in·​som·​nia | \ in-ˈsäm-nē-ə \

Definition of insomnia

: prolonged and usually abnormal inability to get enough sleep

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Other Words from insomnia

insomniac \ in-​ˈsäm-​nē-​ˌak \ adjective or noun

Synonyms for insomnia


sleeplessness, wakefulness

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Examples of insomnia in a Sentence

has suffered from insomnia virtually his entire life

Recent Examples on the Web

In addition to strong cravings for nicotine, those symptoms might include anxiety, irritability, and insomnia, the Mayo Clinic explains. Sarah Jacoby, SELF, "Bella Hadid’s New Year’s Resolution Is to Give Up Her JUUL: 'So Far So Good!'," 8 Jan. 2019 For individuals experiencing withdrawal symptoms, that week can be agonizing, with symptoms including nausea, diarrhea, muscle aches, anxiety, and insomnia. Lev Facher, STAT, "In a first, FDA approves drug meant to mitigate symptoms of opioid withdrawal," 16 May 2018 An autopsy shows Bartley died of acute alcohol intoxication and abuse of benzodiazepines, a drug typically prescribed to treat anxiety and insomnia last year, the Associated Press reports. Cliff Pinckard,, "Ohio woman gives teen vodka, now faces charges in his death, reports say," 22 Apr. 2018 There are obvious insomnia symptoms like being hella tired all the time, irritability, difficulty paying attention, and anxiety about sleep. Korin Miller, SELF, "13 Surprising Medical Conditions That Can Cause Weight Gain or Loss (and When to Go to the Doctor)," 12 Nov. 2018 Lest that sounds like B.S., there are actually studies that show both lavender and camomile are scientifically proven to aid with insomnia. Amy Hou, Glamour, "This Lavender Pillow Spray Actually Helps Me Sleep Better," 20 Aug. 2018 No wonder Michael was plagued with insomnia for most of his life., "Calendar Letters: Harlan Ellison's jitterbug, protest songs and healthcare, Joe Jackson's legacy," 7 July 2018 One study in men and women with insomnia found that compared to a placebo, eight ounces of tart cherry juice in the morning and again one to two hours before bed increased sleep time by an hour and 24 minutes., "7 Health Benefits of Cherries," 13 June 2018 Use of caffeine, side effects of medications, and medical or psychiatric problems also might be causing your child’s insomnia. Mariko Zapf, Good Housekeeping, "Melatonin Is A Popular Over The Counter Sleep Aid—But Is It Safe For Kids?," 20 July 2017

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.

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First Known Use of insomnia

circa 1623, 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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Statistics for insomnia

Last Updated

22 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for insomnia

The first known use of insomnia was circa 1623

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More Definitions for insomnia



English Language Learners Definition of insomnia

: the condition of not being able to sleep


in·​som·​nia | \ in-ˈsäm-nē-ə \

Kids Definition of insomnia

: difficulty in sleeping


in·​som·​nia | \ in-ˈsäm-nē-ə \

Medical Definition of insomnia

: prolonged and usually abnormal inability to obtain adequate sleep

called also agrypnia

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Comments on insomnia

What made you want to look up insomnia? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


irregularly rounded

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