Those at risk of increased insomnia are:
1) Women. The following factors may contribute to the condition in females:
- The menstrual cycle. Studies have found that 50% of menstruating women report bloating that disturb their sleep for 2-3 days during each cycle. Women who suffer from pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) may furthermore experience symptoms of anxiety, irritability or depression, which may lead to insomnia. The London Sleep Centre provides a more in-depth review of sleep in women.
- Menopause. Sleep patterns tend to change with menopause and insomnia becomes more common.
- Pregnancy. Sleeplessness is common during pregnancy, especially in the last trimester.
2) Elderly people. Ageing brings a change in sleeping patterns, resulting in typically lighter, more fitful sleep.
3) People with a history of depression and/or anxiety disorders.
Causes of insomnia
Reviewed by Dr Irshaad Ebrahim, specialist neuropsychiatrist in sleep disorders at The London Sleep Centre and The Constantia Sleep Centre. FRCPsych. April 2018.