Insomnia is a sleep disorder. People with insomnia have either trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or both. There are to main forms of insomnia: primary insomnia where people experience trouble sleeping without any underlying medical conditions that might cause them, and secondary insomnia, where the problems with sleeping are caused by another medical condition or a substance the person has been taking. Conditions that can cause secondary insomnia are e.g. pain, heartburn, asthma, depression, or ingesting caffeine and other stimulants close to bed time.
Insomnia can be acute, which means it last only a short amount of time, or chronic which means it lasts a long time. Insomnia can cause the patient to feel tired during the day, and it can make it hard to function. This can lead to secondary symptoms like a decreased performance at work or school, a lowered self-esteem, and depression. It can have a significant impact the quality of life and also can have serious health consequences.
Insomnia is one of the most common medical complaints and it is estimated that as many as a third of adults have insomnia at some time. Primary insomnia can be brought on by significant stress like the loss of a job, grief, or divorce.