Idiopathic Insomnia

  • Garrick Applebee
Part of the Current Clinical Neurology book series (CCNEU)


Idiopathic insomnia (Childhood-onset insomnia) is defined as the lifelong inability to get adequate amounts of sleep. It is presumably due to dysfunction in the sleep–wake centers in the brain. Idiopathic insomnia patients are thought to have hyperactivity in the wake center or hypoactivity in the sleep center. These patients have sleep disturbances such as inability to fall asleep, frequent awakenings, and early morning wakefulness since early childhood. Psychologically, most patients with idiopathic insomnia are remarkably healthy, given their chronic lack of sleep. Management strategies are rather disappointing in their effectiveness, but include behavioral techniques to prevent the worsening of the insomnia and medications.


Idiopathic insomnia Sleep–wake center Childhood onset Benzodiazepines Zolpidem Melatonin Tricyclic antidepressants 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Garrick Applebee
    • 1
  1. 1.Departments of Neurology and Pediatrics, Vermont Regional Sleep CenterUniversity of Vermont College of MedicineBurlingtonUSA

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