Insomnia is one of the most prevalent neuropsychiatric disorders throughout Europe. It is associated with a number of health-relevant problems including an increased risk of psychiatric and organic disorders. A variety of organic, social and psychological risk factors takes part in the genesis of these sleep disturbances. A key component of the pathophysiology is the multifaceted hyperarousal that is expressed in the cognitive, emotional, neuronal, neuroendocrine, the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis, and further neurovegetative domains. Recent studies document in addition to identified risk factors for insomnia a number of protective factors that are relevant for the individual as well as society.
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