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Self-help program

What causes insomnia?

There may be several reasons behind insomnia. Many medical conditions or stressful situations, including changes in personal circumstances, contribute to sleepless nights.

Common causes of insomnia

Health-related causes:

  • increased urination (during, for example, pregnancy)
  • changes relating to menopause
  • aches and pains
  • depression
  • anxiety
  • sleep apnea
  • restless legs syndrome

Other causes:

  • stress, worry and anxiety
  • bereavement/grief
  • environmental factors such as bedroom light levels and temperature
  • irregular sleep pattern due to shift work, for example
  • reduced need for sleep as a result of aging