Insomnia is one of the most common sleep disorders. Approximately one-third of adults report symptoms of insomnia at any given time. The condition is characterized by an inability to initiate or maintain sleep, with frequent awakenings or problems returning to sleep once awake. Insomnia can also take the form of early morning awakening in which the individual awakens several hours early and is unable to resume sleeping. Difficulty initiating or maintaining sleep may often manifest itself as excessive daytime sleepiness, which characteristically results in functional impairment throughout the day. Before arriving at a diagnosis of primary insomnia, it is important to rule out other potential causes, such as other sleep disorders, side effects of medications, substance abuse, depression, or other previously undetected illness.
Chronic psychophysiological insomnia (or “learned” or “conditioned” insomnia) may result from a fear of being unable to sleep. Along with behavioral techniques to promote better sleep, hypnotically augmented sleep strategies can help you relax physically and free your mind from excessive worry and distractions. Then, you’ll find it much easier to focus your mind on pleasant thoughts and images that are more conducive to sleep.