A persistent disorder that occurs when a person has trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. Overall life quality is affected (low work performance, bad decision-making, relationship problems) due to the inability to properly rest.

Causes

 

Stress – daily concerns related to work, health, family or stressful events

Anxiety

Depression

Aging – sleep patterns change with age

Medical conditions that may disrupt your sleep – breathing problems, chronic pain, urinary troubles

Changes in your environment or schedule

Medications – prescription drugs or over-the-counter drugs that may provoke insomnia as a side-effect

Caffeine, energy drinks, alcohol or nicotine

Having a late and quite big meal before sleeping

Symptoms and signs

 

Difficulty falling asleep

Waking-up at night

Awakening too early in the morning

Not feeling rested

Fatigue, sleepiness

Irritability

Depression

Anxiety

Difficulty concentrating

Headaches

Gastrointestinal problems

Worrying about sleep

Advice

 

Sleep patterns and discomfort due to the lack of sleep will be assessed by your doctor

 

Keeping a sleep diary is recommended

 

Blood tests are required to detect a thyroid problem or other conditions that may be causing insomnia

 

A sleep study may be recommended in order to determine if you’re suffering from any other sleep disorder

 

Treating an underlying medical condition usually restores peaceful sleep, if not, other therapies are recommended

 

Behavior therapies (learning new sleep behaviors and ways to improve sleep): education about good sleeping habits, cognitive behavioral therapy, relaxation techniques, stimulus control, sleep restriction, light therapy

 

Prescription medication: zolpidem, eszopiclone, zaleplon, ramelteon; non-prescription: medication that contains antihistamines

 

Alternative medicine: melatonin, valerian; acupuncture, yoga and meditation

MISCONCEPTIONS
  • Insomnia is unrelated to other medical conditions.

     

    Insomnia is just a temporary condition that always goes away.

     

    Napping helps in treating insomnia.

Statistics

Insomnia affects 30-35% of adults

 

10 million people in the US use prescription sleep aids

Did you know?

If someone suffers from insomnia, it is best to avoid (even hide) checking the clock at night.

 

Taking a hot shower or bath before bedtime helps you sleep.

 

Famous insomniacs: Jimi Hendrix, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Sandra Bullock, Marilyn Monroe, Franz Kafka, Alexandre Dumas

 

Insomnia Awareness Day: March 10

 

Nowadays, people sleep 20% less than they did 100 years ago.