The most common causes of insomnia include include mood and anxiety disorders, physical conditions such as heart disease and hormone problems. However, for students, it seems to be their lifestyle that is causing the problem.
Dominic Phelan, History & Politics student at the University of Sheffield, believes he has suffered from insomnia since his first year of studies.
“First of all, I think university life as a whole has caused this. It ranges from everything, from the way I eat to the worry of future deadlines.
“There seems to be an inability to shut my mind off at night whilst at university. I find myself sitting around listening to music or watching films at 3am every night.
“As far as deadlines go, everyone has that stressful week or two where they feel like their world is crashing down. Emails from tutors, thousands of words, not knowing when your next night of enjoyment is coming. But that’s all part of the student fun, isn’t it?”
Dominic is by no means the only student to have developed insomnia since starting university. Gregory Gibson, Sociology student at Sheffield Hallam University, never had any problems with sleeping before moving to Sheffield.
“I’m not really sure why but ever since I moved to university, I’ve had problems sleeping. I think the sleeping pattern whilst here can get really out of hand if you aren’t careful.
“Staying up talking rubbish to your mates until the early hours, and then waking up for a 9am seminar always results in sleeping the day away after. It’s eventually resulted in me struggling to get to sleep altogether.
Greg, 22, added that “nowadays, unless I’ve been on a night out and had a fair bit to drink, I can’t sleep. Needing alcohol to simply fall asleep is a scary thought.”
James Mason, now 24 years-old, graduated from the University of Bristol two years ago. He too suffered from insomnia during his studies.
“I had a problem for about a year and a half whilst I was in Bristol. I never pinned it down to anything except the lifestyle. Too many late nights and early mornings, which ultimately led to me starting to stay up rather than getting a couple of hours sleep.
“I had the issue until about six months after returning home when things got back to a normal routine again.”
In terms of advice, James added that “there is help out there for people who suffer with insomnia, nobody should suffer in silence. I found it was quite a common problem.
“I would try forcing yourself to be in bed at a reasonable hour, and trying to wake up early, so you will then hopefully be tired by the following night. A proper diet of three meals a day will help too, but I know that’s difficult in the student lifestyle.”
If you’re suffering from symptoms of insomnia, you should go visit your GP as soon as possible to determine what the cause of these symptoms might be.
Futhermore, you can head to http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Insomnia/Pages/Introduction
for full information on symptoms, causes and treatment for the condition.