Insomnia (also called insomnia disorder) is a common sleep problem that can affect your quality of life. People with insomnia have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. They may wake up during the night or wake up too early the next morning.
There are many things that can cause sleep problems. Insomnia may be caused by:
- Stress. Stress can be caused by fear about a single event, such as giving a speech. Or you may have ongoing stress, such as worry about work or school.
- Depression, anxiety, and other mental or emotional conditions.
- Poor sleep habits, such as watching TV in bed or not having a regular bedtime schedule. If you have trouble sleeping, you may worry about being able to fall asleep. This can make the problem worse.
- Changes in your sleep habits or surroundings. This includes changes that happen where you sleep, such as noise, light, or sleeping in a different bed. It also includes changes in your sleep pattern, such as having jet lag or working a late shift.
- Other health problems, such as pain, sleep apnea, and restless legs syndrome.
- Stimulants, such as tobacco and caffeine, as well as certain medicines, alcohol, and drugs.
- Lack of regular exercise.
Treatment for insomnia focuses on the reason why you don’t sleep well. If you have a medical problem, such as chronic pain, or an emotional problem, such as stress, treating that problem may help you sleep better. You may be able to sleep better by making some small changes. It may help to:
- Go to bed at the same time each night.
- Get up at the same time each day.
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol for several hours before bedtime.
- Get regular exercise. Figure out what time of day works best for your sleep patterns.
- Avoid daytime naps.
Talk to your doctor about your sleep problems and any other health issues you may have. This is important, because lack of sleep can lead to depression, accidents, problems at work, marital and social problems, drinking more alcohol than usual, and poor health. Treatment may help you avoid these problems and feel better.