"This study indicates that genes may play a larger role in the development of insomnia symptoms for women than for men, providing some of the first formal evidence for sex differences in an adult sample. Given the evidence for sex differences, it may be useful to specifically target females for sleep interventions," said Dr. Mackenzie Lind, Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, US.
Insomnia is more common in women than men and involves difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep - or regularly waking up earlier than desired - despite an adequate opportunity for sleep.
The research team analyzed data from the Virginia Adult Twin Studies of Psychiatric and Substance Use Disorders, a large data set of approximately 7,500 participants. The estimated heritability of insomnia was 59 percent for females and 38 percent for males. The study was published in the journal Sleep