Insomnia is defined as inadequate or poor-quality sleep. Types of insomnia include:
Transient insomnia— lasts from one night to a few weeks
Intermittent insomnia—happens from time to time
Chronic insomnia—happens on most nights and lasts a month or more
Insomnia may take the form of difficulty falling asleep, or middle-of-the-night or early-morning awakening.
Over the course of a year about one third of adults experience some level of insomnia, and 10%-15% have more severe or chronic insomnia. Insomnia may cause problems during the day, such as tiredness, a lack of energy, difficulty concentrating, and irritability. Insomnia is not a disease. Instead, it is a result of a behavior or a symptom of an underlying mental or physical problem. There are many causes of insomnia.
Transient and intermittent insomnia generally occur in people who are temporarily experiencing one or more of the following:
A life crisis or stress
A change in the sleep environment, including factors such as noise, light, or temperature
Sleep/wake schedule problems, such as those due to jet lag or temporary shift work
Side effects of medication
Chronic insomnia often results from a combination of factors. Medical conditions or factors that may disrupt sleep include:
Morgenthaler T, Kramer M, Alessi C, et al. Practice parameters for the psychological and behavioral treatment of insomnia: an update. An American Academy of Sleep Medicine report.
Your guide to healthy sleep. National Center on Sleep Disorders Research. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. November 2005. NIH Publication No. 06-5271. National Heart Lung and Blood Institute website. Available at: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/sleep/healthy_sleep.pdf
. Accessed February 11, 2009.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a