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abnormal wakefulness or inability to sleepsleep,
resting state in which an individual becomes relatively quiescent and relatively unaware of the environment. During sleep, which is in part a period of rest and relaxation, most physiological functions such as body temperature, blood pressure, and rate of breathing and
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. The condition may result from illness or physical discomfort, or it may be caused by stimulants such as coffee or drugs. However, frequently some psychological factor, such as worry or tension, is the cause. Mild insomnia may often be relieved by a soothing activity like reading or listening to soft music. Chronic or severe insomnia requires treatment of the underlying physical or psychological disorder. In a few, very rare cases, individuals in certain families are subject to an incurable inherited insomia caused by prions that form plaques in the thalamusthalamus
, mass of nerve cells centrally located in the brain just below the cerebrum and resembling a large egg in size and shape. The thalamus is a routing station for all incoming sensory impulses except those of smell, transmitting them to higher (cerebral) nerve centers.
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; the disease appears suddenly in adulthood and ultimately is fatal.

Many patients respond to the assurance that their sleeplessness is a result of normal anxieties or a treatable physical disorder. Opportunities to ventilate anxieties often ease distress and helps resume normal sleeping patterns. Elderly persons are encourage to exercise more during the day; instructed relaxation, administration of tryptophan, and intake of warm milk helps some patients sleep. Sedatives and hypnotics drugs may be employed if the sleeplessness is impairing the subject's sense of well being. Those who wake because of pain receive an analgesic at bedtime; for those who experience insomnia accompanied with depression, an antidepressant often suffices.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(also agrypnia), disturbed sleep. Insomnia manifests itself as a shortening of the period of nocturnal sleep, delay in onset of sleep, early awakening, and repeated interruption of sleep during the night. Sleep is also impaired qualitatively; it becomes more superficial, the length of deep sleep is diminished, and the balance between dream-sleep and dreamless sleep is upset. Insomnia occurs in cases of neurosis, certain cardiovascular and psychological illnesses, neuro infections, and injury to those parts of the brain that regulate the correct alternation of sleep and wakefulness. In healthy people, it may occur after great physical or mental stress, fatigue, strong emotional experiences, and similar instances. The total absence of nocturnal or daytime sleep for long durations almost never occurs.

Treatment involves adherence to the correct regimen of work and rest, the elimination of irritating factors, bathing, and exercise. The patient may be prescribed tranquilizers and, in cases of persistent insomnia, soporifics. In cases of insomnia caused by illness, treatment consists in eliminating the original illness responsible for the insomnia.


Pervov, L. G. Son i ego narushenie, Moscow, 1965.
Fedotov, D. D. Son i ego rasstroistvo. Moscow, 1966.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


Sleeplessness; disturbed sleep; prolonged inability to sleep.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


The inability to sleep. If you suffer from it, the solution is to look up all the terms under "standards" in this encyclopedia. Dozing should occur shortly. If that does not work... well, at least you will become the computer guru on your block!
Copyright © 1981-2019 by The Computer Language Company Inc. All Rights reserved. THIS DEFINITION IS FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY. All other reproduction is strictly prohibited without permission from the publisher.
References in periodicals archive ?
CBTi is considered first-line treatment for chronic insomnia, but most people do not have access to nor receive the recommended treatment, and there currently are no FDA-authorized therapeutics that deliver CBTi.
Symptoms consistent with chronic insomnia were identified in 31 per cent of nurses, and excessive daytime sleepiness was found in 4.5 per cent of them.
In the newest ICSD-III, behavioral insomnia during childhood is included in the chronic insomnia disorder diagnosis, and the specific aspects of children are discussed within the text, such as limit-setting and sleep-onset association issues (13).
Chronic insomnia has more causes than the acute form, such as changes in the environment, clinical disorders, medications and unhealthy habits.
In 2016, the ACP recommended for the first time that cognitive behavioural therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) be the first-line treatment for adults with chronic insomnia. The ACP's president stated that although there is not enough evidence to directly compare CBT-I and drug treatment, CBT-I is likely to be less harmful, while sleep medications can be associated with serious adverse effects.
Oftentimes, chronic insomnia is accompanied by an underlying medical condition, such as depression, anxiety or gastroesophageal reflux disease.
1: All adult patients should receive cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) as the initial treatment for chronic insomnia (strong recommendation).
Ciano also attempted to tease out factors that might increase a woman's risk for chronic insomnia.
Only 1.5 to 2.5 percent of participants reported having insomnia more than once a year; chronic insomnia rates in postindustrial societies are 10 to 30 percent.
Insomnia is usually considered chronic if a person has trouble falling asleep or staying asleep at least three nights per week for three months or longer, Some people with chronic insomnia have a long-standing history of sleep problems.
Using SWAN study data, she also attempted to tease out factors that might increase a woman's risk for chronic insomnia.
Chronic insomnia is associated with sleep disturbances lasting for a period of one month or longer, and is often accompanied with other medical or psychiatric disorders.

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