What is insomnia?

Insomnia is one type of sleep problem. It is characterised by feeling tired during the day combined with one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Taking more than 30 minutes to fall asleep
  • Waking up frequently
  • Taking more than 30 minutes to go back to sleep
  • Waking up too early

If you have some of these symptoms, but don’t actually feel tired during the day, you may not have insomnia.

What can cause insomnia?

  • Personal issues, such as grief or stress
  • A noisy or disruptive environment
  • Some medical conditions
  • Psychiatric disorders
  • Substances such as alcohol, caffeine or nicotine
  • Some medicines

Other types of sleep problem

There are other types of sleeping problems, such as sleep apnoea and restless leg syndrome. For more information talk to your health professional or visit the Sleep Disorders Australia website.