Trouble Sleeping Can Increase Depression Risk

Insomnia—especially chronic insomnia—is a common complaint among older adults. According to the National Sleep Foundation, two out of every ten Americans sleep less than six hours a night.

Nearly 40 percent of these Americans who sleep too few hours have driven when drowsy and nearly 90 percent have symptoms of insomnia at least a few nights a week.

So, whether it’s having difficulty falling asleep, waking up during the middle of the night, waking up too early and unable to get back to sleep, or waking up feeling unrefreshed, an astonishing number of people are troubled by insomnia—and aren't getting needed help.

Insomnia is not a benign condition that people should just struggle with on their own. Insomnia leaves people feeling mentally "foggy," contributing to problems with memory and concentration, for instance. It also slows a person's response time—and this is potentially dangerous, because it can affect driving ability and increase the risk of falls. In addition, insomnia is a risk factor for depression.

Publication Review By: Karen L. Swartz, M.D.

Published: 19 Jun 2013

Last Modified: 19 Jun 2013