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Who Is at Risk for Insomnia?

Insomnia is a common disorder. It affects women more often than men. The disorder can occur at any age. However, older adults are more likely to have insomnia than younger people.

People who might be at increased risk for insomnia include those who:

  • Have a lot of stress.
  • Are depressed or have other emotional distress, such as divorce or death of a spouse.
  • Have lower incomes.
  • Work at night or have frequent major shifts in their work hours.
  • Travel long distances with time changes.
  • Have certain medical conditions or sleep disorders that can disrupt sleep. For more information, go to "What Causes Insomnia?"
  • Have an inactive lifestyle.

Young and middle-aged African Americans also might be at increased risk for insomnia. Research shows that, compared with Caucasian Americans, it takes African Americans longer to fall asleep. They also have lighter sleep, don't sleep as well, and take more naps. Sleep-related breathing problems also are more common among African Americans.

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December 13, 2011