What are Some of the Most Common Causes of Insomnia?

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  • Written By: Diana Bocco
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 12 October 2019
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There are many possible causes of insomnia. From the simple ones, such as the neighbor's barking dog, to the more subtle ones, such as too much light or a messy bedroom. Causes of insomnia may also include a lack of healthy habits such as drinking water and exercising. When done at the right time, even these healthy actions can result in lack of sleep. If you find yourself having a hard time when it comes to sleeping, take a look at some of the most common causes of insomnia and how to deal with them.

One of the most common, and yet often ignored, causes of insomnia is clutter. Whether or not you are a Feng Shui follower, the truth is that the mind has a hard time getting past the disorder around you. Transform your bedroom into an environment conductive to sleep by cleaning and organizing. Go a step beyond and redecorate by using pastel colors, mood lightning, and soft fabrics, all of which are helpful when it comes to quieting the mind.

Stress is another of the most common causes of insomnia. Once you get into bed and everything around you quiets down, your mind starts racing. If the source of stress is tomorrow, try keeping a journal or a to-do list so you don't obsess about forgetting. If there is something in particular that's been worrying you, take your mind off the tension by meditating or practicing deep breathing exercises.


Some healthy habits can also become causes of insomnia. Exercising is a good example, as it can actually wake you up if done too close to bedtime. The same is true of drinking water; do it too late in the evening, and you will wake up through the night to use the bathroom. Once awake, it can become harder to fall back asleep.

Other common causes of insomnia include: using your bedroom for work purposes, spicy food and heartburn, a bedroom that is too bright, going to bed hungry, certain prescription drugs, alcohol, and smoking. An uncomfortable bed may also be to blame. If your mattress is too old, your bed too small, or you suffer from neck pain because of a poor-quality pillow, consider changing these so you can get a good night sleep.


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Post 3

Another tip I've found beneficial is to not try to "fight" insomnia. If you've been trying to sleep for 30 minutes or more and you know it's just not happening, get up and do something else for a while. Like @hidingplace said, reading a book is a good idea. If you let your mind become obsessed with the fact that you can't fall asleep it'll just make it that much more harder.

Post 2

One thing that helps for me is to avoid bright screens (computers, TVs, cellphones, etc.) for about an hour before going to sleep. When your mind starts racing when you get into bed after a busy day, it's best to just relax with a good book.

Post 1

If you exercise heavily, do it early in the morning. Exercising even a few hours before bedtime might keep you awake. Since we get an adrenaline kick by exercising, it will be harder for the body to calm down and fall asleep.

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