Insomnia (trouble falling asleep or staying asleep) is a common problem. It can cause daytime tiredness and sleepiness and difficulty paying attention at school or being alert at work. Insomnia affects people of all ages. Insomnia can be transient (short-term) and related to a specific condition like stress or travel, or it can be a chronic (long-term) problem that persists for many months. The June 28, 2006, issue of JAMA includes an article about treatment of chronic insomnia in older adults. This Patient Page is based on one previously published in the May 21, 2003, issue of JAMA.