What Is Insomnia
Insomnia is a sleep disorder in which you have trouble falling and/or staying asleep.
The condition can be short-term (acute) or can last a long time (chronic). It may also come and go.
Acute insomnia lasts from 1 night to a few weeks. Insomnia is chronic when it happens at least 3 nights a week for 3 months or more.
Types of Insomnia
There are two types of insomnia: primary and secondary.
- Primary insomnia: This means your sleep problems aren’t linked to any other health condition or problem.
- Secondary insomnia: This means you have trouble sleeping because of a health condition (like asthma, depression, arthritis, cancer, or heartburn); pain; medication; or substance use (like alcohol).
Causes of primary insomnia include:
- Stress related to big life events, like a job loss or change, the death of a loved one, divorce, or moving
- Things around you like noise, light, or temperature
- Changes to your sleep schedule like jet lag, a new shift at work, or bad habits you picked up when you had other sleep problems
- Mental health issues like depression and anxiety
- Medications for colds, allergies, depression, high blood pressure, and asthma
- Pain or discomfort at night
- Caffeine, tobacco, or alcohol use
- Hyperthyroidism and other endocrine problems
- Other sleep disorders, like sleep apnea or restless legs syndrome
Insomnia Risk Factors
Insomnia affects women more than men and older people more than younger ones. Young and middle-age African Americans also have a higher risk.
Other risk factors include:
- Long-term illness
- Mental health issues
- Working night shifts or shifts that rotate
Insomnia Risk Factors Insomnia affects women more than men and older people more than younger ones. Young and middle-age African Americans also have a higher risk. Other risk factors include: Long-term illness Mental health issues Working night shifts or shifts that rotate