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

Examples of insomnia in a Sentence

has suffered from insomnia virtually his entire life
Recent Examples on the Web But at least three months of problems—including difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking early—is classified as insomnia. Rachel Murphy, Verywell Health, 17 Nov. 2023 There is also potential in targeting specific circuits in the hypothalamus to stop other problems such as insomnia and addiction. Popular Science, 26 Oct. 2023 People have reported relief from anxiety, chronic pain, and insomnia after using this product. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 20 Oct. 2023 First published in France in 2021, and now translated into English by Penny Hueston, Sleepless treats insomnia as a question with no answer, an itch with no salve. Megan Garber, The Atlantic, 12 Oct. 2023 One 2023 study found that a week after transitioning from the time change, people reported more dissatisfaction with sleep and higher rates of insomnia. Catherine Allen, NBC News, 4 Nov. 2023 When just sleep duration data was analyzed, women with persistent short sleep had marginally increased cardiovascular disease risk vs. moderate, or longer sleepers, however, overall data showed that women with both persistent insomnia and short sleep were at highest risk of heart disease. Liz Seegert, Fortune Well, 5 Oct. 2023 Nicola says that studies have found that hot baths may also improve depressive symptoms, as cold showers have been proven to do, and can address insomnia and enhance sleep quality. Audrey Noble, Vogue, 31 Oct. 2023 For sleep health, magnesium has actually been studied as a way to treat insomnia. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 5 Oct. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'insomnia.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

1739, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of insomnia was in 1739

Dictionary Entries Near insomnia

Cite this Entry

“Insomnia.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition


in·​som·​nia in-ˈsäm-nē-ə How to pronounce insomnia (audio)
: prolonged inability to sleep

Medical Definition


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

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