What is Insomnia?

Insomnia is a sleep condition in which a person cannot fall or stay asleep because they wake up too early and not sleep again. The lack of sleep and rest that insomnia causes will drain a person’s fitness, professional performance, and quality of life. Insomnia can be the primary problem or an association with other disorders to someone’s restless negative day-to-day behaviour. Chronic Insomnia is typically a result of sleep-disrupting stress, life events, or behaviour. Treatment for Insomnia starts by finding and resolving the root cause, but it may last for years. Some of the most leading causes of chronic Insomnia are anxiety, stress, and depression. Having problems sleeping can also cause the effects of anxiety, fatigue, and depression. Rage, worry, grief, schizophrenia, changes in your sleep routines, such as staying in a hotel or a new home, physical distress and trauma, are other important mental and psychological triggers. It is essential to treat these root issues to overcome a person dealing with Insomnia.

The most common symptoms of Insomnia include (Merrigan et al., 2013):

  • Difficulty falling asleep at night
  • Waking up throughout the night
  • Waking up too early
  • Not feeling well-rested after a night’s sleep
  • Daytime exhaustion or drowsiness, irritability
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Difficulty paying attention
  • Concentrating on routines
  • Recalling elevated mistakes or injuries

There are three major types of Insomnia: Acute Insomnia, Transient Insomnia, and Chronic Insomnia. Acute Insomnia will last up to one month. It is generally referred to as Insomnia of Adaptation. The reason an individual may experience Acute Insomnia is that they are experiencing intense situational tension in their daily lives, such as working at a new job, meeting deadlines, or writing tests. When the stressor is no longer present, or the individual learns to adapts to the stressor, Acute Insomnia typically resolves on its own. Temporal Insomnia continues for less than fourteen nights. Temporal Insomnia is activated by changes in the sleep environment, fatigue, or anxiety. There is no treatment for individuals who have Transient Insomnia; similar to Acute Insomnia, it typically resolves on its own. Chronic Insomnia is a severe case of Insomnia, as individuals may experience Chronic Insomnia for a more extended period of at least over one month. Usually, Insomnia is either Acute or Transient. However, Insomnia can become Chronic in some cases. Chronic medical and psychological disorders are associated with Chronic Insomnia. For patients with an intrinsic risk of Insomnia, this form of Insomnia usually exists (Morin, Benca, 2012).

Insomnia has an annual effect on up to 40% of the general population and is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality. Significant economic pressure is imposed on society and workers by the direct and indirect costs of Insomnia. Measurable costs of Insomnia include decreased productivity, higher absenteeism, injuries, and hospital stays, as well as medical costs related to high mortality and morbidity, stress due to Insomnia, and increased alcohol intake, in addition to the cost of medical care and medications (Stoller, 1994).

Studies have found that 30% to 48% of older adults are affected by Insomnia. With age, Insomnia becomes more familiar. An individual may experience changes in behaviour as they age, which means that they may be less physically or socially involved. A lack of action will affect the sleep of an individual of a decent night. In comparison, the less involved you are, the more likely you are to take a regular nap that may conflict with night sleep (Patel, Steinberg, Patel, 2018). Statics show that women are more likely to have chronic difficulty sleeping than men (Statista Research Department, 2020). Thus, nearly 19% of women between the ages of 55 and 64 had chronic Insomnia, compared with 10.8% of men of the same age (Statista Research Department, 2020). Sleep disorders can also be a problem for children and adolescents. However, since their inner clocks are irregular, some children and teenagers have difficulty getting to sleep. Therefore, they avoid their daily bedtime and choose to go to bed later, and in the morning, they like to sleep longer.

In conclusion, most Insomnia cases can be treated without depending on sleep therapists or taking over-the-counter sleeping pills. Individuals can make life adjustments to help treat their Insomnia. Eventually, the individual will have a goodnight’s sleep once they find the root causes of them not being able to sleep and making the simple right adjustments to their everyday routines and sleep environment.






  • Merrigan, J.M., et al. (2013). Insomnia. Jama 309.7: 733-733
  • Morin, C.M., Benca, R. (2012). Chronic insomnia. The Lancet 379.9821: 1129-1141
  • Stoller, M K. (1994). Economic effects of insomnia. Clinical therapeutics vol. 16, 5: 873-97; discussion 854
  • Patel, D., Steinberg, J., Patel, P. (2018). Insomnia in the elderly: a review. J Clin Sleep Med. 14(6):1017–1024.
  • Statista Research Department. (2020). Statista: Share of French people suffering of chronic insomnia 2017, by age and gender.