Insomnia can be a short-term or chronic condition, but it always involves problems with falling or staying asleep. Short-term (transient) insomnia can be caused by illness, stress, travel, or environmental factors. Long-term (chronic) insomnia may be due to underlying psychological or physical conditions.
What is at risk?
Anyone can get insomnia, but it is generally more common in women than in men. The elderly are particularly at risk for insomnia.
How is Insomnia treated?
- Sleep hygiene is an important first step for controlling insomnia. These simple self-help measures include establishing a regular bedtime routine, regulating mealtimes and fluid consumption, and limiting caffeine consumption.
- Behavioral therapy methods include various approaches for training new sleep behaviors and helping patients relax and sleep well. Behavioral therapy can help treat insomnia in people of all ages.
- If self-help or behavioral therapy do not solve the problem, a doctor may prescribe medications for use on a short-term basis.
Return to Sleep Medicine Main Page