Causes of Sleep Issues

The Causes of Sleep Problems

There are many reasons why you could be losing sleep at night. While occasional tossing and turning at night is normal, daily deprivation of much-needed rest can impact your energy levels, as well as your health.

Learn all about the various causes of sleep issues.

Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)

Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is the condition where you grind or clench your teeth. If you are suffering from bruxism, you may unconsciously gnash your teeth while you’re asleep. It’s estimated that 8% of adults grind their teeth at night.

People who are clenching their teeth while sleeping are more likely to suffer from other sleep disorders such as snoring and sleep apnea, or pauses in breathing. You may be suffering from sleep bruxism and remain unaware of it until serious complications, like TMJ or misalignment of your teeth or jaw, occur.

Emotional Upset

You already know that sleep affects your emotions. After experiencing a sleepless night, you may notice that you feel short-tempered and more irritable than usual. This happens because insufficient quality sleep can significantly affect your mood.

Lack of sleep can also cause the decrease of serotonin inside your brain. Serotonin is the chemical responsible for maintaining mood balance. Decreased levels of serotonin can make you feel irritated easily.

Lack of quality sleep can also result in elevated cortisol levels, the hormone responsible for increased stress. Increased cortisol level causes your heart to beat faster and your blood vessels to constrict. In addition, your muscles tense as if your body is preparing to meet a threat. As a result, the slightest nuisance can make you irritated.


There are times when you toss and turn for several hours but still can’t manage to fall asleep, even if you’re already tired. There are also some cases when you may wake up in the middle of the night and lie awake for hours. Chances are, you’re suffering from insomnia.

Insomnia is a very common sleep disorder. According to the National Sleep Foundation, around 1 in 3 people have at least mild insomnia. This is a serious problem that can take a toll on your mood and energy.

It also affects your ability to function and concentrate during the day. Plus, chronic insomnia can lead to more serious health problems such as anxiety, diabetes, and heart failure.

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a serious disorder that often goes unnoticed. The symptoms occur during sleep and are usually recognized by a partner or spouse who shares a bed with the undiagnosed sleep apnea patient.

It’s vital to seek a professional diagnosis and treatment for sleep apnea because it can lead to devastating health issues such as heart disease, strokes, and type II diabetes. You may also feel fatigued throughout the day and lose motivation to exercise or spend time with people you love.

The disorder wreaks havoc on your life by blocking your airway while you sleep, causing oxygen deprivation. Your body will wake you up briefly so you can breathe, interrupting your sleep and preventing you from reaching deep, restorative sleep cycles.

Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome

Before benign snoring can progress into sleep apnea, it first develops into Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome (UARS). It is estimated that 15% of the population in the United States are suffering from this problem.

UARS occurs when your breathing effort changes from simple and harmless snoring to a possible troublesome disorder. Snoring can be an indication that there’s a resistance occurring in your upper respiratory system. The greater the resistance is, the higher the breathing effort is to get past that resistance.

The causes of UARS and OSA are similar. UARS can be caused by the fatty tissues in your throat resulting in the blockage of your airway or the collapsing of the tongue while you sleep. However, compared to OSA, people with UARS need more effort to overcome the obstructions.

Not all people who suffer from UARS snore, but the symptoms of this disorder may sound like labored breathing while sleeping. UARS often starts as a harmless problem, but it’s important to take note that it can eventually progress to OSA if left untreated.

Joint Pain

Does your joint pain keep you staying up late at night? You’re not alone. The majority of people with chronic joint pain don’t sleep well at night. If you’re suffering from shoulder pain, knee pain, or back pain, it can affect the quality and quantity of your sleep.

Joint pain and stiffness that keep you up all night can trap you in a vicious cycle and make it more challenging for you to get some shut-eye. As a result, pain and insomnia can dominate your life.

If you’re not getting enough sleep because of joint pain, sleep deprivation can also lead to more health issues such as obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. The good news is that there are simple measures to help you sleep faster and stay asleep longer even if you’re suffering from insomnia and joint pain.

We Can Treat the Source of Your Sleep Troubles

At our practice, we’ve brought multiple sleep experts together to look at all angles of your sleep problems. Together, we can pinpoint the issues you’re having and locate the source, then provide effective solutions.

To begin your journey to better sleep, contact our office by calling [tracking-number] or by filling out our online contact form. We’re here to answer your questions and help you learn more about sleep disorders.