Diseases That Contribute To Insomnia

Insomnia is one of the most common sleep complaints that is characterized by the occurrence of one or more symptoms like

  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • Waking up frequently during the night
  • Waking up too early in the morning
  • Poor quality sleep

Insomnia is a condition in which people find difficulty sleeping. The symptoms of insomnia can be caused by the various biological, psychological and social factors. Insomnia is categorized into two groups:

  • Primary insomnia, which does not occur due to an existing medical condition.
  • Secondary insomnia, which occurs as a result of medical illness, mental disorder or other sleep disorders.

Multiple studies suggest that women are two times more likely to complain about suffering from insomnia as compared to men. Although Stress, anxiety, and depression are the most common cause of insomnia, it can result from other health problems as well. It has been believed that most of the patients who complain about insomnia have other health conditions as well. Some of the health problems that contribute to insomnia are as follows:

1. Coronary artery disease

Coronary artery disease is also known as ischemic artery disease and it has become a leading cause of death of both men and women worldwide. It is a cause of millions of death and disability in the developed countries. Coronary artery disease has many names such as:

  • Atherosclerosis
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Hardening of the arteries
  • Narrowing of the arteries

Coronary artery disease occurs when the plaque builds up inside the coronary arteries. Over time these plaque hardens and narrows the arteries and results in reduced blood flow to the heart muscle. Coronary arteries are the arteries that supply oxygen rich blood to the heart muscles. Coronary arteries bring oxygen and nutrients to the heart muscle and when the coronary artery is blocked due to the buildup of plaque, the heart muscle does not receive enough oxygen and nutrient. The partial blockage causes angina or chest pain and complete blockage causes a heart attack. Risk factors that are associated with coronary artery disease include smoking, high blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, and stress.

2. Chronic lung disease

Chronic lung disease refers to the problems that affect the breathing. It includes many conditions such as emphysema, chronic bronchitis, asthma, and cystic fibrosis. These diseases deal with obstruction and blockage in the airways. The obstruction or blockage in the airways make the breathing harder and affect the process of gas exchange.

  • Chronic bronchitis is a condition in which an excessive mucus is produced and causes mucus build up. It results in the blockage of airways.
  • Emphysema is a condition in which the damaged airway lose their elasticity and when an individual exhales, the air is trapped in the sac. This trapped air makes the breathing difficult and over time, air sacs lose their shape and block the oxygen to enter the blood vessel.
  • Asthma is one of the most common breathing problems and a large number of people throughout the world are living with this condition. In this condition, the airway becomes swollen and narrowed. This makes it difficult for the air to pass through the airway.

Also Read: How Lack Of Sleep Can Be Dangerous?

3. Gastroesophageal reflux disease

Gastroesophageal reflux disease is a chronic disease in which the content of the stomach flows back into the food pipe. Usually, this disease occurs due to the failure of lower esophageal sphincter between the stomach and esophagus to close properly. Along with insomnia, people who suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease also experience heartburn.

Multiple researchers believe that by adopting certain lifestyle changes, the frequency of heartburn can be decreased to a great extent. One of the most effective things an individual can do to reduce the frequency of heartburn is to eat low fat and high protein meals. Other lifestyle changes include maintaining a healthy weight, wait for at least two hours after eating and before lying to the bed and quit smoking. Smoking decreases the ability of esophagus sphincter to function properly.

4. Anemia

Anemia is a condition which occurs under two conditions:

  • Having inadequate red cells to take oxygen around the body
  • Having red cells that are faulty and unable to carry enough oxygen

Insomnia is one of the symptoms that occur in patients having anemia. Other symptoms include fatigue, shortness of breath, dizziness, headache, yellow skin, chest pain, and loss of concentration. There are different types of anemia:

  • Shortage of iron or vitamin - It is the most common type of anemia and it occurs due to a lack of iron in the body.
  • Vitamin B12 or folate deficiency - This type of anemia occurs due to an insufficient intake of these vitamins in food or due to the body’s incapability to absorb these vitamins.
  • Anemia of chronic illness - It occurs when any chronic disease causes inflammation and block the access of iron. In this condition, the body has enough iron but inflammation blocks the access.


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