Who is at Risk for Insomnia?

Insomnia mainly occurs due to behavioral, physical, or mental health issues. Sudden environmental and lifestyle changes are also major causes of insomnia.

Over 90 percent of people experience some type of insomnia at some point in their lives. Studies indicate that insomnia affects 1in 3 adults and 1 in 10 adults has chronic insomnia every year.

Several factors increase a person’s chances of developing insomnia.

People especially prone to insomnia include the following.

  • Gender:

    In general, insomnia is more common in women than men due to a number of hormonal in different stages of life. However older men have more disrupted sleep than older women.

  • Age:

    As a person ages, sleep becomes more fragmented. Complaints of insomnia are much more frequent in people over age 65 than in younger individuals due to physical weaknesses and other medical conditions.

  • Medical conditions:

    People, who have arthritis, asthma, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, hyperthyroidism, urinary disorders, heart conditions, hypertension, and other conditions that cause pain or discomfort, are more likely to get insomnia.

  • Medications:

    Insomnia is a side effect of many common medications. Among the many medications that can cause insomnia are antidepressants (fluoxetine, bupropion), theophylline, lamotrigine, felbamate, beta-blockers, and beta-agonists.

  • Drug or alcohol overuse:

    People who take more drugs or alcohol are more likely to suffer from insomnia. An estimated 10 -15% of chronic insomnia cases result from substance abuse, especially alcohol, cocaine, drugs and sedatives. Overuse of these things results in fragmented sleep. It also increases the risk for other sleep disorders, including sleep apnea and restless legs.

  • Psychological or emotional problems:

    People under severe depression or anxiety or other emotional distress are at a greater risk of insomnia.

  • Lifestyle:

    People who travel frequently and cross time zones, as well as night-shift workers and people who have different shifts are at higher risk of insomnia. A new phenomenon that is contributing to insomnia is Internet addiction.

  • Genetic factor:

    People with a family history of sleep disorders are at a risk of insomnia.

  • People with brain injuries