Insomnia can be related to stress, anxiety or other psychological issues such as depression.

Insomnia can manifest itself in two forms:

  • Decreased sleep duration
  • Impairment in sleep quality

Some characteristics of insomnia:

  • difficulty falling asleep;
  • nighttime awakenings;
  • waking up too early in the morning;
  • sleep experienced as light and non-restful.

The consequence is as follows: an impact on the quality of the next day’s sleep. This can cause:

  • tiredness;
  • drowsiness ;
  • irritability;
  • mood disorders;

To assess insomnia, you need to:

  • understand your sleep needs;
  • understand your sleep pattern;
  • assess the psychological context;
  • evaluate your current consumption of alcohol, drugs, medication.

Once the diagnosis has been made, non-psychological causes should be eliminated:

  • restless legs syndrome: sleep-inducing insomnia with paresthesias (burning, annoying, tingling sensations in the legs at bedtime) that force one to get up, walk around, cool one’s legs in the shower…
  • periodic nocturnal movements: periodic myoclonic jerks mainly affecting the legs that sometimes awaken, occurring in periods throughout the night;
  • sleep apnea: this disorder does not wake people up at night (but usually their spouse can attest they stopped breathing) with a significant impact the next day: fatigue, memory and concentration problems;
  • environmental cause: noise, heat… ;
  • lifestyle mistakes: excessive activity in the evening, coffee or alcohol abuse;
  • inadequate imposed rhythm: night or shift work;
  • associated organic disease: asthma, angina pectoris, peptic ulcer, gastroesophageal reflux disease… ;
  • taking excitatory drugs: theophylline, salbutamol, cortisone, beta-blockers… ;
  • psychiatric pathology.

Then a psychological cause will possibly be retained:

Psychophysiological insomnia

There should be a clear trigger: surgery, birth of a child, significant psychological stress, working shifting hours…

It manifests itself as:

  • the fear of not sleeping;
  • tension or anxiety at bedtime;
  • spontaneously falling asleep when one isn’t trying to (in front of the TV for example) ;
  • the inability to take a nap to recover.


Insomnia mainly affects the second half of the night, is associated with signs such as \“not wanting to do anything\”, having to force oneself to do even the smallest thing, withdrawal.


Sleep onset insomnia mainly, it may appear isolated or be part of an obsessional or phobic type symptomatology.


It is important to consider and prevent insomnia. Stress and insomnia can combine in a vicious circle. After several nights of disturbed sleep, insomnia can itself become a stress factor and cause the person concerned to be apprehensive about sleep.