Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine

2013 Edition
| Editors: Marc D. Gellman, J. Rick Turner


  • Wendy Troxel
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1005-9_806


The term “insomnia” is commonly used in the vernacular to refer to symptoms of insomnia including complaints of difficulty falling asleep, frequent or prolonged awakenings, inadequate sleep quality, or short overall sleep duration in an individual who has adequate time available for sleep. In contrast, an insomnia disorder is a syndrome consisting of the insomnia complaint combined with significant daytime impairment or distress, and the exclusion of other causes. Commonly reported daytime impairments associated with insomnia include complaints of mood disturbances (e.g., irritability, mild dysphoria, or difficulty tolerating stress), impaired cognitive function, and daytime fatigue (Moul et al., 2002). Importantly, insomnia patients commonly report feeling fatigued or exhausted during the day, but rarely report daytime sleepiness, per se (i.e., the propensity to fall asleep). Another important feature that distinguishes the insomnia disorder from sleep deprivation is that...

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References and Readings

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Psychiatry and PsychologyUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA