Insomnia is a common complaint with potentially significant medical and psychologic complications. In some cases insomnia presents as a symptom of another underlying medical, psychiatric or environmental condition. In these cases, management of insomnia depends on accurate diagnosis and successful treatment of the underlying condition. In other cases, insomnia is a primary disorder requiring direct treatment. Pharmacologic treatments include nonprescription medications, sedating tricyclic antidepressants, benzodiazepines and related drugs. Behavior management methods that may be administered in the office setting include stimulus control therapy, sleep restriction therapy and sleep hygiene education. Although prescription medications and behavior therapy have similar short-term efficacy, behavior interventions are recommended as the first line of treatment for primary insomnia because of their greater safety and long-term efficacy.