Skip to content


    Exciting News for WebMD Members!

    We've been busy behind the scenes building new message boards for you. You'll have new and easier ways to find messages, connect with others, and share your stories.

    And, this will all be available on your smartphone or other mobile device!

    What Do You Need to Do?

    The message board you're used to will be closing in the coming weeks. While many of your boards will be making the move to our new home, your posts will not. Want to keep a discussion going? Save posts you want to continue (this includes your member profile story), so that you can re-post them in the new message boards.

    Keep an eye here and on your email inbox, we'll be back in touch soon to give you all the information you need!

    Yours in health,
    WebMD Message Boards Management

    Is insomnia hereditary?
    sleepless_in_panama posted:
    Ever since I turned 30 I've been having problems falling and staying asleep. A couple years ago I also had symptoms of depression and anxiety and I decided to go to the doctor. He diagnosed me with premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) and said that that could be the cause of my insomnia and other symptoms. I was put on a hormone treatment which helped a little, but now I wonder if there is something else. I find that I still have trouble sleeping if I'm anxious or excited about something.

    My dad sometimes has trouble sleeping too. It could be because he did shift work for a long time, but he also has trouble sleeping when he's concerned about something.

    I would like to know if my sleep problems are related to his and if insomnia is hereditary.

    I appreciate any information you can share with me on this subject.
    nene_11 responded:
    I have had insomnia & take meds to sleep since my late 20's(I am 43 now). My father also has had insomnia most of his life. He has trouble staying asleep but I cannot fall alseep. I also have some siblings with problems sleeping. I do sleep every night, but only with the help of various meds. I dont care that I take these meds nor do I care if I have to take them for the rest of my life-just so I sleep! So to answer your question, I believe that insomnia can be hereditary.
    tammyhiles responded:
    Insomnia is not hereditary. Trouble sleeping can be hereditary, but not real insomnia. A person doesn't have "bouts" of insomnia. A person with insomnia goes for years or life (if they don't get help) sleeping 1-3 hours a night. An insomniac lives a life in physical pain from fatigue, and afraid of the next night and going through it again. This causes depression.

    If you have trouble falling asleep, but when you do fall asleep you can sleep for at least 5 hours straight, that's not insomnia. That's trouble falling asleep. It stinks too, I know! But insomniacs never sleep more than 1-2 hours at a time without waking up. It's hell, but there's help now with different combinations of meds.

    If you have trouble falling asleep, you can take Lunesta or Rozerem. (By prescription.) Warm milk helps millions of people, and the vitamin Melatonin can work wonders. (3-5Mg's)
    Use this Sleep disorder forum to discuss more.
    Hilarykemsley responded:
    As an 'expert', long-term insomniac myself, I agree with your assessment that stress and hormones affect sleep. The good news is, there are a lot of strategies you can employ to help you get a better night's sleep.

    For instance: exercise during the day; a warm, relaxing bath just before bed; a cup of warm milk at bedtime; no TV or computer when you're in bed; no tea or coffee after 12 noon; wearing ear plugs; making sure your bedroom is pitch black...There's a long list of approaches.

    If you haven't already, my suggestion would be to go on line, find natural approaches to sleep, and try out a few.

    Good luck.
    sleepless_in_panama replied to Hilarykemsley's response:
    Thanks for your suggestions. I've tried some of those natural approaches and they do help some, but they're not 100% effective. Is it necessary to try a combination of things to find the combination that works for you? Will I always have some sleepless nights even with these approaches?

    Helpful Tips

    sleep Disorders and sinuplasty
    Make no mistake this hurts bad..they make it sound like a walk in the park BS .I felt that needle in my nose, I almost choke on all the ... More
    Was this Helpful?
    1 of 2 found this helpful

    Related Drug Reviews

    • Drug Name User Reviews

    Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

    FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

    For more information, visit the Duke Health Sleep Disorders Center