An estimated 30% to 50% of the general population is affected by insomnia.  Insomnia is most often thought of as both a sign and a symptom that can accompany several sleep, medical and psychiatric disorders, characterized by persistent difficulty falling asleep and/or staying asleep or sleep of poor quality.

Opinions may differ when it comes to classifying insomnia, but generally it can be classified by the duration of the problem:

·       Transient insomnia – symptoms lasting less than one week

·       Short-term insomnia or Acute insomnia – symptoms between one to three weeks

·       Chronic insomnia –  lasts for longer than one month

Insomnia is caused by many different things.  The most common causes are:

·       Alcohol

·       Depression

·       Stress

·       Caffeine

·       Anxiety

The most common symptoms are:

·       Difficulty falling asleep

·       Waking up several times during sleep

·       Not feeling refreshed when you wake up

·       Feeling tired during the day or falling asleep during the day

When medical treatment is sought, generally it will entail both non-pharmacologic and pharmacologic aspects.  Treatment should be tailored for the individual, based on the potential cause.   Studies show that combining medical and non-medical treatments are more successful in treating insomnia than either one alone.