Difficulty Falling Asleep

What Causes Insomnia?

Insomnia can have various causes, ranging in severity from 'troubling' to 'very serious'.  Finding the true cause means ruling out or confirming each possibility – in other words, diagnosis.

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Diagnosis is usually a complex process due to the sheer number of possible causes and related symptoms.  In order to diagnose insomnia, we could:

  • Research the topic
  • Find a doctor with the time
  • Use a diagnostic computer system.
The process is the same, whichever method is used.

Step 1: List all Possible Causes

We begin by identifying the disease conditions which have "insomnia" as a symptom.  Here are eight of many possibilities (more below):
  • Food Allergies
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Magnesium Need
  • Anxiety
  • Copper Toxicity
  • Hyponatremia / Salt Intake Need
  • Dehydration
  • Chronic Fatigue-Fibromyalgia

Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist

We then identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
frequent 'chills'
jumpiness
occasional confusion/disorientation
low energy/stamina
frequent swollen inguinal nodes
several past abortions
gallbladder attacks
high diastolic blood pressure
gradual decline in speaking ability
occasional bowel movement changes
diuretic use
history of leg/foot cramping
... and more than 160 others

Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause

A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of insomnia:
Cause Probability Status
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder 95% Confirm
Anxiety 15% Unlikely
Magnesium Need 15% Unlikely
Food Allergies 1% Ruled out
Copper Toxicity 1% Ruled out
Dehydration 1% Ruled out
Chronic Fatigue-Fibromyalgia 0% Ruled out
Hyponatremia / Salt Intake Need 0% Ruled out
* This is a simple example to illustrate the process

Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis

The Analyst™ is our online diagnosis tool that learns all about you through a straightforward process of multi-level questioning, providing diagnosis at the end.

If you indicate sleeping-related problems, The Analyst™ will ask further questions including this one:
Do you have Insomnia (difficulty falling asleep)?
Possible responses:
→ No / don't know
→ Occasionally
→ Often
→ Very often / always
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate either difficulty falling asleep or frequent difficulty falling asleep, The Analyst™ will consider possibilities such as:
Dehydration

Dehydration can cause insomnia through a variety of mechanisms.  It causes increased heart rate, headaches, body and muscles aches, and anxiety – all of which make it harder to sleep comfortably.  Dehydration also leads to a deficiency of melatonin, which is a major cause of insomnia because it regulates our circadian rhythm (sleep/wake cycle).  Dehydration reduces the amount of tryptophan available to the pineal gland, which produces melatonin.

Drinking ½ a pint to a pint (250 to 500ml) of water about an hour before sleeping will allow most of it to pass through the body and leave enough to run the body's natural processes while sleeping.

Magnesium Requirement

Early symptoms of magnesium deficiency can include fatigue, anorexia, irritability, insomnia, and muscle tremors or twitching.

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