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Sleep Disorders

Updated 24 August 2018

Risk factors for insomnia

Not getting enough sleep and can have a negative effect on our health.

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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.

Read more:
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.

 

Ask the Expert

Sleep disorders expert

Dr Alison Bentley is a general practitioner who has consulted in sleep medicine and sleep disorders, in both adults and children of all ages, for almost 30 years. She also researches and publishes on a number of sleep-related topics both in formal research journals and lay publications including as editor of Sleep Matters, an educational newsletter on sleep disorders for doctors.

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