What are the causes of insomnia in adults?

A sound sleep of 8 hours every night is essential for maintaining good health. The time you are asleep is when your body is able to repair the damaged tissues and restore the normal functioning of all the organs.

Sleep is also essential to ease mental stress and improve your mood, especially when you have had a stressful day.

A refreshing sleep of 8 hours can ease mental stress and allow you to feel alert and energetic so that you can manage the problems you are facing with higher efficiency. It can also improve your mood and prevent irritability, anger, and frustration.

In short, the benefits of sound sleep are not limited to your physical self. It is also needed to improve your emotional health. However, most adults are deprived of this basic need. The number of adults complaining that they are unable to sleep has increased over the past few decades.

Keeping in mind the benefits a sound sleep can provide you with, it becomes essential to try to find the causes of insomnia and take steps to avoid them by using some trouble sleeping remedies.

Being aware of the causes of sleeplessness would also help you to avoid the complications of chronic insomnia such as depression, diabetes, hypertension, and heart attacks. Let us have a look at the most common causes of insomnia in adults.

Most Common Causes of Insomnia That You Should Not Ignore

Mental stress

Falling asleep can become too difficult when your mind is stressed thinking about the unfavourable situations in the office. Thinking about how you are going to meet the multiple demands of your career and personal life can also create mental stress and anxiety and prevent you from sleeping well.

Your mind may just keep worrying over the meetings you have to attend the next day or the ways to convince a prospective client and so on. These thoughts can prevent your mind and body from relaxing enough to help you get any sleep.

However, thinking about what happened during the day or what you need to do the next day can definitely not help ease your problems. It is also not conducive to help you fulfil your responsibilities, as keeping awake will only make you feel drowsy during the daytime and prevent you from working to the best of your abilities.

Instead of letting mental stress take hold of your mind and body, it is advisable to avoid this cause of insomnia by using a few drops of Jasmine oil or Sandalwood oil in an oil burner and letting the aromas fill the space that you are in. These oils have the ability to reduce mental stress and anxiety and help you sleep well.

Chronic pain

Pain in the back, neck, joints or any other part of the body can create discomfort and prevent you from falling asleep. Pain in the joints is very common in professionals who have to work sitting in front of a laptop for several hours. It can cause stiffness of the muscles and even affect the normal curvature of the spine, especially if you are sitting in a wrong posture.

If you are unable to sleep comfortably due to joint pains, you can try spraying Lavender oil in your bedroom before sleeping. This oil can calm your mind and also soothe the irritated nerves thus creating a natural pain-relieving effect. This would reduce joint pains and help you avoid sleep conditions.

Acid-reflux disease (GERD)

Eating spicy and fatty foods for dinner is a common cause of insomnia in adults. These foods can keep you awake by causing heartburn and pain in the abdomen.

Spicy and fatty foods cause irritation of the stomach mucosa resulting in a sensation of burning and pain. These symptoms can only intensify if you suffer from GERD or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disorder.

Fatty foods can also increase the secretion of acid in the stomach. Once you lie down to sleep, these acidic contents can travel backwards and enter the esophagus instead of moving forward towards the intestine.

This condition is called GERD.

The stomach contents entering into the esophagus can cause a burning sensation in the throat and prevent you from getting any sleep. This problem can be easily avoided by having your dinner at least 2 hours before bedtime and avoiding the intake of fatty and spicy foods.

You can also elevate your head by about 6 to 8 inches to create an incline that can prevent the backward flow of acidic stomach contents into the esophagus. These home remedies for sleep can be effective for preventing GERD and enable you to sleep well.

Inappropriate bedroom settings

Most adults are not able to get proper sleep at night simply due to the inappropriate conditions in the bedroom. The lights are kept switched on, even if it is a dim light, and external sounds can prevent you from falling asleep.

The lights emitted by smartphones and laptops can also cause sleeplessness. These lights can trick the brain into believing it’s still daytime and thus, prevent the relaxation of the mind and body that is needed to fall asleep.

Avoiding the use of smartphones and laptops for 2 hours before bedtime, keeping the lights switched off, and using eye masks and earplugs to block the lights and sounds are effective ways to avoid these causes of insomnia. 

Some other causes of insomnia in adults include:

  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Working in shifts
  • Jet lag
  • Extremely high or low temperature in your bedroom
  • Psychological conditions such as depression, bipolar disorder, and anxiety disorders


Sleeplessness as well as getting adequate sleep can make a huge difference to your physical and emotional health. Getting an adequate speed of 8 hours every night can enhance your body’s natural repair processes and improve your general health. It can also prevent fatigue and weakness thereby improving your daytime productivity.

On the other hand, sleeplessness can affect your emotional health, and keep you feeling irritated throughout the day. It can also increase your risk of depression and sleep anxiety by disturbing your mood.

Hence, it is important to take steps to identify the causes of insomnia and avoid them to ensure you can enjoy a sound, refreshing sleep of 8 hours every night.

Being aware of what helps you sleep well such as using essential oils like Jasmine, Vetiver, Sandalwood, and Lavender could allow you to feel relaxed, physically as well as mentally, and help you get a good night’s rest.


The information contained in this blog post is intended solely to provide general guidance on matters of interest for the personal use of the reader, who accepts full responsibility for its use. Please consult your physician or other health care professional regarding any treatments for your health issues.

  • March 28, 2019
  • Aruntha Vijay