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 Sleep  Holistic-online.com

Insomnia - Causes (Contd.)

Medical Problems

A wide range of medical problems can disturb your sleep.

The following is a list of some common medical problems that can disturb sleep.

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Angina, a condition in which the heart receives insufficient oxygen, thereby causing pain that can disturb sleep

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Asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema, conditions that disturb sleep by interfering with breathing

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Allergies, congestion, or coughing

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Indigestion, reflux, or ulcers, which are gastrointestinal conditions that disrupt sleep by causing heartburn or acid regurgitation; these conditions can be treated with dietary changes and medication

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Bladder problems such as frequent urination

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Arthritis and chronic pain conditions

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Headaches

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Epilepsy, which causes abnormal electrical activity in the brain that can disturb sleep

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Hyperthyroidism, a condition caused by an over-productive thyroid gland

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Kidney disease

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Diabetes and hypoglycemia

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Dementia or Alzheimer's disease, both of which can cause nighttime agitation, confusion, and insomnia

Medical Conditions Specific to Women

There are a number of women's medical conditions that can disturb sleep.

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Insomnia is common during the last trimester of pregnancy. This can be caused by the stress of the pregnancy and anticipation of the birth or by fetal movements and the physical discomfort of pregnancy.

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Menopause can disrupt women's sleep. The hormonal changes associated with menopause may be one cause of these sleep difficulties; another is the hot flashes of menopause, which result in sensations of increased body temperature and night sweats that are disruptive to sleep. Many women also experience emotional changes and depression during menopause that can contribute to insomnia. See: Menopause Infocenter in Holisticonline.com

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Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is another medical condition that can disrupt sleep. For some women, sleep difficulties coincide with the onset of the menses and the negative mood that can occur at this time.

Breathing Disorders

Certain disorders can cause repeated interruptions in breathing during sleep that can disrupt the sleep dozens or even hundreds of times a night. These pauses can be as short as 10 seconds and the sleeper may not be aware of it in the morning. These disruptions produce restless sleep.

Examples are sleep apnea, periodic leg movements, gastroesophageal reflux and waking brain activity that persists during sleep.

Pain

Disorders such as arthritis, angina, lower back pain, fibromyalgia, and headache may upset sleep and waking hours.

Physiological Factors

Adrenal function can have a significant effect on sleep patterns. In particular, high nighttime levels of cortisone are associated with many sleep disorders. Cortisone is a hormone secreted by the adrenal glands in the morning, or during periods of wakefulness and activity.

Insomnia can result from any number of conditions that interrupt the sleeping process, including stomach problems or bladder ailments. Periodic leg movement syndrome is sometimes triggered by a rheumatic disorder or nervous system illness. Sleep apnea may be linked to obesity, particularly if the obese patient also has lung problems from chronic smoking or heart disease.

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