What causes insomnia?
Why can’t I get to sleep?
Some people suffer from sleep disorders (like sleep apnea or restless leg syndrome) that make sleeplessness an ongoing problem. But for most of us who experience sleepless nights or periods of insomnia, the reasons can be subtle (but perhaps just as difficult to control). Here are a few things that can affect our sleep:
Any of these factors can be a sleep thief. Certain prescription medications can also have an effect on overall sleep quality.
Insomnia is defined as:
- Difficulty getting to sleep and/or staying asleep
- Waking up too early
- Trouble sleeping despite adequate opportunity for sleep
Insomnia is also characterized by at least one of the following, which may occur during the day:
- Fatigue or sleepiness
- Mood disturbance or irritability
- Lack of motivation and energy
- Errors or accidents while working or driving
- Tension headaches
Insomnia can be acute or chronic. Acute insomnia is a short-term problem that is generally the result of stress or change (new job, final exams, illness). It generally lasts only a few nights or a few weeks, and an over-the-counter sleep aid may help you relieve occasional nighttime sleeplessness. To find out more about Unisom® products, click here.
Chronic insomnia is a long-term problem in which a person experiences poor sleep or not enough sleep for at least 30 days. If this describes you, see a physician or a sleep specialist.