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A person with insomnia may have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. Other problems that result from this condition include irritability and a lack of energy. Treatment for insomnia usually involves a combination of things, including eliminating any underlying health problem that could be causing it, taking medication, and using certain behavioral techniques.

What Is Insomnia?

It is not unusual to have trouble sleeping from time to time. But if you feel that you do not get enough sleep (or enough satisfying sleep), you could possibly have a sleep disorder called insomnia. People with this condition have one or more of the following:
  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • Waking up often during the night and having trouble going back to sleep
  • Waking up too early in the morning
  • Non-refreshing sleep.

How Common Is It?

About 60 million Americans each year suffer from insomnia, which can lead to serious sleep deficits and problems. The condition tends to increase with age and affects about 40 percent of women and 30 percent of men.

Insomnia and Sleep

Insomnia is not defined by the number of hours you sleep every night. The amount of sleep a person needs varies. While most people need between seven and eight hours of sleep a night, some people do well with less, and some need more.

Effects of Insomnia

Insomnia can cause problems during the day, such as:
  • Tiredness
  • Lack of energy
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Irritability.
A person with this condition may also have another sleep disorder, such as:
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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