Insomnia, the most common sleep disorder, affects up to 40 percent of the Canadian population with more than 30 percent of adults suffering from this condition. If left untreated, insomnia can affect your quality of life as well as your performance at school and/or work.

“Insomnia” itself is a broad term that includes several different types of sleeping disorders. The most common forms of sleeping disorders that individuals are diagnosed with include acute insomnia, chronic insomnia, and transient insomnia. It is a condition that can affect people of all ages, especially adult women, and may have various causes such as stress, depression, anxiety, chronic pain, as well as consumption of alcohol and caffeine. It may also be caused by other sleep disorders such as narcolepsy and sleep apnea. Genetics can also increase your risk of developing insomnia, with there being a family history of insomnia in 35% of individuals who are diagnosed; while other risk factors include things like aging and hyperthyroidism.

Most people with insomnia only sleep for short periods of time, are awake for hours before falling asleep, or wake up too early. A common complaint is feeling tired and fatigued, and as if they haven’t slept at all. Chronic insomnia, which can last for years, causes mood disturbances, daytime sleepiness, poor memory, headaches, inability to focus, low motivation and even gastrointestinal issues. Insomnia symptoms may vary from one person to another and can be both short or long-term.

Treatment for insomnia can be as simple as adjusting your daily routine to introducing music therapy or requiring dimmer lights in your home or office. In severe cases, medication is something that may also be considered.