Precipitating factors of insomnia.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Behav Sleep Med, Volume 2, Issue 1, p.50-62 (2004)


Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Depression, Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Psychological Tests, Severity of Illness Index, Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders, Surveys and Questionnaires


<p>Insomnia is a prevalent health complaint whose onset is precipitated by a variety of factors. There is an important need to identify and describe these factors to improve our understanding of risk factors and the natural history of insomnia. This article is aimed at identifying and describing the types of precipitating factors related to the onset of insomnia. A total of 345 patients evaluated for insomnia at a sleep-disorders clinic completed a sleep survey and underwent a semistructured clinical interview. As part of the evaluation, the specific precipitating events related to the onset of insomnia were identified. Subsequently, these factors were categorized (work-school, family, physical or psychological health, or indeterminate), and their affective valence (negative, positive, or indeterminate) was coded. The most common precipitating factors of insomnia were related to family, health, and work-school events. Sixty-five percent of precipitating events had a negative valence. These events differed with the age of onset of insomnia but not with the gender of participants. These findings are useful to identify potential risk factors for insomnia and improve our understanding of the natural history of insomnia.</p>

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