Sleep Disorders

Updated 25 July 2019

10 reasons you may have insomnia and how to fix it

From smoking to screen-time... here are 10 reasons why you may have insomnia – along with possible ways to solve the problem.

Do you often go to bed only to just lie there in the darkness, tossing and turning, hoping that the Sandman will soon arrive to sprinkle some of his magic dust into your eyes?

Turns out there are several reasons you may have difficulty falling asleep, and while caffeine is the usual suspect, it isn't the only main cause of sleepless nights.

From exercising too late in the evening to smoking, along with using your smart devices and eating too much protein – there are a few reasons, backed by science, why you may have difficulties falling asleep.

Almost as bad is when you do manage to fall asleep, but don't have a good night's rest. As with insomnia, one of these 10 reasons may be the cause of your problem – and addressing the cause can help you manage the situation better in future.

According to Health24, sleep disorders are more common in women, and occur more frequently in those who work irregular shifts. Personal or work stress, noise, substance abuse and certain prescription medications can also contribute to insomnia.


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Sleep disorders expert

Dr Alison Bentley is a general practitioner who has consulted in sleep medicine and sleep disorders, in both adults and children of all ages, for almost 30 years. She also researches and publishes on a number of sleep-related topics both in formal research journals and lay publications including as editor of Sleep Matters, an educational newsletter on sleep disorders for doctors.

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