Signs and Symptoms of Insomnia & How to Beat It

Signs of Insomnia, Causes, Signs & Treatment Options

Do you tend to stay awake for hours after going to bed? Or maybe you wake up in the wee hours of the night and can’t fall asleep again. You might be showing signs of an insomniac. Insomnia disrupts your sleeping pattern and could affect your quality of life.

So, learn symptoms of insomnia, what may have caused it, signs, and what to do if you have it.

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What Is Insomnia? Its Signs

Am I an insomniac? Insomnia is a type of sleeping disorder when a person experiences difficulty falling or, in some cases, staying asleep. The condition may last for a while and disappear with or without treatment. If it goes on for a long time, it’s usually regarded as chronic. In some cases, the signs may reoccur every so often.

Insomnia is relatively commonplace, with about a quarter of the US population experiencing some signs every year. It could trigger signs like fatigue, low concentration, headaches, and more. If experienced over a more extended period, this continued lack of rest may lead to more severe health conditions.

How to Know If You Have Insomnia: The Typical Signs

How do you know if you have insomnia so that you can address it? The usual signs to look for is how long it takes you to sleep and whether you wake up before morning. Insomnia presents itself in the form of disrupted rest.

So, if you struggle to get 7-8 hours of sleep during most nights, you probably have a sleeping disorder. However, it’s not just disrupted sleeping patterns that can tell you if you have the condition or not. Other signs you have insomnia include:

  • - Fatigue or dozing off during daytime
  • - Low stamina and demotivation
  • - Inability to focus or concentrate on your tasks
  • - Digestive complications
  • - Irritability/anger issues
  • - Feeling anxious or depressed
  • - Poor coordination hence mistakes or accidents
  • - Trouble socializing, studying, or handling tasks
Insomnia can negatively impact your health, career, family, and social life. So, knowing how to tell if you have insomnia can go a long way in ensuring you nip it at the bud. If you don’t sleep well and have shown some of the signs mentioned above, find out what’s causing it to seek assistance.

The Main Causes of Insomnia

A variety of things can bring about insomnia, and it may sometimes depend on the type you have. You may have sleeplessness as a standalone condition, in which case, it’s primary. In other cases, it may manifest itself as of the signs of another underlying problem and is known as secondary insomnia. Overall, it is caused by:

Poor Sleeping Habits

Do I have insomnia, and if so, am I deliberately causing it? Unhealthy pre-bed habits are typical for insomniacs. Things like watching too much TV, eating before bed, or social media can make sleeping that much harder.

Panic and Stress

If you have constant worries about work, career, finances, family, etc., your mind can find it hard to rest. Long-term stress or trauma can lead to chronic insomnia if not addressed early. Anxiety, which is a mental health issue, and other mood disorders, often affect your slumber too.

Age & Sex

Insomnia is more likely to manifest itself in older people than younger individuals. As you grow older, you may be unable to stay asleep continuously for the recommended eight hours. Females, especially during menstruation and menopause, are also more likely to show sleeping problems than men.

Excess Weight

Being obese is linked to sleeping difficulties. Obese adults of any gender are likely to slumber for six hours or less a night. In contrast, people with normal weight range tend to sleep for between 7-8 hours.


Depression has often been linked with poor sleep. Apart from being troubled continuously with unhealthy thoughts, depression also triggers chemical imbalances in the brain. Thus, you become unable to rest well and start to experience signs of insomnia.


Taking caffeinated drinks just before bed disrupts sleeping patterns, and signs of inadequate rest start to show. Caffeine, which is found in coffee, tea, energy drinks, and sodas, keeps the brain stimulated.


Sometimes, the drugs you are taking could affect how you sleep and bring on signs of insomnia. Some medicines for pain or weight reduction often contain stimulants. Antidepressants, medications for hypertension, and allergy drugs are known to affect sleep.

Other Health Issues Signs

Insomnia may sometimes develop as one of the signs of another health problem. Serious health conditions that have insomnia listed among the signs include diabetes, arthritis, cancer, heart disease, overactive thyroid, etc.

How to Prevent Insomnia: Tips to Help You Overcome Poor Sleep

Insomnia, especially chronic, is terrible for your health. So, what do I do if I think I have insomnia signs? The good thing is, you can manage this sleeping condition and even get rid of the signs by practicing good habits. To achieve what is known as sleep hygiene, do the following:

  • - Develop a strict sleep routine: sleep and wake up at a precise time every day with no naps in between.
  • - Avoid carrying your electronics to bed: that means no phone, computer, or tablet to bed as they may distract you.
  • - Don’t do caffeinated drinks in the afternoon: do away with coffee and energy drinks in the afternoon or evenings.
  • - Slow down on alcohol: while alcohol makes you feel sleepy at first, it disrupts your sleep later and affects your resting window.
  • - Work out: exercising regularly helps sleep better but make sure it’s at least four hours to your bedtime.
  • - Avoid heavy meals before bed: eat dinner at least three hours before bed, and if you take a snack, make it light.
  • - Plan out your tasks: note down tasks for the next day to ease your thoughts when sleeping.
  • - Don’t carry work to bed: be strict as you know how work can eat into your personal time.
  • - Make your room conducive for sleep: a good bedroom should be quiet, warm, and dark.

Online CBT for Insomnia: Dealing With It and Signs Through Therapy

In most cases, the above-listed tips to address signs of a sleeping problem is best paired with therapy. Therapy is a good alternative to medications when it comes to treating this condition. Cognitive-behavioral therapy helps insomniacs identify and eliminate thoughts and behaviors that bring about sleep issues. Unlike drugs which suppress signs of insomnia, CBT helps bring out and address the underlying problems and signs causing insomnia.

CBT works on both the cognitive and behavioral aspects. It helps you see and change thoughts, beliefs, and worries that hinder you from getting quality sleep. Additionally, it assists you in cultivating good sleeping habits and changing behaviors that affect your sleep.

With the growing shift to online counseling, you can choose a CBT specialist without ever stepping into a counselor’s office. Various trusted services provide therapists in any area to assist you through call, text, or video chat. Some of the main advantages and features of online therapy include:

  • - Convenience: you can talk to your therapist through a variety of channels over your phone or computer.
  • - Affordable pricing: online therapy sessions generally cost less than traditional counseling, and you don’t incur commuting expenses.
  • - Always on therapy: online text therapy provides a way to communicate with a therapist at any time of the day.
  • - Flexibility: you dictate your sessions’ time and don’t even have to set up appointments in advance.

How to Pick an Online CBT Specialist and Define the Signs

Whether it’s done online or otherwise, therapy is most efficient when picking the right psychotherapy specialist. Check qualification, price, as well as compatibility. An online psychologist or therapist will usually have their credentials listed for clients to see. To assess a specialist’s suitability, schedule a call, and ask questions.

You want to ask about their background in CBT, their therapy approaches, and flexibility. A call will also help you assess how you feel about the expert, that is, whether you’re comfortable with them. If you feel you’ve made a wrong choice along the way, don’t be afraid to switch to another specialist.


Insomnia can affect your physical, mental, and emotional well-being, and getting early treatment is key to beating it. But how do you know you have insomnia? Look for the signs discussed above or, better yet, consult a specialist, i.e., CBT therapist. DrMental can help you choose an online therapist. Our website has detailed descriptions of therapy services and their benefits right here.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are the 3 Types of Insomnia?

Insomnia is grouped based on how long it goes on, its cause, and how severe it is. Depending on seriousness, insomnia typically appears in three ways:


It involves inadequate sleep or rest every other day and does not usually affect social or occupational responsibilities. It often comes with such signs as restlessness, fatigue, mild anxiety, or irritability.


It describes inadequate sleep or rest every night and may moderately affect daily functioning. It’s often accompanied by restlessness, fatigue, anxiety, and irritability signs.


This type includes inadequate sleep or rest each night plus severe impairment of work or social functioning. It also brings about fatigue, restlessness, irritability, and anxiety signs.

How Can I Get Rid of Insomnia?

Insomnia is treated with pills, therapy, and lifestyle adjustments. Medication is usually a temporary or secondary solution, with CBT being the best solution for chronic insomniacs.

Is Insomnia and Its Signs Mental Disorder?

Insomnia, in itself, is not a mental disorder. However, it can often be one of the signs of an underlying mental disorder such as depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, etc. Also, prolonged lack of sleep may cause mental health problems.

Can Insomnia Go Away on Its Own?

Acute or shorter-term insomnia can resolve itself. However, if the underlying issues are not concerned, signs will always reoccur. As for chronic insomnia, one has to make deliberate efforts to beat it.

What Is the Main Cause of Insomnia?

Insomnia is a sign of mental health issues like anxiety, depressive disorder, and mood disorders. However, it may also be caused by bad sleeping habits, other illnesses, drugs, stimulants, age, sex, and so on.