Insomnia Symptoms

Written by the Healthline Editorial Team | Published on September 24, 2014
Medically Reviewed by George Krucik, MD, MBA on September 24, 2014

Symptoms of Insomnia

Symptoms of insomnia can vary greatly between cases. Some people suffer from severe symptoms, such as the inability to fall asleep for long periods of time. Others may get a full night’s sleep but don’t feel well rested when they wake. Many people experience symptoms during the day, such as an inability to concentrate or difficulty staying awake.

Symptoms of insomnia can differ from person to person. If you are having trouble sleeping, or don’t feel rested when you wake up, talk to your doctor. Common symptoms of insomnia are described in the following sections.

Difficulty Falling Asleep

Some people can lie in bed for hours without being able to drift off to sleep. This can go on for long periods and lead to serious sleep deprivation. Sleep deprivation can have a negative impact on your daily life. Talk to your doctor if you think you may have a sleep disorder.

Awakening During the Night

Sometimes people are able to fall asleep but wake frequently during the night. This restlessness can lead to inadequate rest and problems with daytime functioning. There are multiple cases of this type of sleep disturbance. Your doctor can help you with a diagnosis.

Early Waking

Many people are able to fall asleep and stay asleep for a period of time, but wake at 3 or 4 a.m. Even though they may wake feeling exhausted, they are still unable to go back to sleep.

Not Feeling Rested

Even though some people may get a full night’s sleep, they don’t feel refreshed or rested when they wake. This is often because their sleep is too light or there are sleep disturbances that interrupt their stages of sleep. Periods of deep sleep are required for adequate rest.

Daytime Sleepiness

People who suffer from insomnia often experience deep fatigue and sleepiness during the day. This usually requires extra caffeine intake to get through the day, which only worsens the sleep problems during the night. If you are having trouble sleeping, try to avoid caffeine and other substances that may disturb sleep.

Difficulty Focusing on Tasks

Persistent insomnia, can lead to mental sluggishness and a decrease in mental functioning. It can become difficult to concentrate or pay attention if you are suffering from chronic lack of sleep. This state can have a big impact on work or school performance.

Other Symptoms of Insomnia

Other potential symptoms of insomnia include:

  • ongoing worries about sleep
  • tension headaches
  • gastrointestinal problems
  • irritability
  • anxiety
  • depression
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