Daniel Greer, PharmD, BCPP, clinical assistant professor, Rutgers Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy, speaks on at-risk populations of chronic insomnia, and the reciprocal relationship between the condition and other comorbidities.
Elderly people and women are notable at-risk populations for chronic insomnia, which has been shown to share a reciprocal relationship with several other health conditions, said Daniel Greer, PharmD, BCPP, clinical assistant professor, Rutgers Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy.
Can you speak on at-risk populations for chronic insomnia?
Sleep has a reciprocal relationship with so many disease states. If you are depressed, you probably have issues with sleep, whether that be sleeping too little or sleeping too much. Or it could be the other way, that maybe your issues with sleep made you more predisposed and led to your depressive illness.
It's not just mental illnesses, it's medical conditions as well. So, people who sleep less have a higher likelihood of getting infections, colds, and getting sick in that way. Also, people who are sick and have colds and infections don't sleep as well. So, then they aren't able to rebuild their immune system and rebuild that functioning.
Same goes for a lot of things–pain as well. People who have pain don't sleep as well, and then people who don't sleep as well are more sensitive to pain. So, the impact of insomnia is kind of like a snowball, whether it starts young or whether it starts in adulthood, there's these issues that keep growing.
For any at-risk populations, the biggest at-risk population is the elderly. The older and older you get, the more likelihood that you're going to have chronic insomnia. So, generally young people have less insomnia than elderly people. Next, women have a higher likelihood of insomnia and another at-risk population is just genetics.