Definition of Insomnia, intermittent

Insomnia, intermittent: Insomnia that occurs from time to time and each time lasts less than a week or two.

Intermittent insomnia may not require treatment since the episodes of insomnia usually only last a few days at a time. For example, if insomnia is due to a temporary change in the sleep/wake schedule, as with jet lag, the biological clock will often get back to normal on its own.

For some people, however, who experience daytime sleepiness and impaired performance as a result of transient insomnia, the use of short-acting sleeping pills may improve sleep and next-day alertness. As with all drugs, there are potential side effects. The use of over-the-counter sleep medicines is not usually recommended for the treatment of insomnia.


Last Editorial Review: 6/14/2012

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