Insomnia is defined as a combination of dissatisfaction with sleep and a significant negative impact on daytime functioning. Dissatisfaction with sleep refers to the difficulty to initiate and/or maintain sleep on at least three nights per week for at least three months, despite adequate opportunity to sleep.

Insomnia is, worldwide, the most commonly reported sleeping disorder. By 2020, it is estimated that there will be approximately 13 million insomnia patients being treated with pharmaceutical-grade insomnia medications in the US alone, according to research by GlobalData Ltd in 2015.

The impacts of insomnia on physical and mental health may include fatigue, daytime sleepiness, poor concentration, depressed mood, or impaired ability to perform social or occupational tasks.

The goal of treatments for insomnia is to improve sleep quality and quantity, as well as reducing insomnia-related daytime impairments, while avoiding adverse events and next morning residual effect. Current treatment of insomnia includes cognitive behavioral therapy, sleep hygiene recommendations, and pharmacotherapy. Most sleep disorder products on the market enhance the effects of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), the major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. Such medications are associated with side effects such as next-day effects, anterograde amnesia, and risk of tolerance and dependence.