A most remarkable aspect of insomnia is that the individual rarely can sort out the cause of their middle of the night awakenings. Indeed, the most common response to the question, "why did you wake up?" is usually answered with, "I don't know."
It seems some insomniacs have a propensity though to "backtrack" in their mind as if to see, "what do I imagine woke me up." A lot of these individuals state that stress, worries, or other thoughts must have provoked the awakening. However, upon further discussion, these insomnia patients usually realize that they are simply reporting what they may notice in their minds soon after an awakening, which of course may or may be the cause of the awakening.
In this project, we will be interviewing insomniacs prior to a sleep test to determine their perceptions about the causes of the awakenings. We use an extensive semi-qualitative interview technique to insure we gain the most possible data from the patients. Then, we will complete overnight sleep studies on these patients, and examine any factors that might be related to their awakenings.