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Insomnia: Introduction

Insomnia is a very common condition in which a person isn't getting enough sleep or is getting poor quality of sleep. Insomnia can occur if someone has difficulty falling asleep, wakes up often, wakes up and cannot fall back asleep, or wakes up too early in the morning. Insomnia can occur to people of both sexes and at any age. However, it is most common in women and in older adults and the elderly.

Insomnia is a symptom of a wide range of medical conditions and diseases, lifestyle factors, mental health conditions, and other underlying causes. For more information on causes, refer to causes of insomnia.

Getting a good night's sleep is vital to optimal health and functioning. Symptoms and complications of insomnia can vary between individuals and the underlying cause and be mild to severe. Symptoms can include daytime drowsiness and an increased risk of motor vehicle collision and other types of accidents and mistakes. Quality of life can be drastically affected by insomnia due to irritability, fatigue, and a decreased ability to concentrate. Insomnia can severely impair a person's productivity and ability to participate effectively in relationships, work, and school.

Chronic insomnia can also lead to or aggravate anxiety and depression and cause other disturbances in mood. At the same time, anxiety, anxiety disorders and depression can be an underlying cause of insomnia.

Making a diagnosis of the underlying cause of insomnia begins with taking a thorough medical history, including a history of sleep patterns, and completing a full physical examination. Making a diagnosis also includes performing tests that can detect underlying medical causes of insomnia, such as hyperthyroidism and obstructive sleep apnea and other sleep disorders.

Sleep disorders are often diagnosed by performing specialized testing in a sleep lab. A referral to a psychiatrist or other licensed mental health provider is often made to aid in the diagnosis and treatment of insomnia related to depression, an anxiety disorder or another mental health condition.

It is possible that a diagnosis of insomnia can be missed or delayed because it may be considered a normal part of aging of for other reasons. For more information on misdiagnosis, refer to misdiagnosis of insomnia.

Treatment of insomnia varies depending on the underlying cause, the severity, and a person's medical history, age, and general health. For more information on treatment, refer to treatment of insomnia. ...more »

Insomnia: Insomnia is the perception or complaint of inadequate or poor-quality sleep because of one or more of the following:

... more about Insomnia.

Insomnia: Insomnia is defined as repeated difficulty with the initiation, duration, maintenance, or quality of sleep that occurs despite adequate time and opportunity for sleep that results in some form of daytime impairment. More detailed information about the symptoms, causes, and treatments of Insomnia is available below.

Insomnia: Treatments

The first step to addressing insomnia is to diagnose and treat any underlying medical conditions, such as hyperthyroidism, obstructive sleep apnea, depression and any chronic diseases.

There are many ways to reduce and even eliminate insomnia caused by certain lifestyle factors, such as stress. The most effective strategy is to address insomnia in a ...more treatments »

Insomnia: Misdiagnosis

A diagnosis of the underlying cause of insomnia may be missed or delayed for a variety of reasons. For example, people with a mental illness, such as depression or an anxiety disorder, may fear the stigma of or be embarrassed by mental illness and not seek treatment. In addition, older adults may believe that insomnia is a normal part of aging and not seek care. ...more misdiagnosis »

Symptoms of Insomnia

Treatments for Insomnia

Home Diagnostic Testing

Home medical testing related to Insomnia:

Wrongly Diagnosed with Insomnia?

Insomnia: Related Patient Stories

Insomnia: Deaths

Read more about Deaths and Insomnia.

Alternative Treatments for Insomnia

Alternative treatments or home remedies that have been listed in various sources as possibly beneficial for Insomnia may include:

Types of Insomnia

Rare Types of Insomnia:

Rare types of Insomnia include:

Diagnostic Tests for Insomnia

Test for Insomnia in your own home

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Insomnia: Complications

Review possible medical complications related to Insomnia:

Causes of Insomnia

  • Common problems with the sleeping environment include:
    • Sleeping area distractions
    • Noise
    • Extreme temperatures
    • Poorly ventilated bedroom
  • more causes...»

More information about causes of Insomnia:

Disease Topics Related To Insomnia

Research the causes of these diseases that are similar to, or related to, Insomnia:

Misdiagnosis and Insomnia

Insidious cancer misdiagnosed as mental health condition: Pancreatic cancer is fortunately relatively rare, but this dangerous condition can be misdiagnosed as a mental condition in its early stages. Psychological more »

RLS sleep disorder causing night-time leg sensations often misdiagnosed: A common but relatively unknown sleep-related disorder called Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) is often misdiagnosed. The typical symptoms are night-time tingling, more »

Insomnia: Research Doctors & Specialists

Research related physicians and medical specialists:

Other doctor, physician and specialist research services:

Latest Treatments for Insomnia

Insomnia: Animations

Research about Insomnia

Visit our research pages for current research about Insomnia treatments.

Statistics for Insomnia

Insomnia: Broader Related Topics

Insomnia Message Boards

Related forums and medical stories:

User Interactive Forums

Read about other experiences, ask a question about Insomnia, or answer someone else's question, on our message boards:

Article Excerpts about Insomnia

Insomnia is the perception or complaint of inadequate or poor-quality sleep because of one or more of the following:

  • difficulty falling asleep

  • waking up frequently during the night with difficulty returning to sleep

  • waking up too early in the morning

  • unrefreshing sleep

(Source: excerpt from Insomnia: NWHIC)

Definitions of Insomnia:

Disorders characterized by impairment of the ability to initiate or maintain sleep. This may occur as a primary disorder or in association with another medical or psychiatric condition. - (Source - Diseases Database)

An inability to sleep; chronic sleeplessness - (Source - WordNet 2.1)


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