What is insomnia?
Insomnia, or difficulty either getting to sleep or staying asleep, is very common. In any one year, over 30% of the Australian population have difficulty sleeping for more than a month, and around 15% have problems sleeping most of the time. There are many reasons for difficulty getting to sleep or staying asleep, and it is important to have a careful evaluation with your doctor to ensure there are not associated medical conditions that are contributing to the sleep difficulties. Whilst friends and family will often advice those with insomnia to just ‘get over it’, for the majority of people with insomnia, stress is not the cause of their insomnia symptoms. Of course, stress can worsen sleep, and needs to be addressed as part of treating it, but it commonly occurs as part of physical or mental illness and some people are just not good sleepers.