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Symptoms of Chronic and Acute Insomnia

Insomnia Symptoms

Most people experience an occasional sleepless night, often after a traumatic event or during times of stress or excitement. True insomnia is the inability to fall asleep and or stay asleep night after night for a prolonged period of time.

Insomnia can make it difficult to fall asleep, stay asleep. It can cause you to wake up too early, and leave you unable to go back to sleep. Most people who suffer from insomnia still feel tired when they wake up. It saps one's energy levels, mood, health, work performance and enjoyment of life.

Sleep specialists tend to consider the signs (real physical indicators) and symptoms (things you can feel) of insomnia to make a diagnosis. With that in mind, here are some of the signs of insomnia:

  • inability to fall asleep at night
  • waking up unprovoked
  • inability to fall back asleep
  • mood swings
  • irritability
  • daytime sleepiness
  • compromised concentration span
  • memory issues
  • trips, falls and accidents


Insomnia symptoms include:

  • clumsiness
  • forgetfulness
  • fatigue
  • poor concentration
  • lack of patience
  • tossing and turning
  • anxiety


Acute insomnia usually lasts for a few days or weeks after a traumatic event. However, those who seek treatment usually suffer from chronic insomnia, a condition that lasts more than a month. Insomnia symptoms can sometimes come and go. You could go through days, weeks or months with no problems.

If you experience insomnia symptoms three or more nights a week for more than a month, it is known as chronic insomnia.

Some sleep specialists further narrow down the condition into three distinct types:

Episodic insomnia

This type defines insomnia symptoms that last for more than one month, but less than three months.

Persistent insomnia

With this condition, insomnia symptoms last longer than three months.

Recurrent insomnia

When you experience repeated episodes of insomnia symptoms that last for one to three months during the course of a year, it is known as recurrent insomnia.


Insomnia symptoms can affect your life in many ways. It is a good idea to speak to a sleep specialist about your insomnia symptoms and to develop a treatment plan that addresses the specific causes.


Disclaimer: The information on this website is for education purposes only and intended to answer some of the frequently encountered questions about the meaning of 'Sleep' and 'Fatigue'. If you have any questions regarding the information contained on the website or in the brochures please consult with your healthcare practitioner.