What are the complications of insomnia?

Over time, lack of sleep or poor quality sleep can negatively affect your physical and mental health. Insomnia can contribute to:

How is insomnia managed or treated?

Short-term insomnia often gets better on its own. For chronic insomnia, your healthcare provider may recommend:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia: Therapy (CBT-I): CBT-I is a brief, structured intervention for insomnia that helps you identify and replace thoughts and behaviors that cause or worsen sleep problems with habits that promote sound sleep. Unlike sleeping pills, CBT-I helps you overcome the underlying causes of your sleep problems.
  • Medications: Behavior and lifestyle changes can best help you improve your sleep over the long term. In some cases, though, taking sleeping pills for a short time can help you sleep. Doctors recommend taking sleep medicines only now and then or only for a short time. They are not the first choice for treating chronic insomnia.

Can melatonin help me sleep?

Your body produces a hormone called melatonin that promotes sleep. Some people take melatonin supplements as a sleep aid. But there’s no proof that these supplements work. Because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t regulate supplements the same as medications, you should talk to your healthcare provider before taking one.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 10/15/2020.


  • American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Healthy Sleep Habits. Accessed 10/10/2020.
  • American Academy of Family Physicians. Insomnia. Accessed 10/10/2020.
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sleep and Sleep Disorders. Accessed 10/10/2020.
  • National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. Insomnia. Accessed 10/10/2020.
  • Sleep Foundation. Insomnia. Accessed 10/10/2020.
  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Insomnia. Accessed 10/10/2020.

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