Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
- Insomnia facts
- What is insomnia?
- What causes insomnia?
- What situational and stress factors cause insomnia?
- What are the risk factors for insomnia?
- What are the symptoms of insomnia?
- When should I call the doctor about insomnia?
- How is insomnia diagnosed?
- How is insomnia treated?
- What are non-medical treatments for insomnia?
- What is sleep hygiene?
- How can stimulus control help with insomnia?
- What is sleep restriction?
- What medications are used to treat insomnia?
- What is the outlook for insomnia?
- Insomnia FAQs
- Find a local Sleep Specialist in your town
- Insomnia is a condition characterized by poor quality and/or quantity of sleep, despite adequate opportunity to sleep, which leads to daytime functional impairment.
- Many medical and psychiatric conditions may be responsible for causing insomnia.
- Some common symptoms of insomnia include unrefreshing sleep, daytime sleepiness and fatigue, mood changes, poor concentration and attention, anxiety, headaches, lack of energy, and increased errors and mistakes.
- Insomnia may, at times, be unrelated to any underlying condition.
- There are several useful non-medical behavioral techniques available for treating insomnia.
- Medications are widely used to treat insomnia in conjunction with non-medical strategies.
- Sleep specialists are medical doctors who can play an important role in evaluating and treating long-standing (chronic) insomnia.
What is insomnia?
Insomnia is defined as difficulty initiating or maintaining sleep, or both, despite adequate opportunity and time to sleep, leading to impaired daytime functioning. Insomnia may be a cause of or result of poor quality and/or quantity of sleep.
Insomnia is very common. Ninety percent of the general population has experienced acute insomnia at least once. Approximately 10% of the population may suffer from chronic (long-standing) insomnia.
Insomnia affects people of all ages including children, although it is more common in adults and its frequency increases with age. In general, women are affected more frequently than men.
Insomnia may be divided into three classes based on the duration of symptoms.
- Insomnia lasting one week or less may be termed transient insomnia;
- short-term insomnia lasts more than one week but resolves in less than three weeks; and
- long-term or chronic insomnia lasts more than three weeks.
It is important to make a distinction between insomnia and other similar terminology; short duration sleep and sleep deprivation.
- Short duration sleep may be normal in some individuals who may require less time for sleep without feeling daytime impairment, the central symptom in the definition of insomnia.
- In insomnia, adequate time and opportunity for sleep is available, whereas in sleep deprivation, lack of sleep is due to lack of opportunity or time to sleep because of voluntary or intentional avoidance of sleep.
Next: What causes insomnia?
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