All of us at have experienced debilitating anxiety. But we’ve also overcome it and returned to normal and lasting health. Because we know the hardship anxiety unwellness can cause, we are committed to helping others, with over 27 years of service.” - Jim Folk, President,

Insomnia, sleep disorder, sleep disruption

Insomnia is the inability to fall asleep easily, or remain asleep throughout the night, or waking too early in the morning. There is controversy surrounding the average number of hours of sleep that an adult requires. It was thought that adults require 7 – 8 hours nightly, but that number is presently under review. Researchers purport that people require less sleep with age and suggest the number may be as low as 6 hours for the older adult.

A disruption of the body’s circadian rhythm may lead to insomnia. The circadian rhythm is the regular recurrence of certain phenomena such as body temperature, hormone production and release, sleep, etc. in cycles of approximately 24 hours. The biological processes occur at about the same time each day or night.

Most individuals have occasional nights of restlessness, which is normal. However, prolonged restlessness may lead to diminished memory, depression, headaches, impaired concentration, and an increase in risk of substance abuse.

Signs and Symptoms

Common symptoms of insomnia include:

Causes, Conditions, or Situations Leading to Insomnia:


If you report symptoms of insomnia or sleep disorders to your physician, he or she will first obtain a detailed sleep history by asking questions about your sleep patterns and sleep quality. He or she will also ask questions to determine whether you snore, have any underlying medical conditions, take medications, or have recently undergone any significant life changes. Keeping a sleep diary (recording all sleep-related information) may help the physician determine the type of insomnia and how best to treat it. The primary care physician may recommend a sleep specialist or a sleep disorders center where brain waves, body movements, breathing, and heartbeats may be electronically monitored during sleep.

Preventive Care

The following lifestyle changes can help prevent insomnia:

Return to Anxiety-like Medical Conditions

NOTE: We highly recommend that you have a complete medical evaluation done anytime you have a medical concern. Medical professionals are well trained to identify serious medical conditions. It's recommended that you fully describe your symptoms to your doctor, then work with her/him through to the correct diagnosis.

While there are many anxiety-like medical conditions, most conditions have uniquely identifiable symptoms UNCOMMON to anxiety. If you have seen your doctor and he/she has ruled out this anxiety-like medical condition, you can feel confident that their diagnosis is correct. If, however, you feel he/she has missed something, you should persist with your doctor until you are satisfied. You may also want to get second and even third opinions if you are still unsatisfied.

Because it is common for anxiety sufferers to 'over worry' about their symptoms (since so many conditions produce anxiety-like symptoms we often scare ourselves when we look at all of the conditions we COULD have), having a thorough medical evaluation completed will most often alleviate these fears.

For a more detailed explanation about all anxiety symptoms, why symptoms can persist long after the stress response has ended, common barriers to recovery and symptom elimination, and more recovery strategies and tips, we have many chapters that address this information in the Recovery Support area of our website.

The combination of good self-help information and working with an experienced anxiety disorder therapist, coach, or counselor is the most effective way to overcome anxiety and its many symptoms. Until the core causes of anxiety are addressed - we call these core causes the underlying factors of anxiety - a struggle with anxiety unwellness can return again and again. Dealing with the underlying factors of anxiety is the best way to eliminate problematic anxiety and its symptoms once and for all.

For more information about our Anxiety Therapy, Coaching, Counseling option; our Available Anxiety Therapists; to Book An Appointment with one of our anxiety therapists; common Symptoms of Anxiety; our anxiety Recovery Support area; common Anxiety Myths; and our Anxiety 101 section; or click on the appropriate graphic below:

Anxiety Therapy Book An Appointment Book An Appointment Anxiety Symptoms Anxiety Recovery Support Anxiety Myths Anxiety 101

Return to our anxiety symptoms page.

Authors: Jim Folk, Marilyn Folk, BScN. Last updated June 2015. Information, support, and coaching/counseling/therapy for problematic anxiety and its sensations and symptoms, including anxiety symptom.