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What causes sleep disorders?

The causes of sleep disorders vary. Insomnia, a common sleep disorder in which it is hard for you to get to sleep or stay asleep, can be caused by factors ranging from stress to eating a big meal before bed time. Narcolepsy, which can cause you to suddenly fall asleep during the day and experience muscle paralysis, has an unknown cause. It is suspected that narcolepsy has a genetic component.

Sleep disorders may be caused by any number of aspects. For example obstructive sleep apnea may be caused by a physical blockage in the nose or throat or combination of both, while central sleep apnea may be cause by a disturbance in the respiratory centers of the brain. Insomnia may be caused by either stress, anxiety, depression or pain. So there are both physical and mental causes of sleep disorders.   
Charles J. Sophy, MD
Adolescent Medicine
The following can be causes of sleep disorders:

•    Drug use
•    Medications
•    Other medical or psychiatric conditions
•    Poor sleep hygiene
•    Idiopathic causes
•    Stress
•    Caffeine/Stimulant use

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.