Everyone suffers from insomnia periodically due to any number of environmental stressors. Typically, this is acute insomnia (sleep issues that occur over a few days or weeks). However, if you suffer from sleep difficulties on an ongoing basis (three or more nights per week for at least three months), you may be suffering from chronic insomnia.
Insomnia can manifest in three distinct ways: difficulty falling asleep, difficulty staying asleep through the night, and late insomnia (early morning awakenings).
Insomnia Diagnostic Criteria
According to the Diagnostic statistical Manual (DSM-5), the major criteria for insomnia are as follows:
- Dissatisfaction with sleep quantity or quality, with one or more of the following symptoms: difficulty initiating sleep, difficulty maintaining sleep, early-morning awakening
- The sleep disturbance causes significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, educational, academic, behavioral, or other important areas of functioning
- The sleep difficulty occurs at least 3 nights per week, is present for at least 3 months, and despite adequate opportunity for sleep
- Insomnia symptoms do not co-occur with another sleep disorder
- Insomnia is not explained by coexisting mental disorders or medical conditions
Other symptoms include:
- Difficulty staying asleep -- waking up multiple times during the night and having difficulties falling back asleep
- Feeling drowsy throughout the day
- Irritability or mood swings
- Difficulty remembering things or concentrating