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Insomnia

Insomnia may be temporary and stem from a simple cause, such as jet lag. Short-term insomnia may also be caused by an illness, a stressful event, or drinking too much coffee. Many medications have insomnia as a side effect.

Snoring and Sleep Apnea

When you fall asleep, many muscles in your body relax. If the muscles in your throat relax too much, your breathing may be blocked and you may snore. Sometimes, snoring is caused by allergies, asthma, or nasal deformities that make breathing difficult.

Pregnancy and Sleep

Fatigue during the first trimester of pregnancy is likely due to changing levels of hormones, such as progesterone. Toward the end of pregnancy, some women find it difficult to sleep due to the uncomfortable size of their abdomen. Some women are too excited, anxious, or worried about becoming mothers to sleep well. Other women who are pregnant complain that vivid dreams prevent them from getting restful sleep. Sleep apnea, especially if it's severe and causes your blood oxygen level to drop during sleep, is a risk to the fetus.

Narcolepsy

The cause of narcolepsy is not clear. Genetic and environmental factors likely play a role, although the data on genetic factors is still speculative and not well studied. There are some rare nerve disorders that may be linked to narcolepsy.

Restless Legs Syndrome

There are many possible causes of restless legs syndrome, including kidney failure, nerve disorders, vitamin and iron deficiencies, pregnancy, and some medications (such as antidepressants). About 50% of those who have restless legs syndrome have relatives with the same condition.

Nightmares and Night Terrors

Nightmares can be triggered by a frightening or stressful event, a fever or illness, or use of some medications or alcohol. Night terrors are most common in children but can affect adults who are experiencing emotional or psychological problems.

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Archived: March 20, 2014

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Read the Original Article: Understanding Sleep Problems -- The Basics