Sleep Med Psychophysiol.  2005 Jun;12(1):11-16.

Insomnia in Medical Illnesses: The Secondary Insomnia

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Korea University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


Sleep can be easily disrupted by variety of conditions. Most of medical illnesses could be a primary condition causing secondary insomnia. The common underlying mechanism of secondary insomnia is presumed to be stress effects on sleep. The assessment and treatment of secondary insomnia are often complicated. Establishing an causal inference between primary condition and insomnia is the key to assessment. However, it can be difficult even for experienced clinicians due to diagnostic ambiguity of secondary insomnia. Therefore, through medical evaluation and integrative understanding of primary condition is essential to manage secondary insomnia properly. Although treatment have been usually focused on the primary medical illnesses per se, nonpharmacologic interventions, such as sleep hygiene, might be effective in many cases.


Medical illnesses; Secondary insomnia; Stress; Sleep
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