Almost everyone has suffered from insomnia at some time in their lives. But whether or not insomnia is a problem depends on how often it happens. Not being able to sleep for one night or two is no big deal. But when you lie awake night after night, when your brain refuses to calm down and let your body get some sleep, then it becomes top priority to track down the causes of insomnia.

They can be classified three different ways. First of all, sleeplessness can be caused by something in your lifestyle or sleeping environment. Second, being unable to sleep could be due to an injury or illness. Finally, you have to consider the possibility that psychological issues may be keeping you awake at night.

How can your lifestyle affect the quality of your sleep? Think about choices you make and things you do that could have an impact on resting well. Do you drink lots of beverages that contain caffeine? Do you like eating large meals late at night? Do you smoke or use tobacco products? All of these things can make it difficult for you to sleep. How long will you have to suffer with insomnia before you try giving up some of these sleep-damaging habits?

Sleep environment is just a fancy way to describe your bedroom (assuming you sleep in your bedroom at night). You might think that the quality of your mattress is the most important thing. A comfortable surface to sleep on is certainly important. However, it might not be as important as low light, less noise and cooler temperatures. You will sleep better if you can eliminate stray light and extra noise from your bedroom. When it comes temperature, most people sleep better in a cooler room, at least down to a certain point.

If your lifestyle choices are fine and your bedroom is quiet, dark and cool, you may need to look at other causes of insomnia. Have you recently suffered any injury that still causes you pain? Pain is often behind many sleep problems. There is also a wide variety of illnesses that can make it hard to sleep. Conditions like asthma, arthritis, heart disease and others have been linked to insomnia.

If the issues we've discussed so far aren't a problem for you, then it's time to talk about psychological issues. Stress, depression and anxiety are by far the most common causes of insomnia. In fact, whether your insomnia is intermittent or chronic, you often find one of these conditions is the root of the problem.

Dealing with insomnia does not always require a trip to the doctor. Certainly you can change many of your habits and improve your sleeping environment without a physician's advice. If you've had an injury or have a chronic illness, you are probably already under the care of a doctor. Mild psychological symptoms can often be improved with stress reduction techniques. However, if your insomnia continues, it's important for you to do something as soon as possible. There are many effective natural remedies and alternative treatments you should try before giving in to the use of prescription sleeping pills.

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