Insomnia

ADOLESCENT, ADULT AND GERIATRICS
insomnia
Why Yale Medicine?
  • Our physicians stay updated on the latest interventions and treatments for insomnia.
  • We provide custom treatment plans based on a patient's insomnia symptoms.
  • Our researchers conduct studies that investigate drug addiction and insomnia, including the connection between sleep difficulties and relapse.

Everyone has trouble sleeping at times, but for some the inability to fall asleep or stay asleep causes a significant decline in performance and functioning during the day and even brings a range of associated health problems. Ten percent of adults in the United States suffer from chronic insomnia, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

More than a quarter of Americans report occasionally not getting enough sleep. “As big a problem as insomnia is in this country, what we call voluntary sleep restriction – that means people choosing not to get enough sleep – that’s almost worse,” says Peter Thomas Morgan, MD, PhD, associate professor of psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine. If left untreated, insomnia can worsen into a chronic condition. With treatment, though, there can be relief, and a future of restful and rejuvenating sleep.

What’s considered a full night of sleep can differ from person to person, Dr. Morgan explains. "Most people need between seven and nine hours.”

When you’re doing all the right things and still having trouble sleeping – whether that’s difficulty falling asleep, trouble staying asleep or waking up too early – it could be insomnia. Other symptoms include trouble concentrating and performing well during your waking hours. An insomniac may notice he or she feels overly emotional and experiences headaches or stomachaches.

“If someone comes to me and they complain that they’re having trouble falling asleep, or they’re not sleeping well, but it doesn’t seem to be affecting them during the day, then they might be getting enough sleep,” Dr. Morgan says. “I wouldn’t necessarily call it insomnia. If it were insomnia, it would have some consequence on the day.”