Insomnia can refer to difficulty getting to sleep, difficulty staying asleep, waking up early without being able to return to sleep, or a combination of the three. In order to be diagnosed with insomnia, sleep difficulty must occur at least 3 nights per week even though the opportunity for adequate sleep is available. It must also interfere with your life and functioning – for example, if you wake feeling unrefreshed or find yourself dozing during the day.
Insomnia is not defined based on how many hours you've slept, since the amount people need can vary from person to person. It is also normal to sleep less as you age. If you're sleeping less than you did when you were younger, it doesn't necessarily mean you have insomnia.
Insomnia is a very common medical complaint. About 10% of adults in Canada experience persistent insomnia, and an additional 20% to 25% report occasional insomnia. It is more common among women, older adults, shift workers, and people with medical conditions and mental health issues.