in·​som·​nia | \ in-ˈsäm-nē-ə How to pronounce insomnia (audio) \

Definition of insomnia

: prolonged and usually abnormal inability to get enough sleep especially due to trouble falling asleep or staying asleep chronic insomnia Insomnia is a patient-reported problem characterized by difficulty falling asleep or difficulty maintaining sleep; ie, frequent awakenings, difficulty returning to sleep after awakenings, or awakening too early with inability to return to sleep.— Daniel J. Buysse

Synonyms for insomnia


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Examples of insomnia in a Sentence

has suffered from insomnia virtually his entire life
Recent Examples on the Web According to Harvard, research suggests that CBD may help in alleviating anxiety, insomnia and pain, and could potentially reduce cravings of tobacco, alcohol and other addictive substances. Danielle Directo-meston, The Hollywood Reporter, 20 Apr. 2022 Tom credits his insomnia for learning about the toast-off. Washington Post, 12 Mar. 2022 This study also doesn’t appear to account for how this new sleep time might affect insomnia drugs that help put people to sleep. Joshua Hawkins, BGR, 5 May 2022 Waking up too early is also a sign that someone might have insomnia. Ebony Williams, ajc, 28 Apr. 2022 Some researchers and users have pointed to CBD as a natural remedy for anxiety, some kinds of pain, pediatric seizures and insomnia. Ajc Staff, ajc, 20 Apr. 2022 And one of the most frequent symptoms of anxiety is insomnia. New York Times, 16 Apr. 2022 Citing several studies, a clinical practice guideline published in 2017 by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine suggests that melatonin should not be used to treat chronic insomnia in adults. Washington Post, 17 Dec. 2021 Indeed, a loving approach, sensitivity and discretion are important because the center’s treatments for women may address infertility and gynecological issues, or headaches, back pain, insomnia and emotional disorders. Donna M. Owens, Baltimore Sun, 9 Apr. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'insomnia.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of insomnia

1739, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for insomnia

Latin, from insomnis sleepless, from in- + somnus sleep — more at somnolent

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The first known use of insomnia was in 1739

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Dictionary Entries Near insomnia

in some senses



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Statistics for insomnia

Last Updated

22 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Insomnia.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for insomnia


in·​som·​nia | \ in-ˈsäm-nē-ə How to pronounce insomnia (audio) \

Kids Definition of insomnia

: difficulty in sleeping


in·​som·​nia | \ in-ˈsäm-nē-ə How to pronounce insomnia (audio) \

Medical Definition of insomnia

: prolonged and usually abnormal inability to obtain adequate sleep especially due to difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep

called also agrypnia

More from Merriam-Webster on insomnia

Nglish: Translation of insomnia for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of insomnia for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about insomnia


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