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Depression is the mental health disorder most commonly associated with insomnia, with one study estimating that 90% of depressed patients complain about sleep quality -- from diffiuclty falling asleep to multiple awakenings to excessive sleep or daytime drowsiness.. Insomnia is a significant risk factor for both recurrent and new onset of major depressive disorder. Women are more susceptible than men to both
sleep and depression, with higher risk linked to hormonal fluctuations, particularly during the period from menarche to menopause.
Research on non-pharmacological options for improving sleep are increasing (click on Research/Sleep). Some studies show that acupuncture is effective for insomnia. Valerian, a traditional herbal sleep remedy, may be beneficial for treatment of mild insomnia. For those who cannot take or tolerate medication, behavioral and relaxation therapies for insomnia may be helpful. Some studies that distress is an important factor in how people with insomnia evaluate quality of their sleep, with highly distressed poor sleepers reporting lower satisfaction than low distressed poor sleepers despite no difference in actual duration of sleep.
An important aspect of sleep regulation are body rhythms. Click on Body Rhythms for the primary biological cycles that affect the body.