Insomnia is characterized by difficulty falling asleep, trouble staying asleep, and/or early waking. The result is usually inadequate sleep, with daytime effects associated with sleep deprivation. Up to 50% of adults report they have experienced insomnia at some point in their life.1
While not as common as insomnia, anxiety and depression are also fairly prevalent among adults. Höglund and colleagues2 surveyed a random sample of 3406 participants ranging from aged 18 to 79 years. Of the participants, 13.9% (10.0% men, 17.0% women) reported they had received a diagnosis of anxiety; 6.4% (5.5% of men, 7.1% of women) had received a diagnosis of depression; 28.6% (23.5% of men, 32.7% of women) reported a diagnosis of insomnia; and 14% reported self-perceived stress.
Anxiety and stress are closely linked, and they are among the chief causes of insomnia. The exact prevalence of stress and/or anxiety among persons with insomnia is unknown, but stress and anxiety have an impact on sleep because of a variety of emotional and physical factors.3 As with insomnia due caused by other factors, sleep deprivation due to anxiety-associated insomnia can bring about a variety of distressing symptoms during the day. Fatigue, irritability, anxiety, and depression are common consequences of sleep deprivation of any cause. Health problems like weight gain, hyperglycemia, and elevated lipid levels are associated with chronic sleep deprivation as well.