According to the National Library of Medicine, roughly 20% of the adult population suffers from insomnia symptoms from time to time. Ten percent of adults struggle with insomnia on a regular basis. Over the period of five years, this disorder has a 40% persistence rate. Insomnia therapy is most effective when it involves both the client and their healthcare professionals working together in a collaborative effort. ICD-10 codes facilitate this collaboration, allowing for more effective treatment plans.

ICD-10 Code for Primary Insomnia

The ICD-10 code for primary insomnia is F51.01. This is a billable-specific code that healthcare professionals can use for both diagnosis and reimbursement purposes. 

What Is Primary Insomnia?

In a National Health Interview Survey in 2020, 14.5% of individuals had trouble falling asleep, while 17.8% reported difficulties remaining asleep. The research also indicates that difficulty falling or staying asleep seems to grow with age. More so, women are more likely to have problems falling asleep and staying asleep than men.


There are many different symptoms of insomnia, and they frequently work together to make it difficult to go to sleep or stay asleep. Prolonged tossing and turning during the night, along with restlessness and exhaustion are frequent symptoms. Some of the key indicators to look for when attempting to establish whether you have insomnia are waking up too early in the morning and having problems getting back to sleep.

Consequences of insufficient sleep sometimes manifest themselves in poor performance at work and poor interpersonal relationships throughout the day. Stress over not getting enough sleep feeds into itself, making it harder to go to sleep in the first place. Collectively, these signs and symptoms illustrate the multifaceted and interwoven character of insomnia and its effects on sleep and everyday life.

The difference between primary insomnia and secondary insomnia stems from the disorder’s cause. Insomnia that has no underlying medical, psychological, or environmental cause is primary insomnia. Secondary insomnia, or co-morbid insomnia, occurs when sleep problems develop as a result of something else, either a physical or mental health condition. Some of the potential causes of secondary insomnia include substance use, depression, sleep aids, and asthma.


If primary insomnia doesn’t have an underlying cause, how and why do people develop it? According to research, there may be a number of factors at play. 

Psychological Factors

Stress, anxiety, depression, and other mental health illnesses are closely linked to insomnia. All of these disorders can produce worrying thoughts that make it difficult to fall and stay asleep. This means that those with these disorders are more likely to develop insomnia.

Medical Conditions

In addition to mental health disorders, certain physical conditions may contribute to primary insomnia. Chronic pain and respiratory conditions are both known to cause insomnia symptoms. 

Genetic Predisposition

Some people suffer from a genetic predisposition to insomnia. Understanding the vulnerabilities in a person’s gene makeup that make them prone to insomnia is key to establishing sleep habits that don’t exacerbate their symptoms. Sleep apnea, narcolepsy, and restless leg syndrome are among the disorders that may develop in predisposed individuals and cause severe insomnia.


Stress and overstimulation may lead to hyperarousal, a state of heightened physiological and psychological alertness that can make it difficult to wind down and go to sleep. Hyperarousal is very common among those with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Circadian Rhythm Disruptions

Factors that cause disruptions in a person’s circadian rhythm can lead to insomnia symptoms. Such factors can include things like jet lag, working second, third, or overnight shifts, or irregular sleep-wake patterns.

Poor Sleep Hygiene

Following a routine and getting enough sleep are two of the most helpful things you can do to improve your overall sleep. Irregular sleep schedules contribute to the onset of insomnia symptoms while also worsening preexisting illnesses and disorders

Treatment Options

After receiving a diagnosis of primary insomnia, the client and treatment provider have several treatment options to choose from. Assessing the client’s specific needs and collaborating with other healthcare professionals who treat the client is crucial to selecting the best treatment approach.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Research shows that there are advantages of cognitive behavioral therapy over pharmacotherapy when treating insomnia. This form of therapy usually lasts six to eight weeks and includes a variety of sessions, including sleep restriction therapy, sleep education, stimulus control therapy, relaxation techniques, and other forms of cognitive behavioral methods. Some people take part in group cognitive behavioral sessions, while others benefit from telehealth versions

Light Therapy

Light therapy usually occurs in the morning, exposing clients to bright light in an attempt to help them develop healthier sleep-wake patterns. Several studies support the effectiveness of this form of therapy, especially for U.S. veterans who struggle with insomnia

Sleep Hygiene Education

Sleep hygiene education (SHE) teaches people how to develop healthy sleep patterns. It was originally created to help those with insomnia. Due to a lack of evidence, it’s inconclusive whether SHE improves insomnia symptoms. It never hurts, however, to look into the numerous sleep tips that SHE promotes, both behavioral and environmental.

Sleep Medications

Treating primary insomnia requires achieving two objectives: enhancing the person’s sleep quality and quantity while also limiting daytime impairments. Most treatment plans start with one form of behavioral intervention; this may include a relaxation technique or stimulus control therapy. Many treatment providers also recommend biofeedback in addition to behavioral treatment. 

If the client requires pharmacotherapy, the physician must consider the following factors when choosing which medication to prescribe:

  • Symptom profile
  • Treatment objectives
  • Treatment history
  • Client’s preference
  • Cost
  • Accessibility to and availability of other treatment options
  • Possible side effects
  • Drug interactions
  • Contraindications

The different types of medications that treatment providers will sometimes prescribe to treat clients with primary insomnia are:

  • Low-dose doxepin
  • Eszopiclone
  • Zaleplon
  • Zolpidem
  • Ramelteon
  • Suvorexant

Herbal supplements that physicians sometimes recommend for insomnia include:

  • Melatonin
  • Chamomile
  • Valerian
  • Kava


Accurate and immediate input on one’s present brain activity is the key to neurofeedback’s success in treating insomnia. This can be achieved by monitoring the client’s brain waves. Twelve research studies looked at the effects of neurofeedback on sleep, and all of them found improvements in sleep quality


Acupuncture helps those with insomnia by targeting both the physical and mental aspects of sleep disturbances. It is a form of traditional Chinese medicine that involves putting very thin needles into certain places on the body to stimulate energy flow. Research shows that acupuncture has the potential to decrease stress hormones and normalize sleep-related neurotransmitters. Additionally, acupuncture treatments can enhance overall sleep quality, shorten the time it takes to fall asleep, and relieve feelings of anxiety or restlessness. Acupuncture offers a drug-free option for people who have trouble sleeping and don’t want to take medicine. 

Lifestyle Changes

There are several lifestyle changes that a person can make to treat insomnia. These changes range from changing one’s diet to exercising. Some of the most commonly suggested lifestyle changes that people use to reduce primary insomnia symptoms are:

  • Making the bedroom sleep-friendly
  • Avoiding caffeine and nicotine
  • Abstaining from alcohol and drug use
  • Avoiding naps
  • Limiting how much they drink before bedtime
  • Going to sleep and waking up at the same time 
  • Eating meals at the same time every day and evening
  • Learning new ways to manage stress

Relaxation Techniques

Physicians also tend to recommend various forms of relaxation methods to reduce insomnia symptoms. These methods may include any of the following:

  • Breathing exercises
  • Progressive muscle relaxation
  • Guided imagery

Why Do ICD Codes Exist?

The International Classification of Diseases (ICD) aims to standardize the recording of diseases and deaths across the world. Healthcare professionals use the codes to communicate with one another and for billing purposes. The codes also play a vital role in health statistics, healthcare quality improvement, and epidemiological research. ICD-10 codes differ greatly from ICD-9 codes in that the new codes work according to alphanumeric categories instead of numeric categories.

ICD-10 Codes: When Did They Become Active?

Some experts believe ICD codes began as early as 1763. The latest version, ICD-10 codes, began their development several decades ago, and they receive annual updates. The last annual update took place on October 1, 2023.

How Do Healthcare Professionals Use ICD-10 Codes?

Accurate diagnosis, documentation, and management of primary insomnia are made possible with the use of ICD-10 codes. When documenting a diagnosis, the physician uses an ICD-10 code. Making this diagnosis means the client presents all of the applicable symptoms. By looking up the client’s main insomnia diagnosis using the ICD-10 code, healthcare providers can provide more individualized care. Treatment options may include medication, cognitive behavioral therapy, and other behavioral approaches.

A healthcare facility’s billing department will also use the ICD-10 code for claims processing. This code promotes correct billing and payment from insurance carriers because it serves as a standardized language for describing a client’s disorder. The aggregated data that comes from using ICD-10 codes helps researchers discover hidden links between insomnia and other disorders.

ICD-10 Codes: Why Accuracy Matters

Accurately recording ICD-10 diagnosis codes is essential for efficient healthcare administration. Accuracy in medical treatment depends on doctors taking careful notes on each client, including specifics about the nature and severity of each diagnosis.

It is crucial to keep detailed records of clinical findings, such as symptoms, indicators, and diagnostic test results. Regular training on code updates and rules helps preserve accuracy. Optimal client care, precise billing, and trustworthy health data for research and analysis are all made possible by the stringent documentation requirements introduced by ICD-10.

Using SOAP Notes to Record ICD-10 Codes

Some medical professionals choose to utilize the Subjective, Objective, Assessment, and Plan format (SOAP notes) when documenting ICD-10 codes. The evaluation portion often comprises the diagnosis, frequently stated using ICD-10 codes, while the other two sections gather client-reported information and objective data, respectively. By using a standardized method, doctors can easily assign diagnoses with the correct codes, which improves billing, streamlines communication among medical staff, and contributes to research.

Using Electronic Health Records to Capture ICD-10 Codes

For the sake of expediency and precision, many clinicians prefer using electronic health records (EHRs) to record ICD-10 codes. Electronic health record systems simplify the coding process by letting doctors choose codes from a centralized database. These computerized systems provide constant, instantaneous access to client records, improving both the timeliness and accuracy of diagnostic codes and procedures. Moreover, EHRs encourage uniform recordkeeping, assuring consistency between healthcare practitioners. 

Using AutoNotes to Document SOAP Notes and ICD-10 Codes

ICD-10 codes and SOAP notes are two types of documentation where doctors can use AutoNotes for. To speed up the process of filling up client records, AutoNotes uses established templates and algorithms to generate notes. This innovation expedites the process of adding ICD-10 codes to SOAP notes, which saves time and reduces the likelihood of mistakes. It promotes uniformity in documentation while also helping treatment providers meet code requirements. By automating repetitive processes, AutoNotes boosts efficiency, enabling doctors to concentrate more on client care.