In sleep disorders, the causes are numerous and also very different. Doctors distinguish primary and secondary sleep disorders
Cause of primary sleep disorders
Sleep problems occur in primary sleep disorders without causing any physical or mental illness. The following forms are known:
- Mental-physical insomnia (so-called psychophysiological insomnia): It is one of the most common forms of sleep disorder. Often there are worries, unresolved conflicts or feelings of anxiety at the beginning of these sleep problems. Eventually, the fear of not being able to fall asleep and the impending exhaustion of the next day will eventually lead to a vicious circle. After some time, the brain connects these negative associations with going to bed, which finally brings the patient to sleep. The fear of a “bad night” also manifests itself in an increased physical tension. People often sleep better with this form of sleep disorder in a strange environment than in their own bed.
- “False sleep disorder” : The affected here rates his sleep as insufficient and reacts during the day with excessive fatigue , although actually no sleep disorders are detectable . Most unconscious conflicts are responsible for the sense of exhaustion , but the person concerned incorrectly credits them with their bad sleep.
- Idiopathic Insomnia : This rare form of sleep disorder often begins in childhood and persists throughout life. The cause is not clear, it is probably a disorder in areas of the brain responsible for sleep-wake regulation. This leads to massive problems both during and asleep.
Cause secondary sleep disorders
The so-called secondary sleep disorders include numerous physical and mental illnesses. Also, a variety of drugs comes as a cause in question. Possible reasons are:
- Neurological Diseases : Many disorders of the nervous system can be associated with sleep disorders , including Parkinson’s disease , dementia , inflammatory brain disease , cerebral vascular disease (such as after a stroke ), or epilepsy . A possible cause of a sleep disorder is also the Restless Legs syndrome , in which sufferers feel an unpleasant tingling sensation – even pain – in the legs. The complaints usually increase in peace, so that a restful sleep is hardly possible. So – called sleep – related respiratory disorders are widespreadThese include, for example, severe snoring , sometimes associated with respiratory failure, during sleep.
- Psychiatric disorders : Basically, almost every psychiatric illness can be associated with a sleep disorder. Sleep disorders are especially common in depression or anxiety disorders .
- Medication, Drugs and Alcohol : Alcohol is a common cause of sleep disorders. In many cases, a vicious cycle develops: people with disturbed sleep often find it easier to rest with one or more glasses of wine or beer before they sleep. In fact, alcohol facilitates falling asleep. By sobering up during sleep, however, you wake up prematurely and can not sleep. Even medications can be causally involved in disturbed sleep, especially the sleeping pills. If these are taken regularly, the body gets used to it and can no longer fall asleep without the active ingredient. For this reason, the doctor prescribes sleeping pills for sleep disorders only for a short time(maximum four weeks). In addition, there are a variety of other medications that can lead to sleep problems, such as antidepressants, thyroid hormones , cortisone, appetite suppressants, stimulants or diuretic medications. Most illicit drugs (such as cocaine, ecstasy, cannabis, heroin) can also cause sleep disorders.
Sleep disorders due to external factors
Often, sleep disorders can also be attributed to various external factors, including:
- Irregular sleep-wake-up-rhythm : If you go out for a long weekend at the end of the weekend and sleep late the next day until noon, it is more difficult for you to switch to the sleeping routine of everyday life. Even with people who work in shifts, the organism can not always get used to changing bed times.
- Eating habits : heavy meals late at night or at night prevent a restful sleep.
- Other unfavorable habits : These include long television before falling asleep, caffeinated drinks (like coffee, cola) in the late afternoon or evening, noise in the area, too bright light in the bedroom (street lamp, clock radio).