exact cause typically unknown
prenatal (before birth) causes (in utero stroke, hypoxia, compression to brain, toxic chemicals, maternal alcohol consumption, mother/child blood type incompatibility, viral infections) - 50-60%
perinatal (during/shortly after birth) causes (birth complications--umbilical cord strangulation, prolonged labor, detachment of the placenta) - 10-15%
postnatal (after birth) causes (head/brain trauma, strokes, CNS infections--e.g., meningitis, encephalitis) - 10%
premature birth (4x higher risk in babies born before 37 weeks of gestation)
Is most often described in clinical literature as difficulty initiating or maintaining sleep, achieving less than an adequate amount of sleep, or poor sleep quality
Because 10% to 15% of people in the US meet the criteria for an insomnia disorder, it is a very frequent complaint heard by both specialists and primary care physicians
"Insomnia is characterized by an ability to initiate or maintain sleep. It may also take the form of early morning awakening, in which the individual awakens several hours early and is unable to resume sleeping. Difficulty initiating or maintaining sleep may often manifest itself as excessive daytime sleepiness, which characteristically results in functional impairment throughout the day. Before arriving at a diagnosis of primary insomnia, the healthcare provider will rule out other potential causes, such as other sleep disorders, side effects of medications, substance abuse, depression, or other previously undetected illness. Chronic psychophysiological insomnia (or "learned" or "conditioned" insomnia) may result from a stressor combined with fear of being unable to sleep. Individuals with this condition may sleep better when not in their own beds. Healthcare providers may treat chronic insomnia with a combination of use of sedative-hypnotic medications or sedating antidepressant medications, along with behavioral techniques to promote regular sleep"