Research points to a global prevalence of acute (short-term) insomnia in approximately 30% of the adult population, with chronic insomnia (insomnia disorder) affecting approximately 10% of the population.
Insomnia is common in women, older adults and people with medical and mental-health problems. It also occurs more frequently in people who work irregular shifts or who have disabilities.
Personal or work stress, noise, drug and substance abuse, and the use of certain medications (e.g. certain antidepressants, beta blockers and corticosteroids) may contribute to insomnia.
Reviewed by Dr Irshaad Ebrahim, specialist neuropsychiatrist in sleep disorders at The London Sleep Centre and The Constantia Sleep Centre. FRCPsych. April 2018.