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

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 How to pronounce insomniac (audio) \ adjective or noun

Examples of insomnia in a Sentence

has suffered from insomnia virtually his entire life
Recent Examples on the Web Gelatin produced from donkey hide is a key ingredient of one of China's favorite traditional remedies, known as ejiao, which is used to treat a range of ailments from colds to insomnia. Jack Guy, CNN, "Donkey population decimated by Chinese medicine demand," 21 Nov. 2019 The crop was destined to help fulfill the country’s booming demand for CBD, a plant extract soaring in popularity as a treatment for health problems including anxiety to insomnia. oregonlive, "After hemp crop tanks, CBD producer sues Oregon hemp seed seller for $44 million, lawsuit says," 28 Sep. 2019 Our travel editor scored her 2019 reservation during a bout of insomnia at 2am. Kate Wertheimer, Sunset Magazine, "How to Reserve a Permit for the Insanely Popular Havasupai Campground (and What to Do if You Can’t)," 23 Jan. 2020 The good news is that there are safe and effective ways of managing insomnia, sleep apnea, narcolepsy, and more. Christie Griffin, CNN Underscored, "Get more sleep in 2020: Top-rated bedding, devices and more," 23 Jan. 2020 Other studies have also found high rates of insomnia when withdrawing from nightly use. Sandee Lamotte, CNN, "Weed may not ease sleep problems, especially for regular users, studies say," 20 Jan. 2020 Tensions between Blumberg and his co-founder, Matt Lieber, radiate in interviews with Gimlet producers, and Blumberg records his own anxious musings during bouts of insomnia. Laura Jane Standley, The Atlantic, "The 50 Best Podcasts of 2019," 27 Dec. 2019 When your hormones start shifting in wild ways, there might be insomnia, changes to bedtime, night waking. Time, "Gen X Women Get Less Sleep Than Any Other Generation. What's Keeping Them Up?," 6 Jan. 2020 Patients who tried to quit cold turkey faced extreme restlessness, irritability, insomnia, muscle tension, racing heartbeats, and other debilitating symptoms. Knvul Sheikh,, "Dr. Heather Ashton, 90; helped people quit anxiety drugs," 5 Jan. 2020

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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Time Traveler for insomnia

Time Traveler

The first known use of insomnia was circa 1623

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Statistics for insomnia

Last Updated

19 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Insomnia.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for insomnia


How to pronounce insomnia (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of insomnia

: the condition of not being able to sleep


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

called also agrypnia

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