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Insomnia is difficulty getting to sleep or staying asleep for long enough to feel refreshed the next morning, even though you've had enough opportunity to sleep. It's difficult to define what normal sleep is because everyone is different. Your age, lifestyle, environment and diet all play a part in influencing the amount of sleep you need. The most common symptoms of insomnia are: Difficulty in falling asleep. Waking up during the night. Waking up early in the morning. Feeling irritable and tired and finding it difficult to function during the day

Insomnia can be acute (short-term) or chronic (ongoing). Acute insomnia is common and often is brought on by situations such as stress at work, family pressures, or a traumatic event. Acute insomnia lasts for days or weeks.

Chronic insomnia lasts for a month or longer. Most cases of chronic insomnia are secondary, which means they are the symptom or side effect of some other problem. Certain medical conditions, medicines, sleep disorders, and substances can cause secondary insomnia.

In contrast, primary insomnia isn't due to medical problems, medicines, or other substances. It is its own distinct disorder, and its cause isn’t well understood. Many life changes can trigger primary insomnia, including long-lasting stress and emotional upset. It is often difficult to ascertain whether insomnia is “primary” or “secondary” to another condition; however, research suggests that insomnia can be successfully treated in either case. This is particularly relevant among older adults because about 70% of older adults with insomnia have comorbid psychiatric disorders, medical conditions, take medications that impact sleep or use alcohol or drugs.

Insomnia can take several forms. Sleep-onset insomnia (difficulty falling asleep) is most common in younger adults, whereas sleep maintenance insomnia (difficulty staying asleep) and early morning awakening are more common in older adults. Insomnia can be transient, lasting a few days or weeks; however, many older adults experience insomnia for years.

Studies estimate that the prevalence of insomnia in the general population ranges from 10 to 20%. Rates among older adults appear much higher, with some studies showing rates as high as 40%. Importantly, older adults with medical conditions and depression are particularly at risk for insomnia. Healthy older adults have rates of insomnia similar to the overall adult population.

One reason older adults may be at higher risk for insomnia is that sleep itself changes with advancing age. Sleep latency (time to fall asleep) increases, early morning awakenings are more common, deep sleep (stages 3–4) decreases, and sleep efficiency (time asleep while in bed) is reduced. Because older people spend less time in the deeper stages of sleep and more time in the lighter stages of sleep, they are more likely to awaken, for example, from noise in the environment.

Insomnia can cause daytime sleepiness and a lack of energy. It also can make you feel anxious, depressed, or irritable. You may have trouble focusing on tasks, paying attention, learning, and remembering. These problems can prevent you from doing your best at work or school.

Re-Timer provides a UV-free green light source shown in university trials to be the optimal wavelength to re-time the circadian rhythm, allowing you to achieve a sleep rhythm that is in your own control.