Insomnia Isn’t Always Caused By Something

Affecting up to 40% of adults in the United States every year, insomnia can be one of the most detrimental and deteriorating disorders a person has to deal with. Although there are many types of insomnia with many different factors contributing to their cause, one that can affect a person for their entire life is called idiopathic insomnia. There is no known cause of idiopathic insomnia, although scientists know that it is usually present from birth and surmise that it involves an underactive “sleep system in the brain.

Idiopathic insomnia usually exists without any other signifying mental or physical ailments and can thus be quite difficult to pinpoint and diagnose. It is usually characterized by multiple nighttime awakenings without cause, short amounts of sleeping time, and trouble falling asleep even when the body feels it is ready to do so. Luckily, because it is present from birth, many people with the disorder will have acclimated to it by adolescence and do not exhibit any social or medical difficulties as a result.

One of the most interesting things about idiopathic insomnia is that is has no apparent hereditary or genetic cause, and females and males are at equal risk for developing the disorder. Because there are many forms and causes of insomnia, it can be difficult for doctors to diagnose this particular one. Seeing your doctor is always the first step towards any treatment if you think you might have any kind of disorder. Your doctor will most likely have to run multiple tests multiple times to rule out any other forms of insomnia, as idiopathic insomnia is incredibly rare and difficult to diagnose. Treatment of idiopathic insomnia is similar to treating other insomnias, however it will only slightly relieve symptoms that would be completely alleviated in most other forms of the disorder.

Practicing good “sleep hygiene is probably the most important step you can take towards addressing any kind of sleep problem. This entails using relaxation techniques like deep breathing or meditation, having a comfortable and suitable sleeping environment (a comfortable bed with no lights or noises), and consistently laying down at the same time every night. Although these are not a “cure for any form of insomnia, and you may still awaken in the night, the quality of your sleep is likely to be much deeper and of better quality if you implement some of these practices.