Insomnia is a frequent and persistent difficulty in initiating or maintaining sleep that results in general sleep dissatisfaction, impairment in daytime function and occurs despite adequate time and circumstances each night to obtain necessary sleep. It can be ongoing or short-term, in isolation of or caused by daytime stressors, mental disorders, medical conditions or substance use. It is a psychological issue that can usually be solved by a change in routine or behaviours during the day.
A single night sleep study is not able to diagnose insomnia, but it can be a useful tool in evaluating how close someone’s perceived sleep is to their actual total sleep time. Some people have highly disrupted sleep that they misperceive as being awake throughout. A level 1 or 2 sleep study is the only way to accurately determine total sleep time as well as the distribution of sleep stages.