Insomnia is probably the most recognizable and well-known of all sleeping disorders. It is known that 10-15% of all people suffer from severe chronic insomnia, while another 25-30% suffers from transient insomnia. Insomnia is mainly characterized by a person’s constant difficulty in falling asleep, or staying asleep once he or she suddenly wakes up.
Some people typically describe that their body seems to feel extremely tired but their mind is still wide awake. Thus, the different types of insomnia is typically followed by some functional impairment while the person is awake.
1. Transient Insomnia
There is, however, no single type of insomnia everyone in the world generally suffers from. There is the transient insomnia, which usually lasts from days to weeks. Usually, transient insomnia is caused by some changes in the environment or timing of sleep, or simply by stress. Its effects to a person the next day is not dissimilar with sleep deprivation. When this kind of insomnia does occur from time to time, the condition is considered alternating or intermittent.
Read more on Common Sleep Disorders
2. Acute Insomnia
Another type of insomnia is the Acute Insomnia, which is the inability to consistently have a good night’s sleep for well over three weeks to six months.
3. Chronic Insomnia
Chronic Insomnia, on the other hand, is much worse: this type of insomnia actually last from months to years. People who have this condition have shown signs of increased alertness, though repercussions include sleepiness, and muscular and mental fatigue. There can be an outside factor (i.e. disorder) that causes a person to acquire chronic insomnia, or it could be the primary disorder.
There are also patterns when it comes to insomnia. Onset Insomnia, for example, is often associated with anxiety disorders, since the person will experience difficulty in sleeping at the beginning of the night.
4. Middle-of-the-night (MOTN) Insomnia
Middle-of-the-night (MOTN) Insomnia is characterized by a person’s difficulty in falling back to sleep once he or she has been awakened in the middle of the night, or waking too early in the morning. MOTN insomnia is also called nocturnal awakenings, and this condition encompasses the two following patterns of insomnia. Middle Insomnia is not dissimilar with MOTN insomniaor the different types of insomnia, as it is characterized by a person’s waking during the middle of the night and his or her difficulty to fall back asleep again. This, however, is typically caused by medical illness or pain syndromes.
5. Terminal Insomnia, or Late Insomnia
Finally, there is the Terminal Insomnia, or Late Insomnia. Characterized by early morning waking, and associated with clinical depression.
The causes of a person’s insomnia can vary from psychoactive drugs (ranging from the commonplace caffeine to the intake of prohibited drugs such as cocaine) to a rare genetic condition called Fatal Familial Insomnia. Other causes include hormones, sociological factors (such as problems with family, friends, relationships, fear, anxiety, stress, finances, work problems, etc.), mental or neurological disorders (such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, etc.), certain medical conditions (such as Wilson’s syndrome, hyperthyroidism, etc.), disturbances of the circadian rhythm (basically the body’s biological clock, which can be disturbed through Jet Lag, change of work shifts, etc.), and others.
Diagnosis and treatment will vary from the type of person or The different types of insomnia. Sleeping pills are not necessarily the solution for insomnia, and for severe cases, it is best to consult a doctor.