Nearly everyone has an occasional sleepless night. But your risk of insomnia is greater if:

  • You're a woman. Women are much more likely to experience insomnia. Hormonal shifts during the menstrual cycle and in menopause may play a role. During menopause, night sweats and hot flashes often disturb sleep. Insomnia is also common with pregnancy.
  • You're older than age 60. Because of changes in sleep patterns and health, insomnia increases with age.
  • You have a mental health disorder. Many disorders — including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder — disrupt sleep. Early-morning awakening is a classic symptom of depression.
  • You're under a lot of stress. Stressful events can cause temporary insomnia. And major or long-lasting stress, such as the death of a loved one or a divorce, can lead to chronic insomnia. Being poor or unemployed also increases the risk.
  • You work night or changing shifts. Working at night or frequently changing shifts increases your risk of insomnia.
  • You travel long distances. Jet lag from traveling across multiple time zones can cause insomnia.
Apr. 04, 2014