Sleep Onset Latency The transition from full wakefulness to sleep is called sleep onset. The length of time it takes to complete the transition is called sleep onset latency. Typically sleep onset latency in adults is about eight to fifteen minutes. If it takes you longer than 30 minutes to fall asleep you likely have sleep onset insomnia. Sleep Onset Insomnia Sleep onset insomnia is a common sleep problem characterized by difficulty falling asleep at the beginning of the night. Causes of sleep onset insomnia include: Caffeine consumption too close to bedtime Anxiety Temporary stressors Exercising in evening Poor sleep environment (too much noise or light, extreme temperatures, etc.) Acid reflux Medications Daytime naps Sleep Onset Insomnia Complications Sleep onset insomnia can be chronic or occasional; either way it can be very debilitating and can lead to: Daytime fatigue Headaches Difficulty concentrating Irritability Anxiety Treating Sleep Onset Latency Problems If you have a problem with sleep onset latency, try these tips: Have a regular bedtime, even on weekends Avoid caffeine and exercising before bed Drink warm milk before bed Create an optimal sleep environment – quiet, dark and not too hot Try relaxation techniques before bed to ease any anxiety In addition to the above, there are certain medications that can reduce sleep onset latency and improve the quality of your sleep. If you are concerned that you or a loved one may have sleep onset insomnia, consult with your doctor or visit a sleep center for professional diagnosis and treatment. Disclaimer: These statements and products are not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease. Always consult your physician regarding any sleeping disorders.