Natural Solutions in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch

Learn about the causes of Insomnia & find a practitioner in Auckland, Hamilton, Bay of Plenty, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin to help you overcome Insomnia within New Zealand.

Insomnia is the disruption of sleep. Insomnia affects the body's natural ability to fall asleep or stay asleep. Insomnia occurs through habitual behaviour or as a reaction to physical or emotional problems. Insomnia can be caused by lifestyle issues but the common causes of insomnia are stress, anxiety or depression.


Causes Of Insomnia 

Insomnia | The Wellness DirectoryThe causes of insomnia are typically broken down into categories of physical, lifestyle, environment, psychological, psychiatric and pharmacological. Physical causes of insomnia are caused by underlying conditions of pain, discomfort or involuntary movements. Arthritis, back pain and persistent headaches can affect sleep as can stomach ulcers or acid reflux. Restless leg syndrome, respiratory disorders and Parkinson's disease can also cause insomnia.

Lifestyle and environmental factors can lead to insomnia. External noise and light, snoring, a fidgeting partner or excessive caffeine or alcohol can disrupt sleeping patterns. Jet lag from moving through different time-zones and activities such as exercise can also be the cause ofinsomnia. Psychological causes of insomnia occur during or after a traumatic event such as bereavement or relationship breakdown. Examination stress or work issues make sleeping difficult as do anxieties about the inability to fall asleep.

Insomnia can be caused
by psychiatric conditions that affect mental health such as depression, anxiety or dementia. Taking medications can lead to pharmacological causes of insomnia and a withdrawal from hypnotics prescribed for sleep disorders can lead to rebound insomnia. Antidepressants, decongestants, appetite suppressants, beta-blockers and corticosteroids can produce side-effects of sleep disruption.

Other sleep disorders affect the body's natural ability to stay asleep. These disorders include narcolepsy (uncontrollable sleep at any time of day), sleepwalking and sleep apnoea (irregular breathing when asleep).


Symptoms Of Insomnia

Symptoms of insomnia are dependent on the type of sleeping problem but typically include lying awake and being unable to fall asleep, constant waking during the night, waking early in the morning, feeling tired, a lack of energy, poor concentration, reduced function during the day and mood swings.

Insomnia can last a few days or over longer periods of months and years. How long insomnia affects a person can be broken down into three categories: Transient insomnia typically lasts 2-3 days, short-term insomnia can last from a few days to three weeks and chronic insomnia last for three weeks or longer and can lead to mental health conditions such as depression.


Diagnosing Insomnia

A visit to a GP will identify any contributory causes to insomnia such as excessive caffeine and alcohol consumption. The GP will also ask about medical history and medications that may be the underlying cause of insomnia. If the causes are not obvious, the GP may recommend keeping a sleep diary to help identify a pattern to the sleep disturbances.

There are physical tests to help diagnose the cause of sleep disturbance but these are generally used for the diagnosis of sleep apnoea. A polysomnography test records electrical activity in the brain, respiratory rate, heart activity and muscle movement while asleep. These tests can take place at home or at a research centre and may be video taped.

Natural Health Options:

Clinical practice shows that Buteyko is effective for a wide range of breathing disorders including insomnia as many common health issues can be linked to incorrect breathing. Buteyko is a clinically proven technique that delivers immediate and sustained relief from breathing-related problems.  It is drug free and can be practised by children and adults.

The Buteyko breathing technique has been the subject of eight published studies and is endorsed by the British Guideline on the Management of Asthma 2008.


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