Insomnia is difficulty in falling or staying asleep, the absence of restful sleep, or poor quality of sleep. Insomnia is a symptom and not a disease. The most common causes of insomnia are medications, psychological conditions, environmental changes and stressful events. Treatments may include non-drug treatments, over-the-counter medicines, and/or prescription medications.Read more: Insomnia Treatment (Sleep Aids and Stimulants) Article
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
Insomnia Quiz: What Is Insomnia?
Insomnia affects all age groups, and is the most common sleep disorder in the world. There also seems to be a link between...
Caffeine Quiz: Test Your Medical IQ
If you can't function without your morning cup of java or your afternoon caffeine jolt, this quiz is for you. Learn about your...
Sleep Disorders: Foods That Help Sleep or Keep You Awake
Need more shut-eye? Your late-night cravings could be keeping you from a good night’s sleep. Should you drink green tea before...
Sleep Better, Conquer Insomnia
What is insomnia? Are you an insomniac? Learn 10 tips on how to get a good night's sleep and avoid sleep disorders such as...
Sleep Disorders: Insomnia, Sleep Apnea, and More
Learn about the different types of sleep disorders such as insomnia and sleep apnea. Explore the symptoms, causes, tests and...
Jobs That May Ruin Your Sleep
Some jobs can lead to sleep problems like insomnia, especially for graveyard and other shift work. Learn how work can disrupt...
Restless Legs Syndrome: 16 Natural Remedies and Treatment for RLS
Restless legs syndrome treatment includes natural remedies that you can implement at home. Use exercise, sleep hygiene, and...
20 Tips to Beat Insomnia and Sleep Better
Good sleep hygiene leads to better sleep. Avoid insomnia and sleep better by minimizing stress, exercising, and taking proper...
9 Signs of Perimenopause
Perimenopause occurs before menopause as estrogen levels begin to change. This can cause menopause like symptoms such as hot...
Drug Interactions: Foods, Drugs, Herbs Affecting Medications
What foods, drugs, and herbal supplements interact with your pharmaceuticals? Learn about grapefruit and other common drug...
Related Disease Conditions
Depression is an illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts and affects the way a person eats and sleeps, the way one feels about oneself, and the way one thinks about things. The principal types of depression are major depression, dysthymia, and bipolar disease (also called manic-depressive disease).
Stress occurs when forces from the outside world impinge on the individual. Stress is a normal part of life. However, over-stress, can be harmful. There is now speculation, as well as some evidence, that points to the abnormal stress responses as being involved in causing various diseases or conditions.
Restless Leg Syndrome (Symptoms, Causes, Treatment Medications, Home Remedies)
Restless leg syndrome (RLS) is a common cause for painful legs that typically eases with motion, and becomes worse and more noticeable at rest. This characteristic nighttime worsening can frequently lead to insomnia. Treatment of the symptoms of restless leg syndrome is generally with medication as well as treating any underlying condition causing restless leg syndrome.
Sleep Disorders (How to Get a Good Night's Sleep)
A number of vital tasks carried out during sleep help maintain good health and enable people to function at their best. Sleep needs vary from individual to individual and change throughout your life. The National Institutes of Health recommend about 7-9 hours of sleep each night for older, school-aged children, teens, and most average adults; 10-12 for preschool-aged children; and 16-18 hours for newborns. There are two stages of sleep; 1) REM sleep (rapid-eye movement), and 2) NREM sleep (non-rapid-eye movement). The side effects of lack of sleep or insomnia include: Irritability Tiredness Feeling sleepy during the day Concentration or memory problems Lack of sleep and insomnia can be caused by medical conditions or diseases, medications, stress, or pain. The treatment for lack of sleep and insomnia depends upon the cause.
Post-polio syndrome (PPS) is a group of signs and symptoms that show up two to four decades after the initial polio infection. Symptoms of PPS include fatigue, pain, sleep disorders, muscle twitching, gastrointestinal problems, and weakness. Treatment focuses on slowing down to conserve energy and relieving symptoms with pain relievers.
Jet lag (desynchonosis) is a temporary disorder that results from travel across time zones. Symptoms include anxiety, constipation, headache, nausea, dehydration, diarrhea, confusion, sweating, irritability, and even memory loss.
Menstrual Cramps and Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) Medication Guide
Menstrual cramps and premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms include abdominal cramping, bloating, a feeling of fullness, abdominal pain, mood swings, anxiety and more. Treatment for menstrual cramps and premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms include regular sleep, exercise, smoking cessation, diet changes, and OTC or prescription medication depending on the severity of the condition.
Narcolepsy (Definition, Symptoms, Treatment, Medication)
Causes of narcolepsy, a chronic disease of the central nervous system, have not been fully determined. Some theories include abnormalities in hypocretin neurons in the brain or an autoimmune disorder. Symptoms of narcolepsy include: excessive daytime sleepiness, cataplexy, hypnagogic hallucinations, sleep paralysis, disturbed nocturnal sleep, and automatic behavior. Diagnosis of narcolepsy is based on a clinical evaluation, specific questionnaires, sleep logs or diaries, and the results of sleep laboratory tests. Treatments of narcolepsy symptoms include medication and lifestyle changes.
Get the latest marijuana statistics and information. Learn its effects and how this drug, also known as pot, affects the brain. Also learn about medical marijuana for cancer patients and its indications.
Sleepwalking (Causes, Symptoms, Treatment)
Sleepwalking is a condition in which an individual walks or does other activities while asleep. Factors associated with sleepwalking include genetic, environmental, and physiological. Episodes of sleepwalking may include quiet walking to agitated running. Conditions that may have similar symptoms of sleepwalking, but are not include night terrors, confusional arousals, and nocturnal seizures. Treatment of sleepwalking generally include preventative measures. Medication may be prescribed if necessary.
Tension Headache (Symptoms, Relief, Causes, Treatment)
A tension headache s one of the most common types of headaches, and the exact cause is not known. Factors that may contribute to tension or stress headaches are lack of sleep, increased stress (referred to as a stress headache), skipping meals, dehydration, medical diseases or conditions, anxiety, or changes at home, work, or school. Treatment of tension headaches include prescription and OTC medications, stress management, and treating any underlying illness or condition.
Depression in teenagers may be caused by many factors. Symptoms of teen depression include apathy, irresponsible behavior, sadness, sudden drop in grades, withdrawal from friends, and alcohol and drug use. Treatment of depression in adolescents may involve psychotherapy and medications.
Depression in the Elderly
Depression in the elderly is very common. That doesn't mean, though, it's normal. Treatment may involve antidepressants, psychotherapy, or electroconvulsive therapy.
Anxiety is a feeling of apprehension and fear characterized by symptoms such as trouble concentrating, headaches, sleep problems, and irritability. Anxiety disorders are serious medical illnesses that affect approximately 19 million American adults. Treatment for anxiety may incorporate medications and psychotherapy.
Insomnia (Symptoms, Causes, Remedies, and Cures)
Insomnia is the perception or complaint of inadequate or poor-quality sleep because of difficulty falling asleep; waking up frequently during the night with difficulty returning to sleep; waking up too early in the morning; or unrefreshing sleep. Secondary insomnia is the most common type of insomnia. Treatment for insomnia include lifestyle changes, cognitive behavioral therapy, and medication.
Hypersomnia is a condition where a person has excessive daytime sleepiness and trouble staying awake during the day. Treatment for hypersomnia includes medication, CPAP machines, and lifestyle changes.
Periodic Limb Movement Disorder
Periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD) is a sleep disorder characterized by rhythmic movements of the limbs during sleep. The movements typically involve the legs, but upper extremity movements may also occur. Movements occur periodically throughout the night and can fluctuate in severity from one night to the next. They tend to cluster in episodes that last anywhere from a few minutes to several hours. These movements are very different from the normal spasms, called hypnic myoclonia, that we often experience initially while trying to fall asleep.
Snoring (Causes, Aids, Remedies, Solutions)
Snoring, like all other sounds, is caused by vibrations that cause particles in the air to form sound waves. While we are asleep, turbulent air flow can cause the tissues of the nose and throat to vibrate and give rise to snoring. Any person can snore. Snoring is believed to occur in anywhere from 30% of women to over 45% of men. People who snore can have any body type. In general, as people get older and as they gain weight, snoring will worsen. Snoring can be caused by a number of things, including the sleep position, alcohol, medication, anatomical structure of the mouth and throat, stage of sleep, and mouth breathing.
Night Sweats (In Men and Women) Causes, Remedies, and Treatments
Night sweats are severe hot flashes that occur at night and result in a drenching sweat. The causes of night sweats in most people are not serious, like menopause in women, sleep apnea, medications, alcohol withdrawal, and thyroid problems. However, more serious diseases like cancer and HIV also can cause night sweats. Your doctor will treat your night sweats depending upon the cause. You may experience other signs and symptoms that are associated with night sweats, which depend upon the cause, but may include, shaking, and chills with a fever caused by an infection like the flu or pneumonia; unexplained weight loss due to lymphoma; women in perimenopause or menopause may also have vaginal dryness, mood swings, and hot flashes during the day; and low blood sugar in people with diabetes. Other causes of night sweats include medications like NSAIDs (aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), and naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), antidepressants, sildenafil (Viagra), and abuse of prescription or illegal drugs and drug withdrawal; hormone disorders like pheochromocytoma and carcinoid syndrome; idiopathic hyperhidrosis; infections like endocarditis, AIDs, and abscesses; alcoholism and alcohol withdrawal; drug abuse, addiction, and withdrawal; and stroke. A doctor or other health care professional can treat your night sweats after the cause has been diagnosed.
Stress Management Techniques
Stress may be considered as any physical, chemical, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental unrest and that may be a factor in disease causation. An important goal for those under stress is the management of stress in our lives. Elimination of stress is unrealistic, since stress is a part of normal life. We can however, learn to manage stress through techniques such as exercise, relaxation, meditation, time management, and support systems so that we have control over our stress and its effects on our physical and mental health.
When sleepiness interferes with daily routines and activities, or reduces the ability to function, it is called "problem sleepiness." A person can have problem sleepiness without realizing it. Symptoms of problem sleepiness include: consistently don't get enough sleep, or poor quality sleep, fall asleep while driving, struggle to stay awake when inactive (like watching TV or reading), have difficulty paying attention or concentrating at work, school, or home, have poor performance problems at work or school, have difficulty remembering things, have slowed responses, have difficulty controlling your emotions, and/or if you have to take naps on most days.
Alzheimer's Disease Patient Caregiver Guide
Caring for a loved one or patient with Alzheimer's can become a difficult and overwhelming task at times. This guide helps caregivers of individual's with Alzheimer's deal with communicating, bathing, and dressing; as well as problem solving with incontinence, sleeping, wandering; and coping with difficulties Alzheimer's patients present.
Sleep and Sleep Disorders in Children and Teenagers
Sleep needs in children and teenagers depend on the age of the child. Sleep disorders in children such as: sleep apnea, parasomnias, confusional arousals, night terrors, nightmares, narcolepsy, and sleepwalking which can affect a child's or teen's sleep. Healthy sleep habits and good sleep hygiene can help your infant, toddler, preschooler, tween, or teenager get a good night's sleep.
IBS Triggers (Prevention)
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a functional disease that can affect the quality of those who suffer from this condition. People with IBS can make lifestyle changes that may modify or control the number and severity of episodes. Certain foods, medications, and hormone levels may trigger IBS episodes, for example fatty foods, dairy products, eating foods in large quantities, foods that contain high levels of sorbitol, foods that produce intestinal gas (broccoli, onions, cabbage, and beans), chocolate, caffeine, physiological stress, some antibiotics, some antidepressants, medicine with sorbitol, and menstrual pain. Exercise, diet, and other lifestyle changes can decrease IBS flares, and prevent the number and severity of IBS episodes of diarrhea and constipation.
Lewy Body Dementia (Dementia with Lewy Bodies)
Lewy body dementia (LBD or dementia with Lewy bodies) is one the most common causes of dementia. There are two types of LBD: 1) dementia with Lewy bodies, and 2) Parkinson's disease dementia. Symptoms of LBD are changes in a person's ability to think, movement problems, and sleep disorders. Treatment of LBD includes lifestyle changes, management of symptoms, palliative care, and medications to manage symptoms.
Medical Marijuana (Medical Cannabis)
Medical marijuana (medical cannabis) is a medicine that is plant based. There are two species of medical marijuana; 1) Cannabis sativa, and 2) Cannabis indica. Medical marijuana is used to treat pain, nausea, anxiety, MS, insomnia, seizures, and muscle spasms. Medical cannabis is legal in a variety of states in the US. A card or licence is required to purchase medical marijuana in states where it is legal; however, medical cannabis is against Federal law. Medical marijuana comes in a variety of products, for example, gummy bears and other candy, muffins, cookies, drinks, salves, ointments, creams, oils, and wax.
Migraine vs. Headache: Differences and Similarities
Headaches are the most common reason why a person goes to the doctor or other healthcare professional for treatment. There are different types of headaches, for example, migraine, tension, and cluster headaches. The most common type of headache is tension headache. Migraine is much less common. There are few similarities between migraine and other headaches, for example, the severity of the pain can be the same, mild, moderate, or severe; and they can occur on one side or both sides of the head. However, there are many differences between migraine and other types of headaches. Migraine headaches also have different names, for example, migraine with aura and menstrual migraine. Symptoms of migraine that usually aren't experienced by a person with another type of headache include nausea, vomiting, worsens with mild exercise, debilitating pain, eye pain, throbbing head pain. Migraine trigger include light, mild exercise, strong smells, certain foods like red wine, aged cheese, smoked meats, artificial sweeteners, chocolate, alcohol, and dairy products, menstrual period, stress, oversleeping, and changes in barometric pressure. Untreated migraine attacks usually last from 4 to 72 hours, but may last for weeks. Most headaches resolve within 24-48 hours. Doctors don't know exactly what causes migraine headaches; however, other headaches like tension headaches have more specific triggers and causes. Additional tests usually are required to diagnose migraine from other types of headaches, diseases, or other medical problems. Most headaches can be treated and cured with home remedies like essential oils, massage, and over-the-counter pain medication like acetaminophen (Tylenol) and NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) like naproxen (Aleve, Anaprox, Naprosyn) or ibuprofen (Advil, Midol, Motrin). Most headaches resolve with OTC and home remedy treatment, while your doctor may need to prescribe medication to treat your migraines. If you have the "worst headache of your life," seek medical care immediately.
Migraines and Seizures (Symptoms, Auras, Medication)
Migraines are a type of headache and seizures are the main symptom of epilepsy. Migraine headaches and seizures are two different neurological problems that have similar signs, symptoms, and auras, for example, sensitivity to light (photophobia) and sound, irritability, nausea, and vomiting. Symptoms unique to migraine and migraine auras are water retention, problems sleeping, appetite changes, and talkativeness. Symptoms unique to seizure and seizures auras are depression, a feeling of heaviness, a feeling that a seizure is approaching, and depression. Many of the symptoms of migraine and seizures are the same, however, seizures do not cause migraines; however, people who have seizures are twice as likely to have migraines and vice-versa. People who have migraines are twice as likely to have seizures, and people with seizures are twice as likely to have migraines; however, one condition does not cause the other.
Local ResourcesFind a local Sleep Specialist in your town
Treatment & Diagnosis
- Caffeine FAQs
- Insomnia FAQs
- Chloral Hydrate Uses and Risks
- Progressive Muscle Relaxation
- Trouble Sleeping? Insomnia May Be Why
- 10 Tips to Avoid Insomnia and Get a Good Night's Sleep
- PMS vs. PMDD - Whats' the Difference?
- Sleep: Are You Sleep Deprived?
- Herbs: Toxicities and Drug Interactions
- High Altitude Sickness Symptoms
- Congestive Heart Failure Symptoms
- Sleep Apnea Symptoms
Medications & Supplements
- zolpidem (Ambien)
- lorazepam (Ativan)
- temazepam (Restoril)
- trazodone (Desyrel - discontinued brand)
- diphenhydramine, Benadryl
- hydroxyzine (Vistaril)
- zaleplon (Sonata)
- triazolam (Halcion)
- Drug Interactions
- eszopiclone (Lunesta)
- Antihistamines (Oral)
- chloral hydrate - oral
- zopiclone (oral tablet)
- St. John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum)
- Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis)
- Benzodiazepines (Benzodiazepine Drug Class)
- ramelteon (Rozerem)
- Intermezzo (zolpidem)
- Belsomra (suvorexant)
- Ativan vs. Xanax
- Ativan (lorazepam) vs. Valium (diazepam)
- Hypnotics (for Sleep)
- Benzodiazepines vs. Ambien
- Sodium Oxybate (Xyrem)
- Klonopin (clonazepam) vs. Ambien (zolpidem)
- Klonopin (clonazepam) vs. Restoril (temazepam)
- Ativan (lorazepam) vs. Versed (midazolam)
- Ondansetron (Zofran) vs. promethazine (Phenergan)
- Valium (diazepam) vs. Ambien (zolpidem)
Prevention & Wellness
- For Insomniacs, Sleep Aids Can Ease a Troubled Mind
- How Sleep Woes May Strain Your Heart
- Warm Bath Can Send You Off to a Sound Slumber, Study Finds
- For Many, Pot Is Now an Alternative to Opioids or Sleep Meds
- Health Tip: Getting Back to Sleep
- Does Taking Screens Away Help Sleep-Deprived Teens?
- Women With Sleep Apnea May Have Higher Cancer Odds Than Men
- LED Blue Light Poses Eye, Sleep Risks: Report
- AHA News: The Often-Overlooked Connection Between Sleep Troubles and Stroke
- FDA Puts Tough Warning Label on Ambien, Lunesta, Other Sleep Aids
- Common Sleep Myths Endanger Public Health
- Health Tip: Managing Insomnia
- AHA News: Irregular Sleep Could Impact Your Heart Health
- Insomnia May Be in Your Genes
- Health Tip: Recognize Signs of Sleep Deficiency
- 'Rock-a-Bye' You, for Better Sleep?
- Sleep Patterns May Offer Clues to Alzheimer's
- Catching Up on News About Catch-Up Sleep
- Sleepless Night Could Make Morning Pastries Tougher to Resist
- Working More, But Getting Less Done?
- After a Spouse's Death, Sleep Woes Up Health Risks
- Here's Something to Sleep On
- Scientists Developing Blood Test for Drowsy Driving
- 1 in 4 Seniors Who Take Xanax, Valium Use Them Long Term
- Sound Advice for a Sound Sleep
- Sleepless Nights Haunt 1 in 4 Americans
- CBD Oil: All the Rage, But Is It Really Safe and Effective?
- Medical Marijuana May Not Help Your Sleep Apnea: Experts
- Who Lives Longer -- Night Owls or Early Birds?
- Health Tip: Speak With Your Doctor if You Aren't Sleeping Well
- Help for When You're Wide-Eyed at 3 a.m.
- Poor Sleep May Heighten Alzheimer's Risk
- Health Tip: Risk Factors For Insomnia
- Skipping CPAP May Mean Return to the Hospital for Apnea Patients
- Tackling Menopausal Sleep Problems From Other Angles
- Sleepy Drivers May Be Causing More Crashes Than Thought
- Health Tip: Plan for Better Sleep
- Could You Be Overdoing It With Sleeping Pills?
- Health Tip: Music May Help You Sleep
- 1 in 3 Seniors Take Sleep Aids
- Sleep Deprivation a Serious Threat to Health: Expert
- It's Time to Kick Fido Out -- of Bed, That Is
- Health Tip: Slipping Back Into Sleep
- Health Tip: 5 Things to Help You Sleep Soundly
- Desperate for Shut-Eye?
- The High Price of Untreated Insomnia
- Trouble Sleeping? New Treatment Options May Help
- Insomniacs' Brains May Work Differently
- Insomnia Cure Boosts Success of Depression Treatment, Study Finds
- Bathroom Visits May Add to Sleep Problems for Seniors
- Health Tip: Excessively Sleepy?
- Cancer-Related Fatigue Often Overlooked, Study Finds
- How Do Sleeping Pills Really Work?
- Surgical Residents Often Fatigued, Study Confirms
- Sleepwalking May Be More Common Than You Think
- Health Tip: If You Can't Sleep
- Middle-of-Night Sleeping Pill Intermezzo Approved