Tracing the Cause of a Sudden Sleep Disorder

The sudden onset of a sleep disorder or problem can be physical, mental or environmental. If after years of sleeping well, you find yourself unable to get a good night's sleep, you may have to track down what's causing your sudden sleep disorder.

Fear
In children, a sudden inability to sleep through the night is often caused by an intense fear:  Fear of dying, fear of tragedy and anxiety over not being able to prevent something bad from happening.

Children should be assured that they'll be safe while they sleep, and TV shows and movies that are especially gory and graphic should be avoided, especially close to bed time.

Change of Environment
Moving to a new house or even a different bedroom within a house can cause changes in the atmosphere that could lead to allergies and other environmental causes that could keep you awake at night.

If a sudden sleep problem is accompanied by snoring and breathing problems, consult your doctor about possible allergies or reactions to something in the environment and home.

Drinking and Smoking
There has been a direct correlation shown between alcohol and nicotine intake and snoring, sleep apnea and breathing problems that can awaken you throughout the night.

To eliminate drinking and smoking from the possible sleep inhibitors, cut out all alcoholic beverages and cut back on nicotine for several days.

Shift Work
Sudden changes in schedule to which you have to adapt your sleep patterns can cause a cycle of insomnia, fatigue, stress about lack of sleep and increased insomnia.

If shift work or schedule changes force you to sleep when you're not normally tired, use relaxation techniques to try to get sleep when your schedule allows.

Illness and Mental Health Issues
For unexplained sudden sleep disorders, consult a doctor about possible physical or mental illnesses that could be affecting your sleep.

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