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FAQ Frequently asked questions
What is insomnia?
Insomnia is difficulty falling asleep or difficulty staying asleep. It is a symptom and not a disease. It is very common for people to experience insomnia at some point in their lives.
What causes insomnia?
Lots of different factors can cause you to have trouble sleeping. Short-term insomnia may be caused by stress or a change in your sleeping environment such as noise, bright lights or temperature. Insomnia can also be caused by substances called stimulants that can …
What are the symptoms of insomnia?
The main symptom of insomnia is experiencing trouble falling asleep at night and difficulty staying asleep. If you have insomnia you may also wake up many times during the night, or wake early in the morning. You may not feel well rested after a night's …
How is insomnia treated?
The treatment for insomnia will depend what is causing the condition. It is important to treat any underlying condition, such as sleep apnea or depression. Self-care strategies for insomnia include trying to get to sleep naturally by establishing a bedtime routine, …
Who is at risk of insomnia?
Anyone can experience insomnia, but several factors can increase your risk of developing the condition. These include being over the age of 60, being female, being under a lot of stress, having a mental health disorder, or working night shifts.
Can insomnia be prevented?
You can prevent insomnia by identifying and treating, early on, problems that could cause difficulty sleeping. This might include managing any health problems, reducing the amount of caffeine, alcohol and other stimulants you consume, and developing good sleeping …
How is insomnia diagnosed?
Insomnia is a symptom and not a disease, so your doctor will focus on identifying the reason why you might be having difficulty sleeping. your doctor will usually want to perform a physical examination to look for related health conditions, and ask you about your …
Is insomnia serious?
Insomnia is not usually serious. However, lack of sleep can result in day-time sleepiness, which can lead to poor performance at school or work and can increase the risk of having accidents. If insomnia is experienced for a long time, it can also lead to mental health …
About this article
Author: Dr Joanne Van der Velden PhD, BSc (Hons)
First answered: 18 Sep 2014
Last reviewed: 19 May 2018
Rating: 4.8 out of 5
Votes: 775 (Click smiley face below left to rate)
Category: Insomnia (sleep problems)