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If you have insomnia, you may have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, waking too early, or getting good quality sleep that leaves you feeling rested. You don’t feel refreshed when you wake up. During the day, you’re sleepy and tired and have trouble functioning.

Over 25% of Americans don’t get enough sleep from time to time, but almost 10% have chronic insomnia.

Insomnia can be acute, meaning short-term. Or it can come in a long-lasting, chronic form. When insomnia comes at least 3 nights a week for 3 months or longer, doctors consider it chronic.

Insomnia can also come and go, with periods when you have no sleep problems.

Types of Insomnia

Two kinds of insomnia exist:

Primary insomnia: Sleep problems are not directly connected with any other health problem. Instead, they are triggered by major stress, emotional upset, travel, and work schedules. But even after such causes go away, the insomnia may persist. You can also develop primary insomnia because of certain habits, such as taking naps or worrying about sleep.

Secondary insomnia: Sleep problems occur because of another issue, such as a sleep disorder like apnea; another health condition or disease; chronic pain from arthritis or headaches; medications; or alcohol, caffeine, and other substances.

What Are the Causes of Insomnia?

Many factors can cause acute or chronic insomnia:

What Are the Symptoms of Insomnia?

If you have insomnia, you may have some of these symptoms:

  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • Difficulty staying asleep
  • Waking up too early
  • Feeling tired and irritable
  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Mood changes
  • Lack of motivation
  • Attention, concentration, or memory problems
  • Making errors at work, school, or while driving
  • Tension headaches or stomach aches
  • Frustration or worry about sleep

Myths and Facts About Insomnia

Wide awake again? Get the facts and put these insomnia myths to bed.
View slideshow