Insomnia is a type of sleep disorder in which the person has trouble in one of the following areas of sleep: falling asleep, staying asleep throughout the night, or not being able to fall back asleep after a disturbance/awakening.

Insomnia is not as common as people often like to think. When you are having sleep problems toward the end of the semester for a week, this is not really insomnia. True insomnia occurs for extended periods of time and causes devastating effects on those who suffer from it. One of the big problems with sleep is that the more anxious you are, the less likely you will be to sleep.

What often happens with sleep difficulties and insomnia is that a person has some problems falling asleep, they then begin to worry that the sleep problems will continue. Then when they go to bed, they are anticipating having sleep problems, they become anxious, and sure enough, they are unable to relax and fall asleep. It is a viscous cycle, and unfortunately, one of the ways to solve it is to reduce tension and stress; the exact things that result from the problems sleeping then cause additional sleep problems. Yikes!

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