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What is secondary insomnia?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Secondary insomnia, which is the most common type of insomnia, is a symptom or a side effect of something else, like illness, stress, anxiety, hormonal imbalance, or depression. A few causes of secondary insomnia are:
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Chronic pain, including fibromyalgia, migraine or arthritis
  • Gastrointestinal problems, including heartburn
  • Sleep apnea or restless leg syndrome
  • Stroke
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Menopause
  • Side effects from medicine, including those that treat asthma, heart problems, and allergies
  • Caffeine, alcohol, or tobacco
  • A poor sleep environment
Staness Jonekos
Health Education
Secondary insomnia is a symptom or side effect of some other problem, and is the most common type of insomnia. Most menopause-related sleeplessness, for example, is secondary insomnia. Among its causes are:
  • Certain medical conditions: sleep apnea, arthritis, chronic pain,
           headaches, asthma, overactive thyroid, hot flashes, heartburn,
           sleep disorders (restless leg syndrome, sleep-related breathing
           problems)
  • Medicines: asthma medicines, allergy and cold medicines, beta
           blockers
  • Substances: caffeine, stimulants, tobacco, alcohol

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.