Insomnia is an inability to get to sleep or to stay asleep. It affects both adults and children. It can be difficulty in falling asleep, frequent waking during the night or early morning waking and an inability to get back to sleep.
Difficulty in falling asleep is usually due to anxiety, tension and stress but can also be influenced by an excessive intake of stimulants like caffeine, Inability to stay asleep can be due to depression, physical pain - such as arthritic pain, other illnesses - such as respiratory disorders, or disturbances in normal body rhythms due to jet lag or shift work. Lack of exercise and changes of environment can also play a part.
Studies have shown that some insomnia may be due to a deficiency of endorphins (the body's own natural painkillers), and thus acupuncture is often a useful therapy.