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Sudden Insomnia: Causes and Solutions

Sandeep Dhanyamraju MD
Medically reviewed by Sandeep Dhanyamraju
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Sandeep Dhanyamraju MD
Medically reviewed by Sandeep Dhanyamraju

Everyone knows from childhood that good sleep is important for health. Parents told everyone that it is necessary to go to bed on time so that we grow in sleep. This is certainly an important, but not the only, advantage of a night’s rest. Sleep also produces substances and hormones necessary for the body.

A typical situation: you get up early in the morning feeling fatigued and brokenness. You dream of going to bed on time all day at work and getting a good night’s sleep. Here is the long-awaited evening. Instead, you can not relax. You spend hours tossing, turning, counting sheep, and trying to fall asleep. As a result, only in the morning do you forget for a couple of hours of restless sleep. And again, you get up with the feeling that you did not even lie down – everything repeats in a circle.

If this condition repeats systematically, it seems that you have insomnia. Read our article below to learn all about sudden insomnia onset.

Sudden Insomnia Onset

Sudden insomnia onset refers to the abrupt and unexpected inability to fall asleep or stay asleep. It is in contrast to the usual sleep patterns of an individual. This condition can disrupt a person’s sleep-wake cycle and lead to sleepless nights. It makes them tired, irritable, and mentally strained during the day. Sudden insomnia onset can occur due to various factors, including:

  • stress;
  • anxiety;
  • medical conditions;
  • lifestyle changes, or even certain medications. 

Identifying the underlying cause of this sudden disruption in sleep patterns is essential.

Insomnia has a very strong impact on well-being, work productivity, and mood. The consequences of sleep problems can be:

  • Stress. The stress hormone cortisol increases with sleep deprivation. Because of this, a person becomes irritable and nervous.
  • Appearance. Lack of sleep has a detrimental effect on the condition and color of the skin. Do not contribute to the attractiveness of reddened, puffy eyes.
  • Being overweight is not just that: “did not go to bed on time to eat junk food.” After a sleepless night, the body somehow tries to restore strength, requiring more caloric food. Overeating is a faithful companion to a bout of insomnia. In addition, some hormones are not produced if you do not sleep, which greatly affects metabolism.
  • Brain disorders – lack of sleep prevents you from thinking, concentrating, and solving even the simplest tasks.
  • Aging – sleep is necessary for cell regeneration repair processes. If this does not happen, the body systems wear out much faster.

Insomnia also markedly increases the risk of heart attack and stroke. It disrupts the process of bone formation and information processing. On such an unfavorable background, they can develop a variety of diseases.

What Causes Sudden Insomnia?

a woman is sitting on a bed and suffering from insomnia

Insomnia can have a variety of causes, but they all fall into two main groups: physiological and psychological. However, there are other causes, like environmental. Sometimes, insomnia lasts for several days and disappears spontaneously. This may indicate the effect of temporary factors, such as severe stress or a time zone change. Sleep disturbance can also cause uncomfortable conditions for rest: 

  • unpleasant odors;
  • too high or low temperature in the room;
  • light, extraneous noises, and unfamiliar surroundings. 

The causes of sleep disorders are numerous. Insomnia can happen because of:

  • physical or mental illness;
  • poor sleep hygiene;
  • nervous tension;
  • fluctuations in hormone levels;
  • frequent flights with a change of time zones or night work schedule, and the use of alcohol;
  • psychostimulants, and some drugs. 

So you can read further to discover possible reasons for sudden insomnia onset.

Psychological factors

If there are no pathologies, but insomnia is present, the causes may be psychological. For example, strong excitement, nervous tension, and stress can deprive sleep for a long time or make it intermittent. Neuroses, anxiety states, and depression also do not give normal sleep. 

Problems with sleep appear in people who have long and hard to solve an important task. Here, the inertia mechanism becomes triggered, and the brain can not relax for long. Sometimes, sleep problems are the result of hereditary predisposition.

Environmental factors

Environmental factors can play a significant role in causing sudden insomnia. These factors encompass various external conditions and influences in a person’s surroundings. They can negatively impact their ability to fall or stay asleep. Some common environmental factors that can contribute to a bout of insomnia include:

  • Loud noises from traffic, construction, neighbors, or other sources can disturb sleep. They make it challenging to fall or stay asleep.
  • Excessive light from streetlights or devices can disrupt the body’s natural circadian rhythm. They inhibit melatonin production, a hormone that regulates sleep.
  • Uncomfortable temperatures in the sleeping environment can lead to restlessness.  High humidity levels make it difficult to maintain sleep.


Physiological factors

Medical problems often affect insomnia. These include various medical conditions such as:

The group of other physiologic causes for sudden insomnia onset includes:

  • Diseases accompanied by pain sensations. As a rule, pain increases at night, so a person can not sleep or constantly wakes up.
  • Disorders in the thyroid gland – there is even a special term, “hormonal insomnia”. It develops against the background of a failure in the production of hormones.
  • Menopause in women is another manifestation of imbalance plus fever, sweating, and palpitations.
  • Diabetes mellitus is a decrease in blood sugar concentration that triggers a defense mechanism. A person wakes up with a feeling of a strong sense of hunger. There is profuse sweating.
  • Apnea is stopping breathing in sleep. Breathing stops, and the person wakes up and can not fall asleep for a long time. Such a condition can be life-threatening.

Another physiological cause of a bout of insomnia is restless legs syndrome, which often develops in pregnancy. Iron deficiency in the body and kidney failure lead to these problems also.

How Long Does Insomnia Last?

The duration of insomnia can vary significantly from person to person. It depends on several factors, including:

  • its underlying causes;
  • the effectiveness of the chosen treatments or interventions.

Insomnia can be classified into two main categories: short-term (acute) and long-term (chronic).

Short-term insomnia typically lasts for a few nights to a few weeks. Specific events or stressors, such as work-related pressure or a traumatic incident, often trigger it. Temporary changes in sleep patterns can also be a reason. It tends to resolve independently as the triggering factors are addressed or as the body naturally adjusts.

Sudden insomnia onset, on the other hand, persists for at least three nights a week for three months or longer. It can be caused by various factors, including:

  • medical conditions;
  • psychological issues;
  • lifestyle habits. 

Chronic insomnia often requires more comprehensive treatment approaches. Cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) works very well. Medications address the underlying causes and improve sleep patterns.

Solutions for a Bout of Insomnia

a woman is lying in bed and is about to take a pill

The first step to getting rid of sleep disorders is to create a comfortable sleeping environment. You need to find a solution to psychological problems. Remember to restore health (correcting and treating the underlying disease), but this may not be enough.

You should look closer at your habits, as sometimes “fighting insomnia” exacerbates your sleep problems. A few simple changes in your lifestyle and daily habits can help you get rid of your sleep problems. Here are some tips to help you eliminate a bout of insomnia:

  • set a regular bedtime: it will help you to adjust your biological clock;
  • create all conditions for a comfortable rest: make your bed with clean bedding, air the room, if necessary, put an aroma lamp;
  • take a warm shower before going to bed;
  • do not eat “heavy food” 2 hours before bedtime, but also very hungry, do not go to bed;
  • before going to bed, drink a glass of warm milk with honey or soothing tea, and the use of coffee, alcohol, and smoking should be excluded;
  • make sure that the bedroom is designed only for sleeping – a place quiet, dark and cool, conducive to healthy rest. Do not use it TV, computer and do not work;
  • do not engage in activities that can overexcite the nervous system.

It was just a general overview, and you can read more further tips to get rid of sudden insomnia onset.

Medical treatments

Medical treatments for a bout of insomnia include prescription medications, such as:

  • sedative-hypnotics;
  • over-the-counter sleep aids. 

These options can provide short-term relief but may have side effects and the risk of dependency. Consult a healthcare professional to determine the most suitable and safe medical treatment.

Natural remedies

Natural remedies for insomnia include:

  • maintaining a consistent sleep schedule;
  • reducing caffeine intake;
  • practicing relaxation techniques;
  • using herbal supplements like valerian root;
  • limiting screen time before bed. 

These drug-free approaches can help improve sleep quality and are effective for mild or occasional insomnia.

Routine changes

It involves establishing a consistent sleep schedule by going to bed and waking up at the same time daily. Avoiding naps, reducing caffeine and alcohol consumption, and limiting stimulating activities before bedtime can help regulate the body’s internal clock, making it easier to fall asleep and combat a bout of insomnia.


You should take sleep disorders seriously because they can indicate certain disorders in the body. Timely referral to a doctor can identify the cause of insomnia and cope with it, and thus allow yourself to have a normal night’s rest, recovery, and well-being during the day. So do not hesitate to contact Lone Star Neurology!


What is sudden insomnia, and how does it differ from chronic insomnia?

Sudden insomnia is an abrupt and unexpected difficulty in falling asleep or staying asleep, often linked to a specific trigger. Chronic insomnia persists over an extended period, typically for at least three months.

Can stress or diet cause a sudden onset of insomnia?

Yes, stress and certain dietary factors, such as caffeine or heavy meals close to bedtime, can contribute to the sudden onset of insomnia.

How long does a typical bout of insomnia last, and when should I see a doctor?

A typical bout of insomnia may last from a few nights to a few weeks. If it persists longer or significantly affects daily life, consult a doctor.

What is the role of cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) in treating chronic sleep problems?

CBT-I is a highly effective non-drug therapy that targets chronic insomnia’s underlying causes and behaviors. It helps individuals develop healthier sleep habits and address psychological factors contributing to sleep issues.

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Edward Medina
Edward Medina
15:34 30 Jun 22
Just such an amazing staff that makes you feel like part of their family. I’ve been going there for over 5 years now... and each visit I get the very best care and treatments that I have ever received in the 20+ years that I’ve been dealing with severe debilitating migraines. Since i started seeing them the number of my migraines has dropped from 15-20 a month to 2-3 every 3 month. I highly recommend them …they will change your life!read more
Daneisha Johnson
Daneisha Johnson
22:20 19 May 22
Dr. Askari was very kind and explained everything so I could understand. The other staff were nice as well. I would... have gave 5 stars but I was a little taken aback when I checked in and had to pay 600.00 upfront. I think that should have been discussed in a appointment confirmation call or email just so I could have been more
Jean Cooper
Jean Cooper
16:54 29 Apr 22
I love the office staff they are friendly and very helpful. Dr. JODIE is very caring and understanding to your needs... and wants to help you. I will go back. would recommend Dr. Dr. Jodie to other Patients in a heart beat. The team works well more
Linda M
Linda M
19:40 02 Apr 22
I was obviously stressed, needing to see a neurologist. The staff was so patient and Dr. Ansari was so kind. At one... point he told me to relax, we have time, when I was relaying my history of my condition. That helped ease my stress. I have seen 3 other neurologists and he was the only one who performed any assessment tests on my cognitive and physical skills. At one point I couldn't complete two assessments and got upset and cried. I was told, it's OK. That's why you're here. I was truly impressed, and super pleased with the whole experience!read more
Leslie Durham
Leslie Durham
15:05 01 Apr 22
I've been coming here for about 5 years. The staff are ALWAYS friendly and knowledgeable. The Doctors are the absolute... best!! Jodie Moore is always in such a great mood which is a plus when you are already stressed. Highly recommendedread more
Monica Del Bosque
Monica Del Bosque
14:13 25 Mar 22
Since my first post my thoughts have changed here. It's unfortunate. My doctor and PA were great, but the office staff... is horrible. They never call you back when they say they will, they misinform you, they cause you too much stress wondering what's going on, they don't keep you posted. They never answer the phone. At this point I've left four messages in the last week, and I have sent three messages. Twice from their portal and one direct email. No response. My appointment is on Monday morning at 8:30am, no confirmation on my insurance and what's going on. What the heck is going on, this is ridiculous!I've given up... the stress her office staff has put me through is just not worth it. You can do so much better, please clean house, either change out your office staff, or find a way for them to be more efficient please. You have to do something. This is not how you want to run your practice. It leaves a very bad impression on your more
Ron Buckholz
Ron Buckholz
23:32 23 Mar 22
I was actually pleasantly surprised with this visit! It took me a long time to get the appointment scheduled because no... one answers your phones EVER! After a month, I finally got in, and your staff was warm, friendly, and I was totally impressed! I feel like you will take care of my needs!read more
Steve Nabavi
Steve Nabavi
16:28 16 Mar 22
It was a nice visit. Happy staff doing all they can do to comfort the patients in a very calming environment. You ask... me they are earned a big gold star on the fridge. My only complaint they didn't give me any more
Katie Lewis
Katie Lewis
16:10 10 Feb 22
Had very positive appointments with Jodie and Dr. Sheth for my migraine care. Jodie was so fast with the injections and... has so much valuable info. I started to feel light headed during checkout and the staff was SO helpful—giving me a chair, water, and taking me into a private room until I felt better. Highly recommend this practice for migraine patients, they know what they’re doing!!read more
Joshua Martinez
Joshua Martinez
16:02 10 Dec 21
I was scheduled to be checked and just want to say that the staff was fantastic. They were kind and helpful. I was... asked many questions related to what was going on and not once did I feel as though I was being brushed off. The front desk staff was especially great in assisting me. I'm scheduled to go back for a mri and am glad that I'll be going more
Isabel Ivy
Isabel Ivy
21:42 03 Nov 21
I had such a good experience with Lone Star Neurology, Brent my MRI Tech was so awesome and made sure I was very... comfortable during the appointment. He gave me ear plugs, a pillow, leg support and blanket, easiest MRI ever lol 🤣 My 72 hour EEG nurse Amanda was also so awesome. She made sure I was take care of over the 3 days and took her time with the electrodes to make sure it was comfortable for me! Paige was also a huge help in answering all my questions when it came to my test results, and letting me know her honest opinions about how I should go forth with my more
Leslie Luce
Leslie Luce
17:37 20 Oct 21
The professionalism and want to help attitude of this office was present from the moment I contacted them. The follow... up and follow through as well as their willingness to find a way to schedule my dad was above and beyond. We visited two offices in the same day with the same experience. I am appreciative of this—we spend a lot of time with doctors and this was top notch start to more
robert Parker
robert Parker
16:38 16 Apr 21
I love going to this office. The staff is friendly and helpful. The doctor is great. I am getting the best... neurological tests and treatment I have ever had. The only reason I did not give them a 5 star rating is because it is impossible to reach a live person at the office to reschedule appointments. Every time I have tried to get through to the office it says all people are busy and I am sent to a voicemail. If they could get their phone answering fixed, I would give them a strong 5 more
MaryAnn Hornbaker
MaryAnn Hornbaker
00:26 25 Feb 21
Dr. Harney is an excellent Dr. I found him friendly , personable and thorough. I evidently am an unusual case. ... Therefore he spent a Hugh amount of time educating me. He even gave me literature to further explain my condition and how to follow up. This is something you rarely get from your doctors. So I am more than please with my doctor and his more
Roger Arguello
Roger Arguello
03:05 29 Jan 21
Always courteous, professional. The staff is very friendly and always work with you to find the best appointment time.... The care team has been great. Always taking the time to listen to your concerns and to find the best more
Margaret Rowland
Margaret Rowland
01:12 27 Jan 21
I have been a patient at Lone Star Neurology for several years. Now both my adult daughters also are patients there. I... love Jodie. She is always so prompt whether it is a teleamed call are a visit in the office. She takes the time to explain everything to me and answers all my questions. I am so blessed to have Jodie as my more
Susan Miller
Susan Miller
03:01 13 Jan 21
My husband had an accident 5 years ago and Lone Star Neurology has been such a blessing to us with my husbands care.... Jodie Moore is his provider and she is amazing! Jodie is very knowledgeable, caring, and thorough. She takes her time with you, making sure your needs are met and she is happy to answer any questions you may have. Lone Star Neurology’s patients are very lucky to have Jodie providing their care. Thank you Lone Star Neurology and especially Jodie for everything you have done for us. Jodie, you are the best!read more
Windalyn C
Windalyn C
01:32 09 Jan 21
Jodie is wonderful. She is very caring and knowledgeable. I have been to over a dozen neurologists, and none were able... to help me as much as they have here. Thanks!read more
Katie Kordel
Katie Kordel
00:40 09 Jan 21
Jodi Moore, nurse practitioner, is amazing. I have suffered from frequent, debilitating headaches for almost 20 years.... She has provided the best proactive and responsive care I have ever received. My quality of life has been greatly improved by her caring approach and tenacity in finding more
Ellie Natsis
Ellie Natsis
15:41 07 Jan 21
I have had the best experience at this neurologist's office! For over a year I have been receiving iv treatments here... each month and my nurse, Bobbie is beyond wonderful!! She's so attentive, knowledgeable, caring, and detail oriented. She makes an otherwise uncomfortable experience much more pleasant and definitely puts me at ease! She also helps me with my insurance,ordering this specialty medication and dealing with the ordering process which is no easy feat.Needless to say, she goes above a beyond in every way and I'm so grateful to this office and to Bobbie for all they do for me!read more
Matt Morris
Matt Morris
15:39 07 Jan 21
Let me start by saying that I have been coming here for years. Due to my autoimmune disease, I am in this office... once every three weeks for multiple hours at a time. The office is very clean and the staff very friendly. My only complaint would be there communication via phone. They aren't the best at responding if you leave a voicemail and expect a call back. I understand that this is prob just due to the sheer number of alls they receive daily. What I can say I like the best about the office are the people. Bobby who handles my infusions is great. I never have any issues with her setting up my infusions. She is very quick to reply to messages sent via text and if she were to leave then my whole opinion of the office may change. I also enjoy people like Matt, Lauren, and Jodi. I appreciate all that they do for me and without this team I'm not sure I would be as happy as I am to visit the office as frequently as I have to. Please ensure that these folks are recognized as they are what makes my visit to this office so tolerable :).read more
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