Book Definition: The most common of sleep disorders - involving insufficient sleep, the inability to fall asleep quickly, frequent arousal, or early awakenings. It is usually what the doctor diagnoses when people don't think their getting enough sleep. It is found in 1/3 of adults and seems to be the most common sleep disorder.

In Your Own Words

  • When you cannot sleep much during the night.
  • You are not able to fall sleep quickly.
  • You wake up a lot when you are sleeping.
  • You wake up earlier then you are used to.
  • Dissatisfaction with amount of sleep your getting.
  • Not being able to fall sleep when you want to/planned to.
  • Difficulty falling and staying asleep.
  • Taking daytime naps can cause this


  • Bad dreams and other urgent wakings.
  • Adults under a lot of pressure and stress for their job so they don't get enough rest and can't perform to the fullest.
  • A condition suffered by the main character in the movie Fight Club.
  • Can be treated with over-the-counter "sleeping pills", but "sleeping pills" disrupt your REM-sleep.
  • Awake and can't sleep or trouble staying asleep.
  • Excessive use of alcohol or drugs may cause insomnia.


  • In the UK, Germany, Italy, and Portugal, 14,915 people from the ages of 15-100 years old were intervied by phone using the Sleep-EVAL system. The people were asked questions which assessed current psychiatric disorders according to the DSM-IV. After the expirement was completed they found out that insomnia accompanied with impaired daytime functionion was 19.1% and this amount increased drastically with age. More than 90% of Ss had chronic isomnia while about 28% of Ss with insomnia had a mental disorder while another 25% had a psychiatric history. When anxiety disorders were involved, insomnia appeared mostly at the same time or after the anxiety disorder. Results show that psychiatric history is closely related to the severity and chronicity of current insomnia. Moreover, chronic insomnia can be a residual symptom of a previous mental disorder

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