What are the most common causes of insomnia?

The causes of insomnia or sleep disorders are extremely numerous. Sleep medicine differentiates more than 80 possible reasons. Typical triggers for non-restful sleep are:

Our 11 most important tips against sleep problems

Continue reading...

  • physical complaints
  • Pain
  • stress
  • anxiety
  • trouble
  • noise
  • Brooding over private or professional concerns
  • respiratory disorders
  • Disruptions to the normal day-night rhythm through shift work
  • alcohol
  • caffeine

Sleep disorders can occur as a result of other illnesses such as heart or lung disease, Parkinson's disease or depression. But they can also be the result of diseases that occur only during sleep. The numerically most common causes here are sleep-related respiratory disorders and nocturnal movement disorders.

One third has no clear cause

In summary, the causes of sleep disorders can be summarized in the following way:

  • one third: physical cause
  • one third: emotional cause
  • a third: no tangible reason

The frequencies given in the literature for causes of chronic insomnia and sleep disorders vary considerably:

  • Sleep disorder in psychiatric illness (3-36%)
  • primary or psychophysiological sleep disorder without other identifiable cause (15-24%)
  • Sleep disorder with periodic leg movements or respiratory disorders (18-25%)
  • Sleep disorder due to substances such as alcohol or medication (7-12%)
  • other physical sleep disorders (4-11%)
  • Sleep disorders of other cause (7-15%)


Author: Dr. Hubertus Glaser
Source: Health Reporting - Issue Issues, October 2005 (gbe-bund.de)

Do you have your own experiences or a different opinion? Then write a comment (please observe rules).