Insomnia What Is Insomnia?

Woman awake in bed trying to sleep.

Insomnia is a common sleep disorder. With insomnia, you may have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or getting good quality sleep. This happens even if you have the time and the right environment to sleep well. Insomnia can get in the way of your daily activities and may make you feel sleepy during the day. 

Short-term insomnia may be caused by stress or changes in your schedule or environment. It can last for a few days or weeks. Chronic (long-term) insomnia occurs 3 or more nights a week, lasts more than 3 months, and cannot be fully explained by another health problem.

To diagnose insomnia, your healthcare provider may ask about your sleep habits and ask you to keep a sleep diary. Your provider may also recommend healthy lifestyle habits such as a regular sleep schedule, cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia, and medicines to help you manage your insomnia.

Insomnia can affect your memory and concentration. Chronic insomnia raises your risk of high blood pressurecoronary heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

Cover image of Your Guide to Healthy Sleep

Your Guide to Healthy Sleep

This booklet provides science-based information about sleep, as well as an overview of certain sleep disorders.


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