Insomnia occurs when you regularly have trouble falling asleep and/or staying asleep. Insomnia can be either acute (short term) or chronic (long term). Insomnia is considered chronic when it happens at least 3 times a week for 3 months or more.
There are many factors that can contribute to insomnia. Some people have a predisposition to insomnia, which can be triggered via a life event or period of intense stress. Age also plays a role in sleeping difficulties. As we get older we naturally sleep lighter and for fewer hours. In cases of chronic insomnia, sleeping difficulties often persist beyond the original trigger as people develop negative associations and coping mechanisms, which cause a vicious cycle.