Faculty Development
USF Health

Health and Wellness: Sleep

Poor sleep habits are among the most common problems encountered in our society. For extra tips on how to get a good night’s sleep, click here.

Insomnia is the sensation of daytime fatigue and impaired performance caused by insufficient sleep. In general, people with insomnia experience one of the following:

  • An inability to sleep despite being tired.
  • A light, fitful sleep that leaves one fatigued upon awakening.
  • Waking up too early.

Insomnia, usually temporary, is often categorized by how long it lasts:

  • Transient insomnia lasts for a few days.
  • Short-term insomnia lasts for no more than three weeks.

Chronic insomnia occurs when the following characteristics are present:

  • When a person has difficulty falling asleep, maintaining sleep, or has no restorative sleep for at least three nights a week for one month or longer.
  • In addition, the person is distressed and believes that normal daily functioning is impaired because of sleep loss.

Chronic insomnia may also be primary or secondary, depending on the cause:

  • Primary chronic insomnia occurs when it is the sole complaint.
  • Secondary chronic insomnia is caused by medical or psychiatric conditions, drugs, or emotional or psychiatric disorders.