• Conditions InDepth: Insomnia

    Insomnia is defined as inadequate or poor-quality sleep despite having adequate time to sleep. Insomnia may take the form of difficulty falling asleep, or middle-of-the-night or early-morning awakening. It may be a short-term problem or occur more often over a long period of time.
    Over the course of a year, about one third of adults experience some level of insomnia. About 10%-15% have more severe or chronic insomnia. It 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.
    Short-term insomnia is often due to temporary situations. It generally occurs in people who are 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 medical condition. They may include:
    Chronic insomnia may also be due to behavioral factors. These include:
    • Misuse of nicotine , caffeine , alcohol , or other substances
    • Disrupted sleep/wake cycles from shift work or other nighttime activity schedules
    • Chronic stress
    For some people, insomnia is aggravated by:
    • Expecting to have difficulty sleeping and worrying about it
    • Excessive napping in the afternoon or evening
    What are the risk factors for insomnia?What are the symptoms of insomnia?How is insomnia diagnosed?What are the treatments for insomnia?Are there screening tests for insomnia?How can I reduce my risk of insomnia?What questions should I ask my doctor?What is it like to live with insomnia?Where can I get more information about insomnia?


    Can't Sleep? What to know about insomnia. National Sleep Foundation website. Available at: http://www.sleepfoundation.org/article/sleep-related-problems/insomnia-and-sleep . Accessed May 15, 2013.

    Insomnia. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php . Updated April 11, 2013. Accessed May 15, 2013.

    Insomnia. Quick Answers to Medical Diagnosis and Therapy. Access Medicine website. Available at: http://accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aid=3267380 . Accessed May 15, 2013

    Parmet S, Burke A, Glass RM. Insomnia. JAMA Patient Page . 2006 June 28.295(24).

    What is insomnia? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/inso/ . Updated December 13, 2011. Accessed May 15, 2013.

    Revision Information

  • LiveWell personal health survey

    How healthy are you really? Find out – free.Learn more

    It's time to stop guessing. If you want to make some changes but just aren't sure how, the free personal health survey from LiveWell is a great place to start.

  • HeartSHAPE Spotlight

    At risk for a heart attack? Learn more

    Fight heart disease and prevent heart attacks. HeartSHAPE® is a painless, non-invasive test that checks pictures of your heart for early-stage coronary disease.

  • Calories and Energy Needs

    Calorie NeedsLearn more

    How many calories do you need to eat each day to maintain your weight and fuel your physical activity? Enter a few of your stats into this calculator to find out.

  • Ideal Body Weight

    Ideal Body WeightLearn more

    Using body mass index as a reference, this calculator determines your ideal body weight range. All you need to do is enter your height.

  • Body Mass Index

    Body Mass IndexLearn more

    This tool considers your height and weight to assess your weight status.

  • Can we help answer your questions?

    Wellmont Nurse Connection is your resource for valuable health information any time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Speak to a Nurse any time, day or night, at (423) 723-6877 or toll-free at 1-877-230-NURSE.