Those who suffer from insomnia either have trouble falling asleep or trouble staying asleep. Insomnia can be short term (lasting less than two weeks), episodic (happening every once in a while) or chronic (lasting greater than two weeks).
Insomnia may be caused by many factors, such as stress, depression, anxiety, caffeine intake, irregular schedules and occasional or chronic pain.
Common symptoms of insomnia include daytime sleepiness, low energy or fatigue, anxiety or frustration about sleep, attention/concentration or memory problems, and waking up tired or in pain.
For mild insomnia, see our Guide to Healthy Sleep for ideas to alleviate symptoms. If insomnia lasts for more than a few days, consult a physician so that the underlying cause can be identified, if possible, then treated. Also, if you have loud and irregular snoring, jerking legs, or pauses in breathing in addition to insomnia, seek the advice of a physician. These symptoms may be related to sleep apnea, a potentially life-threatening condition.