Insomnia is described as difficulties falling asleep, staying asleep, and/or waking up too early. It can be characterized as being acute (e.g., due to a recent life stressor) or chronic. Insomnia also leads to daytime symptoms, such as fatigue, sleepiness, and poor concentration. Moreover, research has shown that insomnia increases the risk for psychological and physical problems, including anxiety, depression, poor memory, obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes. About 1/3 of the population will struggle with insomnia at some point in their lives and the ratio is two women for every man.

Psychological treatment is available to help overcome insomnia. In fact, Cognitive-Behavior Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-i) is a proven and effective psychological treatment for this sleep disorder. CBT-i aims at changing sleep habits and scheduling factors, as well as misconceptions about sleep and insomnia that perpetuate sleep difficulties.

The following YouTube video, prepared by John Hopkins Center for Sleep, offers a more detailed description of insomnia as well as its treatment options.

Christine Arsenault