Understanding Insomnia -- Symptoms

Medically Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian, MD on June 13, 2020

What Are the Symptoms of Insomnia?

Insomnia itself is often a symptom of another problem. Symptoms include:

  • Trouble falling asleep
  • Failure to sleep through the night
  • Waking up earlier than usual
  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Reduced ability to concentrate
  • Irritability

Call Your Doctor About Insomnia If:

  • You experience disturbed sleep for more than a month without apparent cause, never seem to get enough sleep, or fall asleep without warning during the day; you may need a referral to a sleep disorders specialist to monitor your sleep patterns and test for an underlying sleep disorder.
  • Your significant other notices that you seem to stop breathing briefly during the night, often associated with severe snoring.; this could be a sign of sleep apnea.
  • Your insomnia is associated with a life-changing event, such as the loss of a job or a loved one; you may benefit from taking sleep medication for a brief period.
  • Your sleep medication is no longer effective, or you have been taking medication for more than a few nights without success


WebMD Medical Reference



U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 

National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. 

American Academy of Family Physicians. 

WebMD Medical Reference: "Insomnia" and "Sleep Disorders: Insomnia."

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