Stress, depression, major causes of insomnia, says expert | Independent Newspapers Limited
Newsletter subscribe

South West

Stress, depression, major causes of insomnia, says expert

Posted: Apr 15, 2015 at 12:22 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

A consultant obstetrician and gyneacologist at Federal Medical Centre, Abeokuta, Dr Moses Alao, has described stress and depression as major causes of insomnia in people.

He said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ibadan.

According to Alao, other causes of insomnia include feeling emotionally flat or hopeless, struggle with chronic feelings of anxiety or worry, as well as certain medications and health problems.

He defined insomnia as inability to get the amount of sleep needed to wake up feeling refreshed and rested.

Alao said although insomnia was the most common sleep complaint, it was not a single sleep disorder.

He added that it was more accurate to think of insomnia as a symptom of another problem, noting that the symptoms differ from person to person.

The consultant said the condition could be as a result of taking too much caffeine during the day or due to complex issue like an underlying medical condition.

He said the psychological problems that could cause insomnia included depression, anxiety, chronic stress, bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.

“Medications that can cause insomnia include antidepressants, cold and flu medications that contain alcohol, pain relievers that contain caffeine, and high blood pressure medications.

“The medical causes of insomnia include asthma, allergies, parkinson’s disease, hyperthyroidism acid reflux, kidney disease, cancer and chronic pain.

“The symptoms of insomnia include difficulty in falling asleep despite being tired, waking up frequently during the night and trouble in getting back to sleep.

“Other symptoms include exhausting sleep, relying on sleeping pills or alcohol to fall asleep, waking up too early in the morning and daytime drowsiness and fatigue.’’

Alao explained that insomnia could be treated and cured by changing the habits that disrupt sleep.

The obstetrician, who said using sleeping pills or alcohol to fall asleep would disrupt sleep even more in the long run, added that drinking excessive amounts of coffee during the day would make it difficult to fall asleep at night.

He suggested the use of a sleep diary to identify insomnia-inducing habits so as to work on ways to reduce the habit.

He explained that other measures that could cure insomnia include making the bedroom quiet, dark and cool, and sticking to a regular sleep schedule.

Other measures, he said, include avoiding naps during the day, avoiding stimulating activities and stressful situations before bedtime and avoiding caffeinated drinks.