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Insomnia is a common sleep disorder. If you have it, you may have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or both. As a result, you may get too little sleep or have poor-quality sleep. You may not feel refreshed when you wake up.

Symptoms of insomnia include:

  • Lying awake for a long time before you fall asleep
  • Sleeping for only short periods
  • Being awake for much of the night
  • Feeling as if you haven't slept at all
  • Waking up too early

Your doctor will diagnose insomnia based on your medical and sleep histories and a physical exam. He or she also may recommend a sleep study. A sleep study measures how well you sleep and how your body responds to sleep problems. Treatments include lifestyle changes, counseling, and medicines.

NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

Symptoms of Insomnia

The following features are indicative of Insomnia:
  • difficulty falling asleep at night
  • waking up during the night
  • waking up too early
  • not feeling well-rested after a night's sleep
  • sleepiness
  • irritability
  • depression
  • difficulty paying attention
  • increased errors
  • ongoing worries about sleep

Common Causes of Insomnia

The following are the most common causes of Insomnia:
  • stress
  • travelling
  • hard works schedule
  • poor sleep habits
  • eating too much late in the evening

Other Causes of Insomnia

The following are the less common causes of Insomnia:
  • mental health disorders
  • medications such as pain medications, allergy and cold medications
  • medical conditions such as chronic pain, asthma, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), heart disease
  • sleep-related disorders
  • caffeine, nicotine and alcohol intake

Risk Factors for Insomnia

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Insomnia:
  • over age 60
  • being a women
  • mental health disorder
  • long-lasting stress
  • irregular schedule at work or traveling

Prevention of Insomnia

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Insomnia. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • do not drink caffeinated drinks a few hours before going to sleep
  • maintain sleep hygiene
  • set a consistent wakeup time and bedtime

Occurrence of Insomnia

Degree of Occurrence

The following are the number of Insomnia cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Very common > 10 Million cases

Common Age Group

Insomnia can occur at any age.

Common Gender

Insomnia can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Insomnia

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Insomnia:
  • Physical exam: To assess the signs of medical problems that may be related to insomnia
  • Sleep habits review: To evaluate the sleep-wake pattern and the level of daytime sleepiness
  • Sleep study: To monitor and record a variety of body activities while you sleep

Doctor for Diagnosis of Insomnia

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Insomnia:
  • Neurologists
  • Psychiatrists
  • Sleep specialists
  • Pulmonologists

Complications of Insomnia if Untreated

Yes, Insomnia causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Insomnia is left untreated:
  • higher risk of accidents
  • lower performance on the job or at school
  • mental health disorders
  • increased risk and severity of long-term diseases or conditions

Procedures for Treatment of Insomnia

The following procedures are used to treat Insomnia:
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy: Helps in alleviating the negative thoughts and actions that keep you awake

Self-care for Insomnia

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Insomnia:
  • By changing your sleep habits
  • Avoid large meals: By limiting large meals and beverages before bed

Alternative Medicine for Treatment of Insomnia

The following alternate medicine and therapies are known to help in the treatment or management of Insomnia:
  • Acupuncture therapy: Effective for people with insomnia
  • Do yoga: Improves the sleep quality
  • Do meditation: Helps in improving sleep and lowering the stress

Time for Treatment of Insomnia

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Insomnia to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • In 1 - 4 weeks

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Last updated date

This page was last updated on 11/29/2018.
This page provides information for Insomnia.

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