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Mild insomnia ? I\'m a very light sleeper w/ trouble sleeping

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I am a very light sleeper. I need earplugs and a face mask in order to fall asleep. I don't take any medications to sleep but need it completely dark and quiet in the room. Is this within the range of normal behavior? Is there a physical or physchological reason for light sleeping?

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replied December 10th, 2007
Sleep Disorders Answer A3442
According to your description, you could be experiencing a mild form of insomnia. But I don’t see a problem if those earplugs and face mask help you to fall asleep. There could be many reasons for insomnia or “light sleeping” in your case:

1. Psychoactive drugs or stimulants, including certain medication, herbs, caffeine, cocaine, ephedrine, amphetamines, methylphenidate, MDMA, methamphetamine and modafinil;
2. Hormone shifts such as those that precede menstruation and those during menopause;
3. Psychological problems like fear, stress, anxiety, emotional or mental tension, work problems, financial stress, unsatisfactory sex life;
4. Mental Disorders such as clinical depression, bipolar disorder, general anxiety disorder;
5. Disturbances of the circadian rhythm, such as shift work and jet lag can cause an inability to sleep at some times of the day and excessive sleepiness at other times of the day. Jet lag is observed in people who travel through multiple time zones, as the time relative to the rising and setting of the sun no longer coincides with the body's internal concept of it. The insomnia experienced by shift workers is also a circadian rhythm sleep disorder;
6. Certain neurological disorders, brain lesions, or a history of Traumatic brain injury;
7. Medical conditions such as Hyperthyroidism and Wilson's syndrome;
8. Abuse of over-the counter or prescription sleep aids can produce "Rebound Insomnia";
9. Poor sleep hygiene;
10. Parasomnia, which includes a number of disruptive sleep events including nightmares, sleepwalking, violent behavior while sleeping, and REM behavior disorder, in which a person moves his/her physical body in response to events within his/her dreams;
11. A rare genetic condition can cause a prion-based, permanent and eventually fatal form of insomnia called fatal familial insomnia.

You can consult a psychiatrist about your condition.

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