This content was created by the National Sleep Foundation

Everyone dreads those long nights of tossing and turning when sleep just doesn’t seem to come. The issue is more common than you may think: Approximately 30 percent of adults in this country experience some kind of disrupted sleep. 

If that sounds like you, you may wonder whether you have a case of insomnia, a complicated condition triggered by a range of medical, biological, or psychological factors.  While the word is commonly used to describe a sleepless night, the symptoms of insomnia go beyond having trouble sleeping. About 10 percent of adults exhibit insomnia symptoms, leaving them functionally impaired during the day.   If you have one or more of the following symptoms, consider talking with your doctor about insomnia, and ways to treat this frustrating condition.

Difficulty Sleeping 

The sufferer has trouble falling or staying asleep which are most common markers of insomnia. If you frequently wake up at night and can’t get back to dreamland, or if you wake up too early in the morning and are unable to lull yourself back to sleep, you may be dealing with insomnia. 

Fatigue and Low Energy

Feeling tired and lethargic are also hallmarks of insomnia. Even if you don’t recall waking during the night, you may rise in the morning and find your energy dragging. Known as non-restorative sleep, this is a marker for insomnia. 


With a case of insomnia, you find yourself feeling out of sorts, irritable, or in a bad mood for reasons you can’t explain. Without enough nighttime rest, you may also experience anxiety, impulsiveness, or aggression. 

Relationship Trouble 

Having difficulty getting along with coworkers or finding it tough to focus when you’re on the job could be related to insomnia. Similarly, struggling with family members at home or friends at school may be signs of this sleep disorder. People faced with insomnia may have a hard time with their workload, make mistakes, miss deadlines, and forget to follow up on important tasks. 

A Recurring Event 

Frequency is a critical factor when it comes to determining whether a person has insomnia. If you’ve been having trouble sleeping for at least three nights a week over the course of three months or more, speak with your doctor.