Difficulty falling asleep and insomnia is unfortunately a very common problem that people experience. In order to receive a complete evaluation, it is important for you to make an appointment to see your doctor
so that he or she can obtain a more detailed history, perform a physical exam, and run any tests that are indicated. It may even be best to undergo a sleep study in order to fully elucidate what is causing your sleep issues.
In terms of causes of insomnia, there are many behavioral, psychiatric, and other medical conditions that may underlie the problem. The first of these is best treated with what is called sleep hygiene practices. This includes discontinuing caffeine and alcohol use, as these can interfere with sleep, only exercising in the morning, going to sleep at the same time every night and waking up at the same time in the morning, using your bed only for sleep, and if you can't fall asleep, leaving your room to perform another activity before returning and trying to sleep again, not eating large meals before bed, and making sure your sleeping environment is dark and comfortable. Following these guidelines, many people are able to obtain a normal night's sleep after a few days.
Other causes of insomnia that are more concerning include psychiatric conditions, such as anxiety and depression. Anxiety is often associated with difficulty falling asleep, and depression is often associated with waking up very early in the morning and not being able to return to sleep, although either of these conditions can cause these symptoms. If you feel that this is the cause of your insomnia, it will be important for you to make an appointment to speak with a psychiatrist
and receive treatment for your condition.
Finally, other medical causes of poor sleep include an overactive thyroid gland (called hyperthyroidism), adrenal problems
(such as Cushing's disease), and obstructive sleep apnea (which can cause many small awakenings due to lack of breathing that may be unnoticeable) to name a few.
As mentioned above, I would start by practicing good sleep hygiene techniques. However, I would also make an appointment to see your doctor, as there could be a more concerning underlying cause of your insomnia.