Sleep Medicine pp 197-202 | Cite as

The Insomnias: Historical Evolution

  • Suresh Kumar
  • Sudhansu ChokrovertyEmail author


From the realm of poets, philosophers, and myths, the concept of insomnia has evolved over the centuries to modern scientific theories and measurements. Concomitantly, the treatment of insomnia progressed step by step from baths, balms, herbs, and seeds to modern pharmacological and behavioral medicine. Progress in human civilization and industrial revolution took a toll on our nightly sleep accounting for chronic sleeplessness in about a third of the population of the industrialized nations. This has been a blessing in disguise pushing for excellence in scientific research for the development of modern remedies to treat this human illness (insomnia or hyposomnia) with potentially serious short- and long-term consequences. This chapter briefly outlines the developmental milestones in our understanding of insomnia and its treatment.


Insomnia Hyposomnia Traditional Chinese medicine Ayurvedic medicine Hypnos and Thanatos The biblical concept of insomnia Primary and comorbid insomnia Hyperarousal theory of insomnia Pharmacological and behavioral treatments of insomnia 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of NeurologySree Balajee Medical College and HospitalChennaiIndia
  2. 2.Chennai Sleep Disorders CentreChennaiIndia
  3. 3.JFK New Jersey Neuroscience InstituteEdisonUSA

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