Symptoms of insomnia include waking up during the night and having difficulty falling back to sleep, difficulty falling asleep at bedtime, waking up early in the morning and feeling tired throughout the day. WebMD states that other symptoms includes irritability, general tiredness, concentration problems and sleepiness throughout the day.
The Mayo Clinic adds that anxiety about sleep, intestinal distress, depression, anxiety, memory problems, increased accidents and tension headaches are common symptoms of insomnia. Patients suffering from insomnia take at least 30 minutes or more to fall asleep and sleep less than six hours per night at least three nights per week for over a month.
WebMD explains that two types of insomnia exist. Primary insomnia is unrelated to other conditions, while secondary insomnia is related to another health condition. Secondary insomnia may be caused by depression, arthritis, asthma, cancer, heartburn and medication side effects. Insomnia may be chronic or acute. Acute insomnia lasts for a few days up to several weeks. Acute insomnia can be caused by stress, emotional discomfort, environmental factors or interferences in a sleep pattern. Chronic insomnia is linked to depression, stress or pain during the night. Patients often keep a sleep diary to help doctors diagnose the condition. Insomnia can be treated by regulating sleep patterns. Over-the-counter sleep aids are available but come with unwanted side effects and lose effectiveness over time.