5 Top Causes of Sleep Problems in Aging, & Proven Ways to Treat Insomnia - Better Health While Aging (2023)

What should you do if an older person complains of not sleeping well at night?

Experts do believe that “normal aging” brings on some changes to sleep. (Seethis postfor more on how sleep changes with aging.) Basically,older adults tend to get sleepy earlier in the evening,and tend to sleep less deeply than when they were younger.

So it’s probably not realistic to expect that as you get older, you’ll sleep as long or as soundly as when you were younger.

That said, although aging by itselfdoes change sleep, it’s also quite common for older adults to develop healthproblems that can cause sleep disturbances. So when your older relatives say they aren’t sleeping well, you’ll wantto help them check for these. Figuring out what’s going on is always the first step in being able to improve things.

And remember, getting enoughgood quality sleep helps maintain brain health, physical health, and mood.

In this article, I’ll cover the top causes of sleep problems in older adults. I’ll also tell you about what approaches have been proven to work, to help treat insomnia and sleep problems in older adults.

Last but not least, if you (or your older relative) have experienced the very common combination of waking up to pee at night and difficulty sleeping, I highly recommend listening to this podcast episode, which features a geriatrician who is an expert on this:

5 Common Causes of Sleep Problems in Older Adults

1. Sleep problems due to an underlying medical problem.Although older adults do often suffer from what’s called “primary” sleep disorders, many sleep problems they experience are “secondary” sleep problems, meaning they are secondary to an underlying medical condition whose main symptoms are not sleep related.

Common health conditions that can disrupt sleep in older adults include:

(Video) Best Treatment for Insomnia in Older Adults

  • Heart and lung conditions which affect breathing, such as heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease, which causes heartburn symptoms and can be affected by big meals late at night
  • Painful conditions, including osteoarthritis
  • Urinary problems that cause urination at night; this can be caused by an enlarged prostate or an overactive bladder
  • Mood problems such as depression and anxiety
  • Neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
  • Medication side-effects

If an older person is having difficulty sleeping, it’s important to make sure that one of these common conditions isn’t contributing to the problem. Treating an underlying problem — such as untreated pain at night — can often improve sleep. It can also help to talk to a pharmacist about all prescription and over-the-counter drugs, to make sure that these aren’t contributing to insomnia.

Alzheimer’s and related dementias pose special considerations when it comes to sleep, which I write about in this post: How to Manage Sleep Problems in Dementia.

2. Snoring,Sleep Apnea, and other forms of Sleep-Related Breathing Disorders. Sleep-related breathing disorders (“SRBD”; it’s also sometimes called sleep-disordered breathing)is an umbrella term covering a spectrum of problems related to how people breathe while asleep.

Sleep apnea is a common condition which is important to diagnose since it’s been associated with many other health problems (especially in middle-aged adults). In sleep apnea, a person has frequent pauses in their breathing during sleep. The most common form is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), in which the breathing pauses are due to obstructions in the breathing passages. OSA is often associated with snoring. A less common form is central sleep apnea, in which the breathing pauses are related to changes in the brain.

How common it is: The likelihood of having sleep-disordered breathing disorders goes up with age. It’s also more common in men, and in people who are overweight. In one study of 827 healthy older adults aged 68, 53% were found to have signs of SRBD, with 37% meeting criteria for significant sleep apnea. Interestingly, most participants did not complain of excess sleepiness.

Why it’s a problem:Studies have found that untreated OSA is associated with poor health outcomes including increased mortality, stroke, coronary artery disease, and heart failure. However, studies also suggest that theseassociations are strongest in people aged 40-70, and weaker in older adults. For older adults with symptomatic OSA, treatment can reduce daytime sleepiness and improve quality of life.

What to do if you’re concerned: Helpguide.org’spage on sleep apnea has a useful list of common symptoms and risk factors for sleep apnea. You can also ask the doctor about further evaluation if you’ve noticed a lot of daytime sleepiness. To be diagnosed, you’ll need to pursue polysomnography (objective sleep testing) either in a sleep lab or with a home sleep testing kit.

Whether or not you pursue an official diagnosis for SRBD, avoiding alcohol (and probably other sedatives) is likely to help.

3. Restless leg syndrome (RLS).This condition causes sensations of itching, crawling, or restlessness as a person is trying to fall asleep. The symptoms are unpleasant but not usually painful, and improve with movement. The exact biological underpinnings of this problem remain poorly understood, but it seems to be related to dopamine and iron levels in the brain. Most cases are notnot thought to be related to neurodegeneration.

How common it is: Studies suggest that 5-15% of the general population meet criteria for RLS, but only 2.5% of people are thought to have clinically severe symptoms. Poor health, older age, low iron levels, and being female are some risk factors. It also tends to run in families.

(Video) Sleep Like a Baby: Myths About Insomnia and Aging

Why it’s a problem:RLS has been associated with depression, anxiety, and sleep-onset insomnia. It can also get worse with certain types of medication.

What to do if you’re concerned:Read up on RLS (Helpguide.org’s page seems very good) and then talk to a doctor. Generally, you don’t need polysomnography but you should probably be checked for low iron levels. You can read about possible non-drug and pharmacological treatment options at Helpguide.org.

4. Periodic Limb Movements of Sleep (PLMS). This condition is not easily treatable, but I’m listing it since I’ve discovered it’s much more common than I realized. PLMS causes intermittent movements while asleep, usually in the lower limbs. It can affect the toes, ankles, knees, or hips. The movements may or may not wake the person up; they can be annoying to a bed partner.

How common it is: Studies estimate that 45% of older adults experience PLMS. Many such older adults are otherwise healthy. However, PLMS is also often associated with other sleep problems, such as restless legs and sleep apnea. Experts believe that it’s fairly rare for people to experience clinically significant sleep disturbances solely due to PLMS.

Is it a problem?PLMS can be an issue mainly because it’s associated with other sleep problems. Most people who experience PLMS don’t notice it much, although some do find it bothersome. Only a few studies have attempted to treat isolated PLMS, and it’s not clear that there is a reliable way to treat this. In its 2012 guideline on treating restless leg syndrome and PLMS, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine concluded that there was “insufficient evidence” to recommend pharmacological treatment.

5. Insomnia.Insomnia meanshaving difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, despite the opportunity to do so (e.g. being in bed), and experiencing decreased daytime function because of this. I consider this the grand-daddy of all sleep problems, because it affects so many people in middle-age and older age.

How common is it: Very common, and it becomes even more common with aging. One study found that 23-24% of older adults reported symptoms of insomnia.

Why it’s a problem: Insomnia has been associated with anxiety, depression, fatigue, worse quality of life, cognitive decline, and a variety of other worse long-term health outcomes.

What to do if you’re concerned:The main thing to do is assess the problem, by tracking sleep and using a sleep journal. And then seek help. For older adults, it is especially important to not simply rely on prescription or non-prescription (e.g. alcohol, over-the-counter pills) substances to help with sleep. That’s because all such substances worsen brain function and increase the risk of cognitive decline. (See “4 Types of Brain-Slowing Medication to Avoid if You’re Worried About Memory” for more details.)

Proven Ways to Treat Insomnia in Older Adults

Insomnia is a very common complaint among family caregivers and older adults. Fortunately, research has shown that it’s possible to treat insomnia effectively, although it does often take a little time and effort.

(Video) Insomnia in the Elderly | How To Get Better Sleep As You Age!

Why Sedatives Aren’t the Way to Go and Proven Ways to Taper Off Them

Before I go into the recommended treatments, let me say it again: you should only use sedatives as a last resort.That’s because most medications that make people sleepy are bad for brain function, in both the short-term and long-term.

Benzodiazepines such as lorazepam, alprazolam, diazepam, and temazepam (Ativan, Xanax, Valium, and Restoril) are also habit-forming. It can be a lot of work to wean people off these drugs, but research has proven it’s possible.

For instance, inthis randomized control study, many older adults who had been on benzodiazepines for sleep (mean duration of use was 19.3 years!)were able to taper off their sleeping pills. 63% were drug-free after 7 weeks. (Yeah!)

Plus, in my own personal experience, it becomes extremely difficult once a person has started to develop a dementia such as Alzheimer’s, because then their behavior and thinking can get a lot worse if they are a little sleep-deprived or anxious. (In the short-term, almost everyone who tapers off of sedatives has to endure a little extra restlessness while the body adapts to being without the drug.) But letting them continue to use their benzodiazepine puts us in a pickle, because it also keeps them from having the best brain function possible, is associated with faster cognitive decline, AND increases fall risk.

I hope you see what I’m getting at. If either you or someone you care for are taking benzodiazepines for sleep or anxiety, and you aren’t dealing with a dementia diagnosis, now is the time to do the work of trying to get off these drugs. (If you are dealing with a dementia diagnosis, you should still ask the doctors for help trying to reduce the use of these drugs, but it will all be harder. It’s still often possible to at least reduce the doses being used.)

The key to successfully stopping sedatives for sleep is to very slowly taper the drug under medical supervision, plus add cognitive-behavioral therapy or other sleep-improving approaches if possible.

For more on this topic, and for a handy (and research-proven) consumer handout that helps older adults stop benzodiazepines, see “How You Can Help Someone Stop Ativan.” This article also addresses the question of whether it’s ever okay for an older person to be on benzodiazepines.

Now, let’s review some proven approaches to improving sleep in older adults.

Proven ways to treat insomnia in older adults:

(Video) 5 Causes of Sleep Problems – Dr. Berg

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I).This means special therapy that helps a personavoid negative thought patterns that promote insomnia, along with regular sleep habits, relaxation techniques, and other behavioral techniques that improve sleep. It has a good track record in research, as described in this NPR story. A new study also confirmed that CBT-I also benefitspeople who have insomnia combined with other medical or psychiatric conditions.
    • CBT-I can be done in person, and is also effective when done through online programs. Two online programs with proven clinical efficacy are Sleepio (see here for the study) and SHUTi.
    • CBT-I may incorporate several techniques such as stimulus control, and sleep restriction therapy. This Mayo Clinic page has a nice list of specific behavioral therapy components that might be included in CBT-I for insomnia.
  • Mindfulness meditation. A randomized control trial published in April 2015 found that mindfulness meditation was more effective than “sleep hygiene,” to improve the sleep of older adults with a variety of sleep disturbances. Older adults assigned to mindfulness completed a weekly 2-hour, 6-session group-based course.
    • Local in-person courses to learn mindfulness are often available; search online to find one near you. They may also be available at certain senior centers.
    • An online version of the course used in the study is available here.
    • Several smartphone based apps propose to help people with mindfulness. They are reviewed in the scholarly literature here. I personally have used Headspace in the past and liked it.
  • Exercise. Exercise is often thought of as a treatment for insomnia, but the evidence seems weaker than for CBT-I. A review article published in 2012 concluded that the effect is modest. A more recent randomized trial comparing CBT-I to tai chi, for insomnia in older adults, found that CBT-I was more effective.
    • Although exercise is obviously very important to health, don’t rely on it as the primary way to try to solve sleep problems.
    • It’s also possible that exercise may help insomnia, but a fascinating small study suggested that in people with chronic insomnia, it can take a few months for exercise to have an effect on sleep.

Are there any medications or supplements that are safe and effective?

Benzodiazepine drugs and sleeping medications such as zolpidem (brand name Ambien) are definitely risky for older adults, as they dampen brain function and worsen balance. If you or your loved one is depending on such medications to sleep, I recommend you get help tapering off, as described above. Most older adults can learn to sleep without these medications, although it can take a little effort to wean off the drug and learn to get to sleep without them.

Many over-the-counter (OTC) medications that make people sleepy are also a problem, because most of them are “anticholinergic,” which means they interfere with a key neurotransmitter called acetylcholine. A very commonly used anticholinergic is diphenhydramine (brand name Benadryl), a sedating antihistamine that is included in most night-time analgesics, but many prescription medications are anticholinergic as well.

Older adults should be very careful about using anticholinergics often for sleep, or really for anything. That’s because they worsen brain function, and in fact, chronic use of these medications has been associated with developing Alzheimer’s and other dementias. (For more on this, see 7 Common Brain-Slowing Anticholinergic Drugs Older Adults Should Use With Caution.)

Virtually all sedatives are included in the American Geriatrics Society Beers Criteria® for Potentially Inappropriate Medication Use in Older Adults.

So those are the medications to avoid if possible.

Now here are a few medications that seem to be less risky, and are sometimes used:

  • Melatonin:Melatonin is a hormone involved in the sleep-wake cycle. A 2007 study found that melatonin improved the sleep of older adults and did not seem to be associated with any withdrawal symptoms. However, in the U.S. melatonin is sold as a poorly-regulated supplement, and studies have found that commercially sold supplements are often of questionable quality and purity. So melatonin may work less reliably here than in Europe.
  • Ramelteon: Ramelteon is a synthetic drug that mimics the effect of melatonin. A 2009 study reported that ramelteon did not impair middle-of-the-night balance or memory in older adults. However, its efficacy has been questioned; a 2014 meta-analysis concluded that the clinical effect appeared to be “small.”
  • Trazodone:Trazodone is an older weak anti-depressant that is mildly sedating. It has long been used by geriatricians as a “sleeping pill” of choice, as it is not anticholinergic and seems to be less risky than the alternatives. A small2014 studyfound that trazodone improved sleep in Alzheimer’s patients.

For a detailed and technical review of sleep medicines in older adults, this article is good:Review of Safety and Efficacy of Sleep Medicines in Older Adults.

And again, if you or your older relative has been bothered by the need to urinate at night, I also want to recommend this BHWA podcast episode:

Now that we’ve covered the top causes of sleep problems in older adults and some proven ways to treat insomnia, I’d love to hear from you.

(Video) Sleep and Aging | University Place

What sleep problems have you been concerned about? And what’s helped you improve them so far?

For information on evaluating and managing sleep problems in people with Alzheimer’s or other dementias, see this article: How to Manage Sleep Problems in Dementia.

This article was last updated by Dr. K in August 2022.


What are 5 solutions to getting better sleep? ›

Tips for Better Sleep
  • Be consistent. ...
  • Make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark, relaxing, and at a comfortable temperature.
  • Remove electronic devices, such as TVs, computers, and smart phones, from the bedroom.
  • Avoid large meals, caffeine, and alcohol before bedtime.
  • Get some exercise.
13 Sept 2022

What are the causes of insomnia in old age? ›

Physiologic changes of aging, environmental conditions, and chronic medical illnesses contribute to insomnia in the elderly. Sleep disturbance in the elderly is associated with decreased memory, impaired concentration, and impaired functional performance.

What is the best treatment for insomnia in older adults? ›

Basic tips:
  • Stick to a sleep schedule. Keep your bedtime and wake time consistent from day to day, including on weekends.
  • Stay active. ...
  • Check your medications. ...
  • Avoid or limit naps. ...
  • Avoid or limit caffeine and alcohol and don't use nicotine. ...
  • Don't put up with pain. ...
  • Avoid large meals and beverages before bed.
15 Oct 2016

How do I cure my chronic insomnia? ›

How you can treat insomnia yourself
  1. go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.
  2. relax at least 1 hour before bed, for example, take a bath or read a book.
  3. make sure your bedroom is dark and quiet – use curtains, blinds, an eye mask or ear plugs if needed.
  4. exercise regularly during the day.

What is the number one cause of insomnia? ›

As a matter of fact, stress is the No. 1 reason people report a lack of sleep. But it's not the only insomnia trigger. Many things can cause insomnia, including poor sleep hygiene, illness, drug side effects, chronic pain, restless legs syndrome, or sleep apnea.

What are 7 things you can do to help you sleep better? ›

  1. Stick to a sleep schedule. Set aside no more than eight hours for sleep. ...
  2. Pay attention to what you eat and drink. Don't go to bed hungry or stuffed. ...
  3. Create a restful environment. Keep your room cool, dark and quiet. ...
  4. Limit daytime naps. ...
  5. Include physical activity in your daily routine. ...
  6. Manage worries.

What are 10 tips to improve sleep? ›

10 Tips to Get More Sleep
  1. Go to sleep at the same time each night, and get up at the same time each morning, even on the weekends.
  2. Don't take naps after 3 p.m, and don't nap longer than 20 minutes.
  3. Stay away from caffeine and alcohol late in the day.
  4. Avoid nicotine completely.
5 May 2020

Can insomnia Be Cured? ›

Can My Insomnia Be Cured? Absolutely. It may not be easy though, as curing insomnia often means improving your sleep hygiene and establishing habits that are more conducive to good sleep. And habits, especially routines you follow every day, can be tough to break.

What food can cure insomnia? ›

Here are the 9 best foods and drinks you can have before bed to enhance your quality of sleep.
  • Almonds. Almonds are a type of tree nut with many health benefits. ...
  • Turkey. Turkey is delicious and nutritious. ...
  • Chamomile tea. ...
  • Kiwi. ...
  • Tart cherry juice. ...
  • Fatty fish. ...
  • Walnuts. ...
  • Passionflower tea.

What is the first line treatment of insomnia? ›

Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) is the preferred first-line treatment for chronic insomnia in adults and has been endorsed as first-line therapy by multiple societies and guideline panels [1-5]. Overall, the evidence base is stronger for CBT-I than for medications.

What type of treatment is recommended for insomnia? ›

Exercise, cognitive behavior therapy, and relaxation therapy are recommended as effective, nonpharmacologic treatments for chronic insomnia. Melatonin is effective in patients with circadian rhythm sleep disorders and is safe when used in the short term.

Can insomnia be cured without medication? ›

Stick to a regular sleep schedule (same bedtime and wake-up time), seven days a week. Exercise at least 30 minutes per day most days of the week. Restrict vigorous exercise to the morning or afternoon. More relaxing exercise, like these yoga poses to help you sleep, can be done before bed.

Can you naturally recover from insomnia? ›

By changing some of your habits and routines, you may be able to improve the quality of your sleep. Getting in some daily physical activity is one of the best remedies for insomnia. Exercise is good for your overall health, but research also shows that it helps to improve your quality of sleep.

What illness can cause insomnia? ›

Examples of conditions linked with insomnia include chronic pain, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, asthma, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), overactive thyroid, Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease.

What insomnia does to your brain? ›

Lack of concentration is a major insomnia effect. An exhausted brain can't adequately focus on the important tasks and priorities at hand—especially not for extended periods of time. Critical thinking and problem-solving skills are also negatively impacted by prolonged sleep deprivation.

What is the 4 7 8 sleep trick? ›

Close your mouth and quietly inhale through your nose to a mental count of four. Hold your breath for a count of seven. Exhale through your mouth, making a whoosh sound for a count of eight. Repeat the process three more times for a total of four breath cycles.

Does magnesium help you sleep? ›

One study of older adults with insomnia found that magnesium supplementation at a dose of 500 milligrams daily for eight weeks helped them fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer, reduced nighttime awakenings, and increased their levels of naturally circulating melatonin.

What can I take daily to help me sleep? ›

Sleep aids: The options
  1. Diphenhydramine (Benadryl). Diphenhydramine is a sedating antihistamine. ...
  2. Doxylamine (Unisom). Doxylamine is also a sedating antihistamine. ...
  3. Melatonin. The hormone melatonin helps control your natural sleep-wake cycle. ...
  4. Valerian. Supplements made from this plant are sometimes taken as sleep aids.

How can I train my brain to sleep? ›

Train Your Brain for Better Sleep
  1. Only go to bed when you are sleepy, not when you are tired. ...
  2. Only use your bed for sleep and sex. ...
  3. Cut back on the stimulants before bedtime. ...
  4. Create a wind-down routine. ...
  5. Be kind to yourself.
16 Apr 2020

How can I increase my deep sleep naturally? ›

How to Increase Deep Sleep: 10 Tips + Benefits
  1. Work Out Daily. ...
  2. Eat More Fiber. ...
  3. Find Your Inner Yogi. ...
  4. Avoid Caffeine 7+ Hours Before Bed. ...
  5. Resist that Nightcap. ...
  6. Create a Relaxing Bedtime Routine. ...
  7. Make Your Bedroom a Sleep Sanctuary. ...
  8. Listen to White and Pink Noise.
29 Apr 2020

What are 12 science based tips to improve your sleep? ›

12 Tips for Good Sleep
  • Stick to a sleep schedule. ...
  • Don't exercise too late in the day. ...
  • Avoid caffeine and nicotine. ...
  • Avoid alcoholic drinks before bed. ...
  • Avoid larger meals and beverages late at night. ...
  • Avoid medicines that delay or disrupt your sleep (if possible) ...
  • Don't nap after 3 pm. ...
  • Make sure to leave time to unwind before bed.
5 Feb 2020

What makes you go to sleep immediately? ›

Ensuring that you have a quiet, dark, and comfortably cool sleep environment free of distractions. Keeping naps to 30 minutes or less (and not too close to bedtime). Using the bedroom for sleep and sex only. Going to another room if you cannot sleep after 20 minutes, and only returning to bed once you feel sleepy.

Does warm milk help you sleep? ›

Scientific evidence suggests that warm milk before bed may help you sleep. In a study of people staying in a hospital's heart unit, those who drank warm milk and honey for three days noticed improvements in sleep4.

What will keep me asleep all night? ›

Gentle yoga or progressive muscle relaxation can ease tension and help tight muscles to relax. Make your bedroom conducive to sleep. Keep light, noise and the temperature at levels that are comfortable and won't disturb your rest. Don't engage in activities other than sleeping or sex in your bedroom.

Can you live a long life with insomnia? ›

Contrary to popular opinion, insomnia doesn't shorten lifespan, new research finds. Furthermore, the research found that cognitive therapy, within a CBTi framework (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia), is an effective treatment for insomnia.

Does honey help you sleep? ›

Additionally, honey may promote melatonin formation due to its possible tryptophan content (a precursor to melatonin) that both helps to initiate sleep as well as promote release of hormones that facilitate whole body recovery during sleep.

Will peanut butter help you sleep? ›

Therefore, eating peanut butter or other foods with tryptophan before bed may alleviate sleep issues. Peanut butter is highly nutritious and rich in protein, which reduces food cravings and promotes muscle growth. It also contains tryptophan, which may enhance sleep quality.

How do you break insomnia? ›

Tips for Better Sleep
  1. Avoid electronics at night. And if possible, keep your phone or other devices out of the room you're sleeping in.
  2. Keep cool. ...
  3. Exercise. ...
  4. Get plenty of natural light during the day. ...
  5. Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and cigarettes. ...
  6. Use soothing sounds.
19 Mar 2018

How do I pass time with insomnia? ›

It's called middle-of-the-night insomnia, and it's frustrating.
  1. Watch mindless TV. ...
  2. Stick to a schedule. ...
  3. Read a book. ...
  4. Create white noise. ...
  5. Practice stress reduction techniques.
9 Jul 2021

What medications should you not take with melatonin? ›

Possible drug interactions include:
  • Anticoagulants and anti-platelet drugs, herbs and supplements. ...
  • Anticonvulsants. ...
  • Blood pressure drugs. ...
  • Central nervous system (CNS) depressants. ...
  • Diabetes medications. ...
  • Contraceptive drugs. ...
  • Cytochrome P450 1A2 (CYP1A2) and cytochrome P450 2C19 (CPY2C19) substrates. ...
  • Fluvoxamine (Luvox).

What are 4 risk factors of insomnia? ›

The major risk factors for insomnia are advancing age, family history of insomnia, female sex, lifestyle, and stress or worrying. Insomnia is a common condition with several risk factors.

What are the 3 types of insomnia? ›

Insomnia is most often classified by duration: Transient insomnia - Less than one month. Short-term insomnia – Between one and six months. Chronic insomnia – More than six months.

Who usually suffers insomnia? ›

Insomnia occurs more often in women than in men. Pregnancy and hormonal shifts can disturb sleep. Other hormonal changes, such as premenstrual syndrome (PMS) or menopause, can also can affect sleep. Insomnia becomes more common over the age of 60.

What kind of trauma causes insomnia? ›

The link between insomnia and PTSD

When examining the risk for developing moderate to severe insomnia, researches found that PTSD symptoms and fear of sleep accounted completely for the increased insomnia risk in those who experienced sexual trauma, physical assault, and sudden violent death.

Is insomnia a mental illness? ›

Insomnia is rarely an isolated medical or mental illness but rather a symptom of another illness to be investigated by a person and their medical doctors. In other people, insomnia can be a result of a person's lifestyle or work schedule.

Can melatonin cause insomnia? ›

Taking too much melatonin can actually cause rebound insomnia —either rendering the supplement ineffective or worse, exacerbating your already sleepless nights further. You only need tiny doses of melatonin to support your natural sleep cycle.

Will insomnia ever go away? ›

The short answer is: Yes, in many cases, insomnia can resolve without any help from a doctor — but it often depends on recognizing and addressing the multiple problems that can add up to a major disruption in sleep.

Can insomnia be inherited? ›

Specifically, researchers estimate that heritability accounts for 31% to 58% of your likelihood of experiencing insomnia. It isn't terribly surprising that insomnia has a genetic component. Your genes affect other aspects of sleep, too, such as how much sleep you need.

How do you break the insomnia pattern? ›

Tips for Better Sleep
  1. Avoid electronics at night. And if possible, keep your phone or other devices out of the room you're sleeping in.
  2. Keep cool. ...
  3. Exercise. ...
  4. Get plenty of natural light during the day. ...
  5. Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and cigarettes. ...
  6. Use soothing sounds.
19 Mar 2018

Can your brain recover from insomnia? ›

Sleep deprivation significantly impairs a range of cognitive and brain function, particularly episodic memory and the underlying hippocampal function. However, it remains controversial whether one or two nights of recovery sleep following sleep deprivation fully restores brain and cognitive function.

What triggers the brain to sleep? ›

Melatonin - a hormone released by the pineal gland - helps you feel sleepy once the lights go down.

Why does my body not let me sleep? ›

Insomnia, the inability to get to sleep or sleep well at night, can be caused by stress, jet lag, a health condition, the medications you take, or even the amount of coffee you drink. Insomnia can also be caused by other sleep disorders or mood disorders such as anxiety and depression.


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4. Extend Lifespan by Fixing Your Sleep (LIVE LONGER)
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