Causes of sleep difficulties
Wellness Hub

What are the causes of sleep problems?

door Floris Biesemans op Feb 06, 2023

A sleep problem is defined as regular difficulty falling asleep, sleeping through, or experiencing restless sleep. If you have difficulty falling asleep or sleeping through and it affects your daily functioning, chances are you have a sleep problem. Additionally, if you are fatigued and your sleep quality is worse over a period of time than before, this could also be a sign of a sleep problem. Read here how common sleep problems are in Belgium and the Netherlands. If you regularly experience problems getting a good night's sleep, it is important to identify the cause. Some common causes of sleep problems are listed below:

Stress and anxiety

Stress and anxiety are two major factors that can negatively affect sleep quality. When we are stressed or anxious, we produce more adrenaline and cortisol, two hormones that activate the body and keep us awake. This can cause us to have difficulty falling asleep or wake often during the night. In addition, anxiety and stress can keep us preoccupied with worry and anxiety, making it difficult for us to relax and causing the sleep we get to be restless and unsatisfying. It is important to address stress and anxiety in order to improve sleep quality and prevent sleep problems.

Medical conditions

Medical conditions can have a major impact on sleep quality and cause sleep problems. Many conditions, such as sleep apnea, fibromyalgia and arthritis, can negatively affect sleep quality by causing physical discomfort or irregularities. Conditions such as depression, anxiety and pain can also indirectly contribute to sleep problems by increasing feelings of anxiety and stress or making the body uncomfortable. In addition, some medications taken for medical conditions can affect sleep and cause sleep problems. It is important to talk to a doctor about how medical conditions and medications can affect sleep and what can be done to reduce sleep problems.


Stimulants such as caffeine and nicotine can negatively affect sleep quality and cause sleep problems. Caffeine, commonly found in coffee, tea, cola and chocolate, increases alertness and reduces sleepiness. It is therefore important to limit how much caffeine one ingests, especially in the afternoon and evening, to avoid sleep problems. Nicotine is also a stimulant and has a similar effect on sleep. It is important to remember that alcohol can also have a negative impact on sleep, although it can sometimes promote sleep in the short term, it can reduce sleep quality and lead to sleep problems. It is therefore advisable to limit how much alcohol one drinks, especially before bedtime.

Vitamin B12 deficiency

Vitamin B12 plays an important role in the regulation of the sleep-wake cycle, and vitamin B12 deficiency can cause sleep problems, insomnia and nightmares. Vitamin B12 helps in the production of melatonin, the sleep hormone responsible for determining the sleep-wake cycle. When vitamin B12 is deficient, it can lead to sleep-wake cycle disruption and sleep problems, such as difficulty falling asleep or falling through the night. Vitamin B12 is found in animal products such as meat, fish, milk and eggs, and can also be taken through supplements. It is important to consume a healthy amount of vitamin B12 to reduce sleep problems and promote good sleep quality.

Vitamin D3 deficiency

Sun vitamins

Vitamin D3 plays an important role in the regulation of the sleep-wake cycle, so vitamin D3 deficiency can cause sleep problems.

Vitamin D3 is involved in the production of serotonin and dopamine, neurotransmitters that help determine the sleep-wake cycle and feelings of happiness. When vitamin D3 is deficient, it can cause insomnia, i.e. difficulty falling asleep or sleeping through. Vitamin D3 can be obtained through exposure to sunlight or through consumption of animal products such as fish and eggs, or by taking supplements. It is important to consume a healthy amount of vitamin D3 to reduce sleep problems and promote good sleep quality.

It is important to remember that sleep problems often have multiple causes. Therefore, it is recommended that you seek help from a doctor or sleep expert, who can help you identify the causes of your sleep problems and develop a treatment plan. Wondering how gummies can help your problems disappear? Be sure to also read our blog Sleep problems - what is it and how do you get rid of them?

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