symptoms insomnia: Stress, Medical Conditions, and More

Symptoms Insomnia. Experienced by millions globally, insomnia is a prevalent sleep disorder marked by challenges in falling asleep, staying asleep, or both, even when the opportunity for rest is present.

Whether manifesting as acute (short-term) or chronic (long-term), the symptoms of insomnia can profoundly affect an individual's physical and mental well-being.

Insomnia is a common sleep disorder that affects millions of people worldwide. It is characterized by difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or both, despite having the opportunity to do so.

Insomnia can be acute (short-term) or chronic (long-term) and can have a significant impact on an individual’s physical and mental well-being.

symptoms insomnia

What is Insomnia

Insomnia is a sleep disorder characterized by difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or experiencing non-restorative sleep, despite having the opportunity and environment for adequate sleep.

Individuals with insomnia often find themselves dissatisfied with the quality or duration of their sleep, leading to daytime impairment and functional difficulties.

There are different types of insomnia, including:

1. Transient Insomnia

Lasting for a few nights, often caused by stress, changes in sleep environment, or disruptions in sleep routine.

2. Acute Insomnia

Short-term insomnia that lasts for a few weeks, typically triggered by life events such as a traumatic event, illness, or significant stress.

3. Chronic Insomnia

This form of insomnia occurs at least three nights a week and lasts for three months or longer. It can have multiple causes, including medical conditions, psychiatric disorders, or long-term stress.

Insomnia can manifest with various symptoms, such as difficulty falling asleep, waking up frequently during the night, difficulty returning to sleep, and waking up too early in the morning.

The condition can lead to daytime fatigue, irritability, difficulty concentrating, and impaired overall functioning.

Addressing insomnia often involves identifying and treating underlying causes, adopting healthy sleep hygiene practices, and, in some cases, medical or behavioral interventions.

If someone is consistently experiencing difficulties with sleep, it's advisable to consult with a healthcare professional or sleep specialist for proper evaluation and guidance.

Causes of Insomnia

Various factors can contribute to the development of insomnia, including:

  1. Stress and Anxiety: High levels of stress and anxiety can make it difficult for individuals to relax and fall asleep. This is often the case with people who are dealing with work-related pressure, financial worries, or relationship problems.

  2. Medical Conditions: Certain medical conditions, such as chronic pain, asthma, and heart failure, can disrupt sleep patterns and lead to insomnia.

  3. Psychiatric Disorders: Mental health issues such as depression, bipolar disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can interfere with sleep and contribute to insomnia.

  4. Medications: Some medications, including antidepressants, corticosteroids, and medications for high blood pressure, can have side effects that disrupt sleep.

  5. Poor Sleep Habits: Irregular sleep schedules, excessive use of electronic devices before bedtime, and consuming caffeine or alcohol close to bedtime can all contribute to insomnia.

  6. Environmental Factors: Noise, light, and temperature can also play a role in disrupting sleep and contributing to insomnia.

Symptoms of Insomnia

The symptoms of insomnia can vary from person to person, but commonly include:

  • Difficulty falling asleep at night

  • Waking up during the night and having trouble going back to sleep

  • Waking up too early in the morning

  • Feeling tired upon waking

  • Daytime fatigue or sleepiness

  • Irritability, depression, or anxiety

  • Difficulty paying attention, focusing on tasks, or remembering things

Impact of Insomnia

Insomnia can have a significant impact on an individual’s quality of life. According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, insomnia is associated with an increased risk of developing chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and depression.

It can also impair cognitive function, leading to decreased productivity at work and an increased risk of accidents and injuries.

In addition, chronic insomnia has been linked to an increased risk of premature death. A study published in the journal Sleep found that individuals with chronic insomnia have a threefold increased risk of dying from any cause compared to those without the disorder.

Treatment Options for Insomnia

There are several approaches to treating insomnia, including:

  1. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): CBT is a structured psychological treatment that helps individuals identify and change negative thoughts and behaviors that are interfering with their sleep. This type of therapy is effective in improving sleep quality and reducing the symptoms of insomnia.

  2. Medications: Several types of medications can be used to treat insomnia, including benzodiazepines, non-benzodiazepine hypnotics, and melatonin receptor agonists. These medications should be used under the guidance of a healthcare professional, as they can have side effects and potential for dependency.

  3. Lifestyle Changes: Making changes to one’s lifestyle and sleep habits can also help improve sleep quality and reduce the symptoms of insomnia. This may include establishing a regular sleep schedule, creating a relaxing bedtime routine, and avoiding stimulants such as caffeine and nicotine close to bedtime.

Conclusion: Symptoms Insomnia

Insomnia is a complex sleep disorder that can have a significant impact on an individual’s well-being. It is important for individuals experiencing symptoms of insomnia to seek professional help to receive an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

By addressing the underlying causes of insomnia and implementing effective treatment strategies, individuals can improve their sleep quality and overall health.


  • American Academy of Sleep Medicine. “Insomnia – Diagnosis & Treatment.” 2020.

  • Qaseem A, Kansagara D, Forciea MA, et al. “Management of Chronic Insomnia Disorder in Adults: A Clinical Practice Guideline from the American College of Physicians.” Ann Intern Med. 2016;165:125-133.

  • Kripke DF, Langer RD, Elliott JA, et al. “Mortality related to actigraphic long and short sleep.” Sleep Medicine. 2011; 12:28-33.

Samir Sali

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