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Lack of sleep leads to lapses in concentration, irritability and irrationality amongst other things. Insomnia is not a single night or even several nights of disturbed sleep, but a persistent pattern of short-sleeping which leaves the sufferer feeling unrested, worn out, and ragged round the edges.

Most people who complain of insomnia do in fact get some sleep, but not as much as they would like. Insomnia can be due to having to get up during the night to pass urine, due to prostate problems or during pregnancy; or the cause may be too many late meals, too much caffeine, a food allergy, overindulgence in alcohol or drugs or something as simple as an airless or overheated bedroom.

Often the causes are emotional. Anxiety caused by pressure of work or financial problems, depression, grief or too much excitement. Coming off sleeping pills or tranquillizers can also cause insomnia. In fact, one of the commonest causes of insomnia is fear of not being able to sleep.

Another commonly recognized cause of problems is snoring, sleep apnoea, in which breathing stops for a short time, then starts again and difficulty in breathing through the nose. Snoring can be reduced by avoiding alcohol and sedatives, and cutting down smoking and losing weight.

Other sleep disorders include nightmares, night terrors, sleepwalking, sleep-talking, rocking, head banging, grinding teeth, restless legs and disturbed breathing.

Links to positive findings for homeopathy for this medical condition are found at BHA .