Short-Term Insomnia

Short-term insomnia, also known as adjustment insomnia and other names*, has a clearly defined onset caused by a specific stressor. The stressor may be psychological, psychosocial, interpersonal, environmental or physical in nature. Examples of stressors include things like job loss, financial difficulties, the death of a loved one, a new medical diagnosis, moving or new sleeping arrangements. It’s important to note that the stressor may be negative or positive in nature.

Adjustment insomnia typically lasts less than three months and goes away when the stressor disappears. Disturbed sleep is the primary feature of adjustment insomnia, but it may also be accompanied by sleepwalking and/or daytime sleepiness.

People with a history of anxiety or depression are much more susceptible as are those who have had previous episodes of insomnia. Insomnia may lead to the misuse or abuse of alcohol, drugs or medications with the goal of attaining sleep.

* Acute insomnia, adjustment disorder, adjustment insomnia, stress-related insomnia, transient insomnia, transient psychophysiological insomnia.

Potential forensic implications:

  • industrial accidents