What Is Insomnia?


Quick Answer

Insomnia is a sleep disorder that causes difficulty falling asleep, difficulty staying asleep or both, states WebMD. Individuals typically have one or more of four major symptoms: difficulty falling asleep, waking up frequently and struggling to fall back asleep, waking up early in the morning or feeling tired after waking.

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What Is Insomnia?
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Full Answer

There are two main types of insomnia, according to WebMD. Primary insomnia is characterized by sleep issues not associated with another health problem. Secondary insomnia, on the other hand, occurs when a pre-existing health condition, pain or substance use is causing sleep issues. This can include physical ailments such as asthma, arthritis or heartburn, or mental conditions such as depression.

Insomnia can also be classified as either acute or chronic, states WebMD. Acute insomnia, or short-term insomnia, can last between one night to a few weeks. Chronic insomnia occurs when a person struggles to sleep at least three nights per week, for a period of one month or longer.

Individuals struggling to sleep or suffering from one of the symptoms of insomnia should visit a health care provider for proper diagnosis and treatment, advises WebMD. Additional symptoms that may indicate a problem with insomnia include fatigue during the day; difficulty concentrating and remembering things; general sleepiness; and irritability.

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