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Risk of insomnia 67pc higher if family member is insomniac

Posted On: Sept. 14, 2011

Washington, Sept 13 (ANI): A study has found that the risk of suffering from insomnia is 67 percent higher if a family member is insomniac.

The research team, directed by Dr. Charles M. Morin of Universite Laval's School of Psychology, came to these conclusions following a study involving 3,485 people.

The participants were asked to answer a telephone survey on their sleep quality and that of their immediate families, and on three separate occasions in the 12 subsequent months, they filled out a mail-in questionnaire on the subject.

The data showed that 40 percent of respondents came from a family that had at least one member who is an insomniac.

Most of them had one insomniac in the family (76 percent), but some had two (21 percent), or even three (3 percent).

The risk of suffering from insomnia increased according to the number of family members with insomnia, that is, 37 percent, 250 percent, and 314 percent for one, two, or three family members with insomnia, respectively.

"There is very probably a genetic factor behind the family aggregation we observed. However, we don't know if the mechanism is a physiological process that interferes with sleep or a predisposition to anxiety," Charles M. Morin said.

Certain attitudes about insomnia conveyed by family members could also be involved, the researcher added.

"Our study's results suggest that early psychological treatment could benefit people from families with chronic insomnia sufferers," he concluded. (ANI)

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