Insomnia is the inability to fall asleep, or to stay asleep long enough to get a proper night’s sleep. The occasional night with too little sleep can make you feel very tired the following day. This can be dangerous if you’re driving or operating machinery. Insomnia which goes on for a long period of time can cause health problems such as high blood pressure and diabetes, or make you more likely to become overweight.
There are two types of insomnia, called primary and secondary insomnia. Primary insomnia has no obvious cause. Secondary insomnia is caused by an underlying problem, such as a medical condition or psychological problem such as grief and depression.
Insomnia can be described as either short term or long term. Short-term insomnia lasts for between one and four weeks. Long-term (chronic) insomnia lasts for more than four weeks.
One in four people in the UK are thought to suffer from insomnia at some point in their lives. More women experience insomnia than men. As you get older, you’re more likely to have difficulty sleeping. One in every two people over the age of 65 has insomnia at some time