Do you have difficulty falling asleep?
Do you wake up often during the night and have trouble going back to sleep?
Have you noticed you have difficulty staying asleep?
Do you feel extremely tired after waking up in the morning?

If your response is yes,you may be having insomnia.

It varies from person to person depending on the age.

65years and above: 7-8 hours
18-64 years: 7-9 hours
14-17 years:8-10 hours
6-13years: 9-11hours
3-5 years:10-13 hours
1-2 years: 11-14 hours
4-11months: 12-15hours
0-3months: 14-17 hours

Are you getting enough sleep based on the above recommendation?


There are two types of insomnia depending on the duration :

Acute insomnia :This often occurs because of some life circumstances.For example,inability to sleep the night before an exam or not being able to sleep after receiving stressful or bad  news.This is usually self-limiting as people get over it as soon as possible.

Chronic Insomnia:This is disrupted sleep that occurs at least three nights per week and lasts at least three months or more.


1)Unhealthy/Poor sleep habits: These are habits that interfere with the circadian rhythm(the internal biological clock in each human being).For example,the body knows that when you lie on the bed,it is time to sleep,but if you now start eating or working on your laptop on the bed,it confuses this internal clock such that it can’t differentiate between when you need to sleep from when you want to work.Another poor sleep habit is eating too much late in the evening.This can make one to feel physically uncomfortable thereby causing insomnia and some people do have heartburn(reflux of acid into the oesophagus) which causes discomfort and eventual distruption of sleep.

2)Some major life stresses:

Death of a loved one


Loss or change of job


Failure in exam

Inability to find a husband/wife when one is due for marriage

3)Underlying medical conditions: Hypertension,Diabetes,Asthma,mental health disorders,cancers etc

4)Emotional or physical discomfort:Marital conflicts,heartbreak, rape,court cases etc

5)Environmental factors:

Too much noise around your home.For example,people who live close to industrial areas where noisy machines are used may find it difficult to initiate sleep.

Uncomfortable room temperature (too hot or too cold)

Mosquitoes- infested room!

6)Some medications :Some drugs that are used to treat certain conditions like depression, high blood pressure, and asthma may interfere with sleep.

7)A bed partner/spouse who snores loudly :This is not funny as it can chronically impair the other person’s sleep!

8)Consumption of certain substances like caffeine, nicotine and alcohol:Consuming caffeinated drinks in the late afternoon or evening can keep you from falling asleep at night.Alcohol may help you fall asleep, but it prevents deeper stages of sleep and often causes you to wake up in the middle of the night.

To be continued…