Insomnia is a common sleep disorder that makes it difficult to fall asleep, stay asleep and/or return to sleep after waking. Insomnia can be chronic or acute, meaning long-term or short-term, and often comes and goes over time. Depending on its severity, insomnia can lead to health complications and lifestyle disruptions.
Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder in the general population. It is defined as a persistent difficulty with sleep initiation, duration, consolidation or quality that occurs despite adequate opportunity for sleep, and leads to impairment in health and functioning. It may also be a symptom of another medical condition such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Recent findings show that insomnia is on the rise. Factors such as stress and anxiety have contributed to an increase in its prevalence in the United States with diagnosis rising from 33% (pre-pandemic) to 56% (post-pandemic). Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) is the first-line recommendation for managing chronic insomnia. The American College of Physicians released recommendations for chronic insomnia in 2016 stating that only after patients fail CBT-I should medication options be considered. Seventy-five percent respond to CBT-I, therefore, why are so many people that are suffering from insomnia still taking sleep medications?
Access tools and resources related to earning your CCSH credential and sign up to receive updates from AAST.