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Insomnia is the term for trouble falling asleep, staying asleep through the night, or waking up too early in the morning. Insomnia may come and go or can be ongoing.

Lifestyle habits that may cause insomnia or make it worse include:

  • Going to bed at a different time each night
  • Daytime napping
  • Poor sleeping environment, such as too much noise or light
  • Spending too much time in bed while awake
  • Working evenings or night shifts
  • Not getting enough exercise
  • Using the TV, computer, or a mobile device in bed

Some medicines and drugs may affect sleep. These include:

  • Alcohol or other drugs
  • Heavy smoking
  • Too much caffeine
  • Getting used to certain types of sleep medicines
  • Some cold medicines and diet pills
  • Other medicines, herbs, or supplements

Physical, social, and mental health issues can affect sleep patterns, including:

  • Bipolar disorder
  • Feeling sad or depressed
  • Stress and anxiety

Other health problems may also lead to insomnia, such as:

  • Pregnancy
  • Physical pain or discomfort
  • Waking up at night to use the bathroom, common in men with enlarged prostate
  • Sleep apnea

Signs & Symptoms

Symptoms of insomnia may include:

  • Fatigue
  • Lack of energy
  • Inability to fall asleep
  • Waking earlier than usual
  • Inability to return to sleep if woken
  • Not feeling refreshed when you wake up
  • Waking up several times during sleep       


A Deborah Specialty Physicians sleep specialist will do a physical exam and ask about current medications, drug use, and medical history. Usually, these are the only methods needed to diagnose insomnia.