleep disorders are common. According to recent studies, about one in three people across all age groups suffer from a moderate to severe sleep disorder. Almost one in four people say their sleep quality is pretty bad. However, the frequency figures vary greatly. This is due to the fact that the term “sleep disorder” is more or less strictly defined in the studies. Some only consider the number of medical consultations. But the number of unreported cases is high. Many people with insomnia never go to the doctor, but try to get their problem under control themselves. They are only recorded through surveys.

We usually talk about sleep disorders when people have too little or no restorative sleep for various reasons (e.g. insomnia, hyposomnia, agrypnia). The majority of those affected have difficulty falling asleep (difficulty falling asleep) or staying asleep (difficulty sleeping through the night) or both. However, the broad collective term “sleep disorders” also includes completely different phenomena such as severe daytime sleepiness or sleep addiction (hypersomnia). Conspicuous behavior related to sleep (parasomnia) such as sleepwalking or talking during sleep are also sleep disorders.

Many people suffer from sleep disorders. About two out of ten people probably sleep so badly that therapy would be appropriate. Common causes are stress and poor sleeping habits. Breathing pauses such as in sleep apnea syndrome, stimulants (e.g. caffeine), drugs (e.g. alcohol), medicines, diseases (e.g. of the thyroid gland, hormonal disorders, rheumatism) and environmental influences (e.g. noise) are also possible.

When sleep quality decreases, physical and mental performance also decreases. In the long run, the risk of many diseases increases, for example of heart and circulatory system. The options for treatment and the chances of success differ depending on the sleep disorder and the cause, if one can be found. There are proven therapies for many forms. Those affected often have to improve their sleep hygiene, i.e. discard unfavorable habits. Behavioral therapy is sometimes necessary.

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