Scientists have claimed that insomnia could actually be passed from one generation to the next.

American sleep experts have identified 13 different sleep traits which appear to have a genetic basis, meaning they could be inherited from previous generations.

According to Mirror, researchers from the UT Southwestern Medical Center wanted to discover whether sleep traits linked to bipolar disorder could be inherited.

“We were able to identify 13 sleep and activity measures, most of which are inherited, that correlated with whether an individual had bipolar disorder,” said Dr. Joseph Takahashi, Chairman of Neuroscience at UT Southwestern.

“In addition, we were able to trace some of these traits to a specific chromosome.”

A team of academics analysed the genetics of more than 500 people from 26 families in Costa Rica and Columbia. They found that family members who suffered from bipolar often shared sleep traits.

The team were able to tie 13 different sleep traits to specific chromosomes, indicating they could be passed down through families.

Sleep foundation writes, there are many medical conditions (some mild and others more serious) that can lead to insomnia. In some cases, a medical condition itself causes insomnia, while, in other cases, symptoms of the condition cause discomfort that can make it difficult for a person to sleep.

Examples of medical conditions that can cause insomnia are:

• Nasal/sinus allergies

• Gastrointestinal problems such as reflux

• Endocrine problems such as hyperthyroidism

• Arthritis

• Asthma

• Neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease

• Chronic pain

• Low back pain

Medications such as those taken for the common cold and nasal allergies, high blood pressure, heart disease, thyroid disease, birth control, asthma, and depression can also cause insomnia.

Going by science, in some cases, insomnia may be caused by certain neurotransmitters in the brain that are known to be involved with sleep and wakefulness.

There are many possible chemical interactions in the brain that could interfere with sleep and may explain why some people are biologically prone to insomnia and seem to struggle with sleep for many years without any identifiable cause—even when they follow healthy sleep advice.