Insomnia: Meaning, Diagnosis and Overview

What is Insomnia?

Insomnia is a sleep disorder that is characterized by difficulty falling and/or staying asleep. It is also called as sleeplessness. In such a condition you may get too little sleep or have poor-quality sleep and may not feel refreshed after waking up.

Recovery Time

It may take few months to several years for the conditions to heal.


The condition is diagnosed by physical examination of the patients medication and sleep history.

FAQs prepared by doctor

Q1. What is insomnia?
Insomnia is usually a symptom, typically secondary to something else. It is best characterized as the inability to fall asleep, stay asleep, or waking too early in the morning.

Q2. Do women suffer from insomnia more than men?
Women are twice more likely to suffer from insomnia than men. Some of the social factors like being unemployed or divorced increase the risk of insomnia in women. Sometimes perimenopausal women have difficulty falling asleep because hot flashes and night sweats often can disturb sleep. Pregnancy can also effect on womens sleep. Also, it tends to increase with age.

Q3. Is insomnia a serious sleep Disorder?
Insomnia is not really a serious problem for your health, but it can make you feel exhausted, depressed and irritable. It can also make it hard to concentrate during the day. It can become a serious problem if untreated.

Q4. How do I know whether Iam getting a good nights sleep or not?
The amount of sleep you need is individual to you but, in general, most adults need seven to eight hours sleep a night. It should take you less than half an hour to fall asleep and you should generally sleep for between seven and eight hours a night, but this can vary. You may wake up for a couple of minutes every two hours or so but you shouldnt be aware of these mini wakes. You should feel refreshed once you have woken up.

Q5. When to seek medical advice?
If insomnia has been severely interfering with your daytime functioning for a month or longer, see your doctor to find out what might be the cause of your sleep problem and how it might be cured.

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