Font Size

Primary Insomnia

Primary Insomnia Overview

Primary insomnia is sleeplessness or the perception of poor quality sleep that cannot be attributed to a medical, psychiatric, or environmental cause (such as drug abuse or medications). It is characterized by the following:

  • A 1-month or longer history of at least one of the following: a) difficulty initiating or maintaining sleep or b) nonrestorative sleep.
  • Sleep disturbance (or associated daytime fatigue) causing significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.
  • To be considered primary insomnia, the sleep disturbance must not occur exclusively during the course of narcolepsy, breathing-related sleep disorder, circadian rhythm sleep disorder, or a parasomnia.
  • The sleep disturbance does not occur as a result of another mental disorder.
  • The sleep disturbance does not occur as a result of drug or alcohol dependence or any medical condition.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 1/8/2015
Medical Author:

Must Read Articles Related to Primary Insomnia

Disorders That Disrupt Sleep (Parasomnias)
Disorders That Disrupt Sleep (Parasomnias) Parasomnias are disruptive sleep-related disorders. They are characterized by undesirable physical or verbal behaviors or experiences. Parasomnias occur in asso...learn more >>
Insomnia Insomnia affects most people at some point in their lifetime. Insomnia is actually a symptoms of a condition, disease, or situation. Non-medical treatment of in...learn more >>
Narcolepsy Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder that causes overwhelming and severe daytime sleepiness that often occurs at inappropriate times and places. The daytime sleep att...learn more >>

Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Primary Insomnia:

Primary Insomnia - Symptoms

What are the symptoms of your primary insomnia?

Primary Insomnia - Home Treatment

What home treatment worked for your primary insomnia?

Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Primary Insomnia »

Primary insomnia is sleeplessness that is not attributable to a medical, psychiatric, or environmental cause.

Read More on Medscape Reference »

Medical Dictionary