What is Insomnia?


Insomnia is the inability to fall asleep and/or the ability to remain asleep for an adequate length of time to achieve quality rest. The results are lack of sleep, tiredness and fatigue that can negatively affect daily life. The condition may be transient, acute, or chronic.

Because there is no well established definition of “normal” sleep, the current estimates of the severity and prevalence of insomnia vary widely. It is often a symptom of underlying psychiatric and/or medical conditions. Non-pharmacological interventions including relaxation techniques, yoga, taiji and exercise are recommended, although the success of these interventions has not been well documented.

insomniaWho Is Affected by Insomnia?

It affects both sexes and all age groups. Approximately 30-40% of the people are affected by disturbed sleep patterns, and in the region of 10% suffer from chronic insomnia. Although it is more common in women (especially on onset of menopause) and older adults.

Illness, psychiatric disorders, and working night or rotating shifts, all represent significant risks for insomnia. About 40% of insomniacs also suffer from an associated psychiatric disorder, notably depression and insomnia is considered a diagnostic symptom for depressive and anxiety disorders.

What Are the Symptoms of Insomnia?

  • Difficulty falling asleep.
  • Disturbed, fragmented sleep.
  • Daytime fatigue and drowsiness.
  • Irritability.
  • Difficulty coping.

Self Help

  • Try to have a regular time for going to bed and getting up as this helps to regulate your body-clock.
  • Have a warm, milky drink before bedtime can help you to feel drowsy.
  • Cut down on caffeinated food and drinks in the evening (cola, energy drinks, coffee, tea, chocolate, etc).
  • Relax in a warm bath (with dimmed, or candle, light).
  • Make sure your room is a comfortable temperature for sleeping.