What is Insomnia?


nsomnia is a condition characterized by repeated difficulty with sleep that happens even though you have time and opportunity for it. Sufferers may have issues getting to sleep (initiation), staying asleep (maintenance), or with overall quality of sleep.

Approximately 50% of adults experience occasional insomnia. 10% of people have chronic insomnia, which lasts over a period of months or years. Women and older adults are more likely to experience insomnia, but virtually anyone can have it.

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Insomnia Symptoms and Associated Conditions

When diagnosing insomnia, doctors look for primary or secondary insomnia. Primary insomnia is insomnia that appears by itself and is not caused by another condition or environmental problem.

Millions of people have secondary insomnia, where inability to sleep is caused by another factor. That can be an underlying condition like anxiety, depression, arthritis, cancer, chronic pain, or heartburn. It could also be a substance: Certain medications, caffeine, or alcohol.

Insomnia sufferers may have problems sleeping most nights or every night. Impairment depends on extent of sleep. Common insomnia symptoms include daytime drowsiness, difficulty concentrating, issues regulating emotion, and memory lapses. Workplace and traffic accidents are also more likely.

Chronic insomnia can eventually cause systemic problems with the body. Sleep removes metabolic waste products from the brain and also plays a role regulating blood pressure. Severe, prolonged insomnia makes a variety of health problems more likely, from weight gain to cancer.

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Learn More About Currently Running Trials for Insomnia.

Insomnia Medication and Treatments

Short-term acute insomnia does not require medical intervention. If someone is experiencing problems sleeping due to environmental factors like noise or light, physical discomfort, or short-term emotional distress, they are usually advised to make changes to the sleep environment.

In chronic insomnia, a sleep study is used. During a sleep study, the insomnia patient spends a night in a specialized sleep lab or sleeps at home while attached to specialized equipment. The equipment records physiological data that can be used to pinpoint the issue.

When insomnia is caused by another health condition, it usually goes away if that condition is under control. Chronic insomnia can be difficult to treat when caused by mental health or circadian rhythm disorder, a problem with the body’s natural sleep-wake cycle. In these cases, sleep-inducing medications are used.

Insomnia Recovery and Lifestyle Changes

Soon after insomnia diagnosis, many insomnia patients are advised to examine “sleep hygiene”: Factors like having a regular bedtime, leaving adequate time for sleep, reducing caffeine intake, and discontinuing smartphone use at night. These habits do not relieve severe insomnia on their own, but they can help an insomnia patient derive benefits from treatment.

Insomnia Medical Research

70% of those with insomnia still have it a year later, and 50% have it three years later. Since most insomnia treatment uses either approved hypnotic drugs or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, insomnia clinical research focuses on understanding the neurological mechanisms behind sleep and how to “prime” the body for sleep.

Current Insomnia Clinical Trials

The following list includes all current insomnia clinical trials registered with ClinicalTrials.gov. You are welcome to ask for additions to this list. To tell us about an unlisted insomnia clinical trial, just contact our team.

  • Medico-ecological Monitoring ((CSM, MCTQ, SPAQ, PSQI, HRV, Spirometry; Anthropometry, BP) of the Different Population Groups (Students, Schoolchildren, Volunteers) in North Caucasus
    on April 20, 2021 at 4:00 pm

    Conditions:   Conditionally Healthy Persons;   Persons With a High Body Mass IndexInterventions:   Device: Heart Rate Variability;   Device: Spirometry;   Behavioral: Testing of psycho-physiological functions using four questionnairesSponsor:   Vladikavkaz Scientific Center of the Russian Academy of SciencesRecruiting

  • Recovering Damaged Cells for Sequelae Caused by SARS-CoV-2
    on April 15, 2021 at 4:00 pm

    Conditions:   Sequelae of; Infection;   Post Infection Glomerulonephritis;   Post-Infectious Peripheral Neuralgia;   Post-Infectious Disorder (Disorder);   Post-Infectious Arthritis;   Post-Infectious Polyneuritis;   Post-Infectious Parkinsonism;   Post-Infectious Hypothyroidism;   Post Infectious Osteoarthritis;   Anxiety Disorders;   Depression;   Depression, Anxiety;   Depression, Bipolar;   Insomnia;   GERD;   Gastro Esophageal Reflux;   Hepatitis;   GlomerulonephritisInterventions:   Combination Product: FurWat;   Combination Product: FurFat;   Combination Product: PurApo;   Combination Product: PurPhl;   Combination Product: PurClo;   Combination Product: PurInf;   Combination Product: SmolivSponsor:   All Natural Medicine Clinic, LLCRecruiting

  • Comparing Brief Behavioral Therapy (BBT-CI) and Healthy Eating Education Learning (HEAL) for Cancer-Related Sleep Problems While Receiving Chemotherapy
    on April 2, 2021 at 4:00 pm

    Conditions:   Hematopoietic and Lymphoid Cell Neoplasm;   Malignant Solid NeoplasmInterventions:   Behavioral: Behavioral Intervention;   Other: Quality-of-Life Assessment;   Other: Questionnaire AdministrationSponsors:   University of Rochester NCORP Research Base;   National Cancer Institute (NCI);   Stanford UniversityRecruiting

  • Sleep Coach: A Mobile App to Address Insomnia Symptoms Among Cancer Survivors
    on April 1, 2021 at 4:00 pm

    Conditions:   Insomnia;   Breast Cancer;   Prostate Cancer;   Colon CancerIntervention:   Behavioral: Sleep Coach AppSponsors:   University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center;   The Breast Cancer Research FoundationRecruiting

  • Implementation of CBT-I in Cancer Clinics
    on March 26, 2021 at 4:00 pm

    Condition:   InsomniaInterventions:   Behavioral: Web-based cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I);   Behavioral: Professionally-administered booster face-to-face CBT-I sessionsSponsors:   CHU de Quebec-Universite Laval;   Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR);   Canadian Cancer Society (CCS)Recruiting

  • Fatigue in Primary Sjögren's Syndrome
    on March 17, 2021 at 4:00 pm

    Conditions:   Sjogren's Syndrome;   Fatigue;   Pain Syndrome;   Depression;   Anxiety;   FibromyalgiaInterventions:   Diagnostic Test: FACT-F questionnaire;   Diagnostic Test: Beck Depression Inventory;   Diagnostic Test: Beck Anxiety Inventory;   Diagnostic Test: Insomnia severity index.;   Other: ESSPRI;   Other: ESSDAI;   Other: Pain Detect QuestionnaireSponsor:   Bursa Yüksek İhtisas Education and Research HospitalRecruiting

  • The Effect of Acupressure on the Sleep Quality and Daytime Sleepiness
    on March 16, 2021 at 4:00 pm

    Condition:   SleepInterventions:   Other: Acupressure;   Other: Plasebo acupressureSponsor:   Mersin UniversityRecruiting

  • The Role of Walnut Consumption on Sleep Quality
    on March 16, 2021 at 4:00 pm

    Conditions:   Healthy Diet;   SleepInterventions:   Other: Control;   Other: Walnut intakeSponsors:   University of Barcelona;   California Walnut CommissionRecruiting

  • Effects of Telerehabilitation After Discharge in COVID-19 Survivors
    on March 12, 2021 at 5:00 pm

    Condition:   Covid19Intervention:   Other: TelerehabilitationSponsor:   Hacettepe UniversityRecruiting

  • The Effect of Yoga and Stabilization Exercises in Individuals With Chronic Low Back Pain
    on March 8, 2021 at 5:00 pm

    Condition:   Low Back PainInterventions:   Other: Yoga;   Other: Spinal Stabilization ExerciseSponsor:   Hacettepe UniversityRecruiting

  • Hypnosis for Sleep Quality in Caregivers of Individuals With Alzheimer's Disease
    on March 3, 2021 at 5:00 pm

    Conditions:   Poor Quality Sleep;   Caregiver Stress;   Alzheimer's Disease (Incl Subtypes)Interventions:   Behavioral: Self-Administered Hypnosis;   Behavioral: Self-Administered White Noise HypnosisSponsors:   Baylor University;   National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)Recruiting

  • Digital Psychological Self-care for Sleep Problems
    on February 25, 2021 at 5:00 pm

    Condition:   Chronic InsomniaIntervention:   Behavioral: Digital self-guided CBT-iSponsors:   Karolinska Institutet;   Stockholm RegionRecruiting


Millions of people experience insomnia, and it is generally understood as a growing problem. Since sleep is tied to all other body functions, insomnia is not just inconvenient: It is a profound quality of life issue. Insomnia clinical trials are key to understanding the most difficult insomnia cases, including those with no obvious cause. With further insomnia clinical research, more effective insomnia treatments can be found.

Match to insomnia Clinical Trials

  • Access to cutting-edge treatments
  • Latest clinical trials
  • Find trials in your area