Are There Different Types Of Insomnia? Yes!
All of us have difficulty falling or staying asleep once in a while, maybe when we are too stressed or when something weighs on our minds. But there’s a large section of the global population that struggles with insomnia night after night. Insomnia is a very uncomfortable disorder. Each night, when you are tired but unable to fall asleep, you keep staring at the ceiling and thinking of all sorts of negative things until the sun comes up. And then you go about the day bleary-eyed and fatigued, failing to find focus or remember things. It becomes a nagging problem that seems to have no solution.
If this is your life story, don’t panic. Every night, 30 to 40 percent of Americans struggle to fall or stay asleep. Insomnia can happen at any age but is more common in adults. Women are more usually affected by this sleep disorder than men, while more prevalent among people in low-income groups, chronic alcoholics, and those with mental illnesses. In fact, insomnia is becoming a lot like an epidemic, with an increasing number of people affected by the disorder. Insomnia results in excessive daytime sleepiness, which not only hinders productivity but also causes accidents and mishaps. Besides, chronic lack of sleep also has far-reaching consequences. From cardiac ailments to poor cognitive functioning to hormonal imbalances, insomnia can be the cause of various other conditions.
To most people, insomnia is pretty straightforward. When you cannot fall asleep or stay asleep for nights in a row, it’s insomnia. However, there are various types of insomnia. Yes, as surprising as it may sound, not everyone who fails to sleep is suffering from just one kind of insomnia. There are several kinds.
Let’s take a look at the five most common types of insomnia.
Insomnia is acute when it’s only a brief episode that occurs as a response to a life event. For instance, stressful events such as a job change, loss of job, travel, bad news, illness, or any crisis can cause acute insomnia, when a person is unable to sleep at night. Acute insomnia can last for days or as long as the crisis situation remains, and is usually resolved without needing treatment.
For insomnia to be diagnosed as chronic, a person needs to have difficulty falling or staying asleep for at least three months, three nights a week. Those suffering from chronic insomnia have usually had a history of sleep disorders. Chronic insomnia usually has several underlying causes needing a proper diagnosis. Disorders like obstructive sleep apnea or mental disorders are often the reason behind chronic insomnia.
Insomnia that happens because of or along with another condition is called comorbid insomnia. In this case, certain mental conditions like anxiety or depression are usually associated with difficulty sleeping. Other conditions such as chronic back pain, arthritis, or asthma don’t cause sleeplessness directly, but make the person uncomfortable at night and make it hard to sleep.
This is a type of sleep difficulty that many of us face when we are unable to fall asleep at the beginning of the night. Generally, going to bed only when you feel sleepy is the cure for this condition.
This is another common condition seen in various people. When you wake up in the middle of the night and are unable to fall back asleep, it is called maintenance insomnia. Waking up a few times in the night is normal, but failing to return to sleep creates a problem and also causes daytime sleepiness and fatigue.
If you are unable to decide which category your insomnia belongs to, consult a doctor. Once the right type of insomnia is determined, the right solution can be applied to restore normal sleep.