The average adult needs between seven and eight hours of sleep per night to feel rested and healthy. Adolescents and children need even more (at least nine!). Everyone experiences difficulty sleeping from time to time. However, if an individual frequently experiences difficulties with sleep, they may have a sleeping disorder called insomnia.
Insomnia makes it hard to fall asleep, stay asleep, or both. Individuals with insomnia may wake up too early or feel tired during the day, causing difficulties with concentration and mood. Insomnia can be short-term, lasting for a few days or weeks. Sometimes insomnia becomes chronic, lasting for months or years.
Common causes of insomnia include acute stress, anxiety, or trauma, irregular work schedules, frequent traveling, diet (e.g. heavy meals before bed, caffeine, substances), poor sleep hygiene, medications, medical or mental health conditions. Depending on the underlying cause, CBT for Insomnia (CBTi) may be an effective intervention. CBTi teaches an individual strategies for managing worry thoughts at bedtime and establishing a healthy, consistent sleep routine.