Insomnia refers to a persistent inability to fall asleep or stay asleep, despite a person’s best efforts. Any sleep disturbance that lasts over three weeks may be considered insomnia. Insomnia can have many root causes, and many solutions, too. It is estimated that 64 million people suffer from insomnia. Thinking about that statistic can be enough to keep you up at night!

Chronic insomnia can be caused by many different things. Insomnia can be a symptom of an underlying medical condition, or it can be caused by stress in your life or anxiety. Insomnia treatment should target the root cause of the chronic insomnia. Some people choose to using medication for insomnia, such as Ambien; but using Ambien for insomnia can also make the problem worse, as you may begin to feel anxiety that you will not be able to sleep without your medication. It can be helpful to discuss your insomnia with your doctor, to make sure that you don’t have symptoms of another more serious medical condition, such as arthritis, migraines, prostatic hypertrophy, or menopause, all of which may cause insomnia and also require additional medical attention.

Common Causes of Insomnia

People that use nicotine, alcohol, and even some prescription drugs used for allergies and asthma, are at a higher risk for insomnia. Those who keep erratic hours, shift workers for example, also suffer from frequent insomnia as they try to keep their bodies and sleep schedules regulated. On the other hand, people who are especially sedentary or quiet may also experience insomnia as they do not have enough stimulation.

How to Treat Insomnia

Insomnia treatment often involves beginning with focusing on establishing good sleep hygiene and good sleep habits. Learning relaxation techniques and changing certain lifestyle habits can help improve insomnia dramatically. Recommendations include limiting noise and light from your sleeping area. Try using room darkening shades. Perhaps a fan will help drown out noise if you have close neighbors, a crazy work schedule, or live near a highway or an airport.

Try to establish a good bedtime routine

Unwind before bed with a good book or a television program you enjoy. Generally avoid watching television in bed, though, this can keep you up much later than you intended. Avoid things like exercise, eating, confrontation, alcohol, or smoking before you turn in for the night. However, an early-evening walk and a healthy snack may have positive effects a few hours later when you try to sleep.

Many people suffer from insomnia at some point in their lives. Those that experience chronic insomnia are all too familiar with the anxiety insomnia can cause—once you wake up in the middle of the night, you instantly start to worry that you won’t fall back asleep. Lack of sleep is listed for many as one of the biggest causes of stress, anxiety, poor job performance, and relationship issues. Understanding some of the causes, and learning about some of the non-medicinal treatments that can cure insomnia can help insomnia sufferers get a good night’s rest.

Author's Bio: 

Colleen Lilly writes a blog on personal development and spiritual growth at