Question: why do some people have sleeping problems?

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  1. The need to sleep and when to sleep is regulated by a cycle. This cycle is known as a circadian rhythm ( When that cycle is interrupted this can result in sleep problems (otherwise known as insomnia). Insomnia can be either that someone can’t fall asleep, or when they do sleep, the sleep is poor quality.

    There are many, many reasons people can have problems sleeping. Problems with sleep are usually symptoms of an underlying problem. Some disorders that can give rise to problems with sleep include: Sleep rhythm disorders, where the normal circadian cycle/cycle of being awake and resting is interrupted (due to either a physical problem or sometimes abnormal hormone or chemical levels); sleep aponea, where someone has trouble breathing in their sleep and then wake up continuously due to this; or restless leg syndrome.

    Worrying and stress, too much caffeine and jet lag from travel can also cause sleeping problems. Being ovestimulated is a big problem – if you do something right before bed that makes you excited and raises your heart rate, it can be very hard to sleep! There are many other medical conditions where sleeping problems are a side effect of the disease.


  2. Nicely covered by Janette. Stress and worry would be the main ones in modern times I’d say. The modern world expects a lot of us and at times it can be too much.


  3. Another comprehensive answer from Janette. Something interesting that I recently found out about sleep is that It’s impossible to tell if someone is really awake or asleep without medical supervision. People can take cat naps with their eyes open without even being aware of it! Isn’t that crazy? Although it might explain the behaviour of some people in some meetings that I have been in…


  4. Melatonin is the hormone produced by the pineal gland that is responsible for helping to regulate sleep patterns by lowering body temperature and causing drowsiness. Melatonin production is inhibted when light reaches the eye and its production is increased by darkness, so it plays a role in the circadium rhythm mentioned by Janette.


  5. All sorts of things can disrupt your regular sleep cycle from barking dogs to noisy neighbours to stress to caffeine to hormone levels to lumpy mattress. Exercise and sunlight help regulate your sleeping cycle, but nothing is guaranteed.

    Lack of sleep can cause decreased cognitive ability, such as acting stupid, feeling clumsy. Since there are so many possible causes of why the cyclle can be broken, it can take a long time to find a good fix.