What Is Insomnia?

Man talking to healthcare provider.

Do you have trouble falling asleep? Do you wake up often during the night? Or maybe you wake up too early in the morning. You may be suffering from insomnia. Talk with your healthcare provider if it lasts longer than a few weeks and you feel tired most of the time.

What causes insomnia?

Some common causes of insomnia are:

  • Health problems. These may be things such as pain, depression, medicine side effects, or trouble breathing.

  • Circadian rhythm disorder. This is a shift in the body’s normal 24-hour activity cycle.

  • Lifestyle factors. These can include a changing sleep schedule, lack of exercise, or too much caffeine or alcohol.

  • Sleep settings. This includes things such as a poor mattress, noise, or a room that’s too hot or too cold.

  • Stress. You may be stressed about problems at work, money worries, or family events.

Talk to your healthcare provider

Describe your sleeping problems to your healthcare provider. Try to keep a daily sleep diary for a couple of weeks. Write down the time you go to bed, the time you wake up, and anything that seems to affect your sleep. Your healthcare provider can work with you to create a treatment plan. You may need to learn good sleeping habits and make some lifestyle changes. If you have any health problems, these may need to be treated first.