Insomnia is defined as the chronic inability to fall asleep or to enjoy uninterrupted sleep.

The majority of pregnant women complain of not getting enough sleep, and while this is generally considered normal, insomnia if severe can adversely affect the pregnancy.

The main question that should be answered is "how severe is my insomnia?". The Insomnia Severity Index (ISI) is a self-report questionnaire consisting of 7 questions. The ISI assesses the nature, severity, and impact of insomnia for the “last month”.

The 7 dimensions that the ISI evaluates are:

  1. severity of sleep onset,
  2. sleep maintenance, and
  3. early morning awakening problems,
  4. sleep dissatisfaction,
  5. interference of sleep difficulties with daytime functioning,
  6. noticeability of sleep problems by others, and
  7. distress caused by the sleep difficulties.

Each of these is rated from 0 to 4 (e.g., 0 = no problem;1 = mild problem; 2 = moderate problem; 3 =- severe problem;  4 = very severe problem). Each score is added up for a a total score ranging from a minimum score of 0 to a maximum score of 28.

The total score is interpreted as follows:

  • absence of insomnia (0–7);
  • sub-threshold insomnia (8–14);
  • moderate insomnia (15–21); and
  • severe insomnia (22–28)

There are several types of sleep problems:

Insomnias
This type of sleep disorder involves the inability to fall asleep or stay asleep.

Hypersomnias
Hypersomnias are a group of sleep disorders that causes a person to be excessively sleepy. People with a hypersomnia may fall asleep at times that are inconvenient or even dangerous, such as at work or while driving.

Sleep Related Breathing Disorders
Sleep disorders that involve difficulty breathing during sleep are classified as sleep related breathing disorders. Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common disorder of this type, however there are a number of variations of sleep apnea.

Circadian Rhythm Sleep-Wake Disorders
Conditions in which the sleep times are out of alignment. A patient with one of these disorders does not follow the normal sleep times at night.

Parasomnias
Parasomnias are a group of sleep disorders that involve unwanted events or experiences that occur while you are falling asleep, sleeping or waking up.

Sleep Movement Disorders
This classification of sleep disorders includes conditions that cause movement during or prior to sleep. These disorders can make it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep, or to get restful sleep.