Types of Insomnia

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types of insomniaInsomnia is an extremely common sleep disorder. In fact, during the course of any given year, 20 to 40 percent of people have some difficulty sleeping.

Most people will suffer from this problem at some point during the course of their lives, with insomnia afflicting almost twice as many women as it does men.

This condition is also significantly more common in people who have unusual work schedules, depression sufferers, and people who abuse drugs or alcohol.

There are several types of insomnia, which are categorized according to cause and duration.

Primary Insomnia
Primary insomnia refers to difficulty sleeping when there is no other health problem or condition present. This condition is sometimes diagnosed when a patient actually suffers from delayed sleep phase syndrome, in which the person stays asleep through the night but has trouble falling asleep initially.

Patients who have primary insomnia may have other illnesses that do not directly contribute to the sleep problem. These unrelated issues are called “comorbid conditions.

Secondary Insomnia
Secondary insomnia is a sleep condition caused by another medical problem or habit. Some of the most common sources of secondary insomnia include depression, restless leg syndrome, sleep apnea and hormone imbalances.

Medical treatments and some medications can also induce secondary insomnia, as can heartburn and asthma. Patients who use alcohol, caffeine or other drugs may eventually have problems sleeping as well.


Doctors also organize the types of insomnia by how long the problem lasts. This can help medical professionals decide the best course and type of treatment, as well as possibly helping patients to identify the underlying cause of the problem.

Transient Insomnia
This condition is extremely short-lived, with most patients having problems for only a few days. Transient insomnia is often caused by mental or emotional problems, changes in sleep environment or timing, or by another disorder. The consequences of this problem are similar to those of sleep deprivation.

Acute Insomnia
Acute insomnia lasts for longer than a week but less than a month. A patient can qualify as having acute insomnia if he or she has trouble going to sleep or staying asleep, as well as if sleep occurs but is not restful.

Acute insomnia may also be called short term insomnia. It is often associated with anxiety or increased stress, so some doctors refer to it as stress-related insomnia. This condition may also be caused by an illness, some medications, and environmental factors.

 Chronic Insomnia
Insomnia is categorized as being chronic when it lasts for a month or more. This condition can be primary or caused by another disorder and is common in people who have imbalances of stress hormones.

It is also a common result of severe depression, ongoing pain, and chronic stress. Long term chronic insomnia can result in severe fatigue, problems thinking clearly, and even hallucinations.

People with this disorder often experience extreme daytime sleepiness and may have trouble staying awake at appropriate times.

Idiopathic Insomnia
This rare form of chronic insomnia develops at birth and and continues into adulthood. Idiopathic insomnia is believed to be caused by an underactive or overactive sleep system. But positive identification of the cause remains unknown. Either gender can be affected and the condition appears to be genetic in nature.

These types of insomnia can happen to anyone, but there are ways to prevent them. By maintaining a strict sleep schedule, avoiding stimulants and depressants, and avoiding excessive activity at night, it’s possible to reduce the symptoms of these sleep disorders.

Read: How to go to Sleep – 48 Tips to Help Cure your Insomnia for simple solutions to your sleep problems.

Get your free 41 page Sleep Report here!

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