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Ask A Doctor – Types And Causes Of Insomnia

Written by Dr. Leah Zachar

Insomnia is the inability to fall asleep and/or inability to stay asleep.

The National Institute of Health estimates that nearly 1 out of every 3 people in the general population complains of some type of sleep disruption, and approximately 1 out of 10 people in the general population have trouble functioning during the day because of insomnia.

Question: What causes insomnia?

Answer: Extrinsic causes such as:

  • Inadequate sleep routine
  • Circadian rhythm disturbance: Jetlag, Shiftwork Drugs, Alcohol Pain
  • Mental Illness(anxiety & depression)

Answer: Medical causes such as:

  • Low back pain
  • Any form of chronic pain
  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Esophageal reflux

Answer: Mental causes such as:

Answer: Unhealthy lifestyle:

  • Laptop or computer use which emits as “blue light” causing wakefulness
  • Late afternoon naps
  • Sleeping late to “catch up”
  • Eating a heavy meal before bed

Question: What is the difference between acute and chronic insomnia?

Answer: Acute insomnia is brief and often happens because of life circumstances (for example, when you can’t fall asleep the night before an exam, or after receiving stressful or bad news). Many people may have experienced this type of passing sleep disruption, and it tends to resolve without any treatment. Chronic insomnia occurs at least three nights per week and lasts at least three months. Chronic insomnia usually comorbid, meaning it is linked to another medical, mental, or emotional problem.

Question: What is the endocannabinoid system? How does CBD help you sleep?

Answer: The endocannabinoid system (ECS) helps to regulate the circadian rhythm (sleep-wake cycle). The circadian rhythm is responsible for the maintenance and promotion of sleep. The ECS links the suprachiasmatic nucleus (the location of the circadian rhythm) with the sleep center. CBD works directly on the sleep-wake cycle. It increases the 3rd phase of sleep (deep sleep), thus giving you a deeper sleep and a longer sleep, in other words, a more refreshing sleep. Therefore, by taking CBD, the result is a natural and homeostatic recovery of sleep.

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If you liked these questions and answers and want more, why not check out the Q&A from  ‘Ask A Doctor – CBD & Opioids, CBD Dosing For Pain

[Image credit: Pixabay]

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About the author

Dr. Leah Zachar

Dr. Leah Zachar, M.D. is a physician who worked for nearly thirty years in Internal Medicine.
She currently is a scientific adviser to CBD Testers. Dr. Zachar believes that there is much that medical cannabis, and cannabidiol in particular can offer to traditional medicine.