Stress almost always plays some role in the development and continuation of insomnia. Chronic stress causes an adrenal imbalance to occur, resulting in elevated nighttime cortisol levels. Many additional lifestyle factors can perpetuate and contribute to the adrenal imbalance including caffeine, lack of exercise, alcohol, recreational drug use, and some prescription drugs.

At Vitalia, we differentiate between sleep-onset insomnia and sleep-maintenance insomnia.  Here are some of the causes of each:

Sleep-onset insomnia may be caused by:

  • Stress, anxiety, tension
  • Environmental change
  • Emotional distress
  • Fear of insomnia
  • Pain or discomfort
  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol

Sleep-maintenance insomnia may be caused by:

  • Depression
  • Environmental change
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Pain or discomfort
  • Drugs
  • Alcohol

We find it is especially important to pay attention to any existing hypoglycemia symptoms (ie low blood sugar).  A drop in blood sugar triggers a nighttime release of many stimulating hormones including cortisol, which causes the person to wake up. An easy antidote to this syndrome is to eat a protein and carbohydrate snack at bedtime.  This will decrease the drop in blood sugar that typically occurs in the middle of the night.

If you are tired of struggling with insomnia, call us today to get started on a wellness plan that is right for you.