Insomnia is the inability to maintain or initiate sleep and can be attributed to not enough sleep or sleep that is of poor quality with constant interruptions - for instance someone who snores or has sleep apnea. Up to 50% of the population suffers from insomnia at some time or another, however about 10% are plagued with this malady most of the time making it a chronic problem for them.
Insomnia can affect people of all ages but generally it is usually adults and it tends to increase as people age with women more affected than men. Some people experience insomnia for medical reasons or because of stress so that it might be short-lived while others experience it often. Those who have insomnia for more than three weeks are considered chronic cases.
Situations that can bring on insomnia include working alternate shifts like a night shift when they have always worked during the day before. Others might be affected when they are exposed to hot or cold temperatures making their physical discomfort affect their sleep. Other triggers for insomnia could be jet lag or sleeping in an unfamiliar environment. Stress plays a big role if you are going through a divorce or have any life changing events.
Medical conditions, medications, hunger or eating a large meal or taking caffeine prior to bedtime can cause insomnia along with alcohol. Urinary problems that cause frequent urination or other physiological conditions can contribute to insomnia. Restless leg syndrome is another cause as it is difficult to lie still and maintain sleep.
Those who suffer sleep apnea or frequent snoring that causes interruptions throughout the night can cause insomnia because it might constantly wake you up and then prove difficult to return to sleep. It is important to understand the reasons for your insomnia so that you can consult a physician and determine the best solution to handle the problem.