8 Health Issues that Cause Sleep Problems
HealthCentral Editorial Team Nov 2, 2012 (updated Oct 9, 2013)
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Sleep issues can arise from other health conditions, which is sometimes called secondary insomnia. Medications can also interfere with a good night's sleep. Take a look at some of the most common conditions that cause sleep problems.
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Anxiety and stress
Stress from important events in your life can disrupt sleep, or little concerns about work, family or school can make it hard for your mind to shut down. Anxiety has a similar effect, as everyday anxieties can cause sleep problems, and more serious anxiety disorders can cause chronic insomnia.
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Depression can have two opposite effects on sleep. Sometimes it will cause a person to sleep too much or they might have trouble sleeping. This is likely due to a chemical imbalance in the brain or intense worries that make it impossible to relax and fall asleep.
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Pain from various conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia and other illnesses that cause intense pain can disrupt sleep. Tossing and turning, or even just switching positions can be problematic for people with pain issues. Taking painkillers before bed can help.
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Asthma is generally worse at night, causing wheezing and a repetitive cough. In addition, certain asthma medications can cause sleep issues.
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Congestive heart failure makes it difficult for the heart to pump blood to all parts of the body, which can cause fluid to pool around the lungs while lying down. This can cause a person to wake up during the night. Propping up your head and chest can prevent this from happening when you sleep.
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Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and heartburn can worsen when lying down, as acid flows back in the esophagus. This causes a burning sensation that makes it difficult to sleep. Avoiding trigger substances, such as caffeine, to help prevent the feeling.
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An overactive thyroid can cause night sweats and anxiety-like symptoms. Getting this under control can help ease the sleep issues.
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Going through menopause brings host of symptoms and one is sleep problems. Hot flashes and night sweats due to changing levels of estrogen can wake you up at night. At the same time, progesteron, a sleep-promoting hormone, drops.