Chronic insomnia

In some people, insomnia continues for a longer period of time, becoming an independent chronic disease. Insomnia, depending on the duration, is classified as acute or chronic. Acute insomnia — usually occurs in response to an obvious provoking factor and lasts for several days or weeks. By definition, symptoms persist for less than 3 months.

Chronic insomnia — symptoms of insomnia that occur at least three days a week and persist for at least three months are considered chronic insomnia. In practice, most patients suffering from chronic insomnia have been experiencing disorders for several years. Patients suffering from insomnia usually complain of difficulty falling asleep and/or maintaining sleep. Patients can describe the varying severity of sleep disorders when, after one or more "bad" nights, nights with better sleep quality.

For most adults who get enough sleep, sleep occurs 10-20 minutes after they go to bed; they stay awake for less than 30 minutes during the night. Adults suffering from insomnia, on the contrary, usually report that it takes them 30 minutes or more to fall asleep (in patients with sleep disorders) or stay awake for 30 minutes or more during the night (in patients with sleep maintenance disorders). Early morning awakening is defined as stopping sleeping at least 30 minutes before the scheduled wake-up time.

Insomnia is accompanied by a decrease in daytime productivity, manifested by one or more of the following signs:

  • increased fatigue or malaise
  • concentration disorders
  • reduced labor productivity
  • mood disorders or irritability
  • increased daytime drowsiness
  • decreased motivation or activity
  • propensity to make mistakes, create emergency situations
  • behavioral disorders (e.g. hyperactivity, impulsivity, aggressiveness)
  • concern about sleep disorders, dissatisfaction with sleep

Patients with chronic insomnia often develop behavioral disorders and concomitant problems associated with chronic sleep deprivation. They are often concerned that insufficient sleep can lead to a significant decrease in efficiency in both public and professional spheres during the day. As a result, a "vicious circle" is formed that increases insomnia.

Read about daytime sleep