You are more likely to develop insomnia if you are over age 60, if you are female, and if you have a history of depression. If you also have stress, anxiety, chronic medical conditions (such as arthritis or heart failure), or use certain medications, you are at increased risk for insomnia.
Transient and intermittent insomnia generally can occur if you have:
- Periods of excess stress in your life
- Noisy surroundings (like outside street noise)
- Extreme temperatures (too hot or cold in the bedroom)
- Change of environment (hotel rooms)
- Sleep/wake schedule problems (jet lag or work shifts)
- Medication side effects
Chronic insomnia is a more complex sleep disorder and often involves several factors, like physical or mental disorders. Depression is one of the most common causes of chronic insomnia. Arthritis, kidney disease, heart failure, asthma, sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome, Parkinson's disease, and hyperthyroidism can also cause insomnia.
Lifestyle factors can trigger insomnia, too. If these factors don’t change, they can also prolong the insomnia cycle. They include:
- Too much caffeine
- Drinking alcohol before bedtime
- Smoking cigarettes before bedtime
- Excessive napping in the afternoon or evening
- Irregular or continually disrupted sleep/wake schedules
- Expecting to have difficulty sleeping and worrying about it