Symptoms of insomnia can vary greatly between cases. Some people suffer from severe symptoms, such as the inability to fall asleep, while others may get a full night's sleep but find they don't feel well-rested when they wake, often because their sleep is very light. Many people experience symptoms during the day, such as the inability to focus or concentrate, or find it difficult to stay awake.

Common insomnia symptoms include:

Difficulty falling asleep at night

Some people suffering with insomnia may find they have trouble falling asleep at night and can lie in bed for hours without being able to drift off to sleep.

Learn about other causes of difficulty falling asleep.

Awakening during the night

Sometimes people are able to fall asleep but wake frequently during the night. This restlessness can lead to inadequate sleep and if persistent, leads to insomnia.

Find out other causes of sudden awakening at night. 

Waking too early

Many people are able to fall asleep and stay asleep for a period of time, but wake before they've gotten an adequate amount. They usually wake feeling exhausted. Most people need about seven to eight hours of sleep a night, and children and teens tend to need more. Seniors often require less sleep at night, but may require a daytime nap.

Learn other causes of early awakening.

Not feeling rested after a night's sleep

Some people are able to get a full night's sleep, but don't feel refreshed or well-rested when they wake. This is often because their sleep is too light and doesn't allow the body to fully relax.

Find out other potential causes of feeling unrefreshed by sleep.

Daytime fatigue or sleepiness

People that suffer from insomnia often experience symptoms such as fatigue and a loss of concentration during the day.

Learn about possible causes of daytime sleepiness and causes of fatigue.

Difficulty paying attention or focusing on tasks

If insomnia persists, it can lead to mental sluggishness and a decrease in mental functioning, such as focusing or paying attention.

Find out about causes of difficulty paying attention.

Other symptoms of insomnia include:

  • Ongoing worries about sleep
  • Tension headaches
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Depression