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What is insomnia Insomnia is the perception or complaint of inadequate or poor-quality sleep because of one or more of the following Difficulty falling asleep Waking up frequently during the night with difficulty returning to sleep Waking up too early in the morning Unrefreshing sleep Insomnia is not defined by the number of hours of sleep a person gets or how long it takes to fall asleep Individuals vary normally in their need for and their satisfaction with sleep Insomnia may cause problems during the day such as tiredness a lack of energy difficulty concentrating and irritability Insomnia can be classified as transient short term intermittent on and off and chronic constant Insomnia lasting from a single night to a few weeks is referred to as transient If episodes of transient insomnia occur from time to time the insomnia is said to be intermittent Insomnia is considered to be chronic if it occurs on most nights and lasts a month or more What causes it Certain conditions seem to make individuals more likely to experience insomnia Examples of these conditions include Advanced age insomnia occurs more frequently in those over age 60 Female gender A history of depression If other conditions such as stress anxiety a medical problem or the use of certain medications occur along with the above conditions insomnia is more likely There are many causes of insomnia Transient and intermittent insomnia generally occur in people who are temporarily experiencing one or more of the following Stress Environmental noise Extreme temperatures Change in the surrounding environment Sleepwake schedule problems such as those due to jet lag Medication side effects Chronic insomnia is more complex and often results from a combination of factors including underlying physical or mental disorders One of the most common causes of chronic insomnia is depression Other underlying causes include arthritis kidney disease heart failure
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