Insomnia Help

Name Your Insomnia - Six Different Types of Insomnia

Insomnia is not defined by the number of hours of sleep or how long it takes to fall asleep. People vary usually in their need for, and satisfaction with sleep. There are four general types of insomnia:
Insomnia type image
Difficulty falling asleep (sleep-onset insomnia): Commonly, people have difficulty falling asleep when they cannot let their minds relax and continue to worry. Sometimes the body is just not ready for sleep at a usual time for sleep. That is, the body's internal clock is out of synchronization with the earth's cycle of light and dark. This problem (a type of circadian rhythm sleep disorder) is common among adolescents.

Difficulty staying asleep (sleep maintenance insomnia): Older people are more likely to have difficulty staying asleep than are younger people. People with this type of insomnia fall asleep normally but wake up several hours later and cannot fall asleep again easily. Sometimes they drift in and out of a restless, unsatisfactory sleep.

Insufficient amount of sleep: This insomnia type describes inability to catch more than a few hours of sleep at night. Sometimes this severe lack of sleep is temporary; triggered by a traumatic event. In other cases though, it is not directly connected with any specific event and can continue for years.

Early morning awakening: This insomnia type may be a sign of depression in people of any age.

In the sequel, four different types of insomnia are classified according to the duration of the insomnia symptoms and the underlying causes.

Type 1 - Transient (Primary) Insomnia

Transient insomnia is temporary. This is the most common insomnia type and the one suffered by some 58% of adults at some point in our lives. Transient insomnia can last a few nights or a few weeks, but this type of insomnia eventually goes away. This can be triggered by a whole host of factors ranging from jet-lag through to medication or even short-term stresses and worries. While transient insomnia symptoms are uncomfortable, there are many natural treatments for them including relaxation techniques and natural herbal remedies. The key is to ensure that any symptoms do not become permanent after a transient insomnia episode - for example by starting a pattern of napping or using caffeine to keep you awake during the evenings.

Type 2Intermittent (Short-Term) Insomnia

The difference between intermittent and transient insomnia is that intermittent insomnia lingers and recurs. Insomnia symptoms that last between one and three weeks are classified as short-term insomnia. This is usually long enough for the disturbed sleep itself to become a concern - with the associated risk that this can add to the symptoms themselves. Stress and anxiety-induced problems with falling asleep often fall into this category. While the best treatments involve treating the underlying factors there are several more techniques available. These include making a proper assessment of your sleeping environment and evening eating habits and also ensuring that lifestyle factors - including health and exercise are not a cause.

Type 3 - Acute Insomnia

Sleepless photoInability to sleep for three to six months called acute insomnia. The sleep pattern will not be consistent. Most of the time after this period, the person may fall asleep and have regular sleep patterns. The main reason of suffering from acute insomnia is apparent reason like noise, bright light, too much of heat or cold, incoming illness, recovering from illness, uncomfortable bed, and so on. The other causes of acute insomnia are erratic sleeping schedules, i.e. working on night shifts, working late night, watching TV which interferes with the body's normal biological clock. Normally, removing the irritants and natural home remedies would be sufficient to cure this type of insomnia.

Type 4 - Hyper (Chronic) Insomnia

The most debilitating type of insomnia is labelled as chronic insomnia. This type of insomnia is defined as continuous symptoms which last for more than 3 weeks. The hyper insomnia or chronic insomnia is quite difficult to manage or cure. This is usually the result of a serious underlying problem, or a disease triggered by some anxiety or serious health problem (which could be neurological, medical and/or psychiatric). Depression is a major cause of chronic insomnia. While drugs often relieve the symptoms of chronic insomnia temporarily, these do carry the potential twin risks of addiction and building tolerance. But still there are several home-based treatments possible including herbal remedies.

Type 5 - Mental Illness Insomnia

This type of insomnia is a longer lasting category of symptoms which are associated with either depression or changes in brain chemistry related to other mental illnesses. Examples of conditions which are usually accompanied by this type of insomnia are schizophrenia and bi-polar disorder (known as manic-depressive disorder). The treatment of the mental illnesses insomnia needs to be supervised by a medical specialist, especially whan this involves medication which may have a cross-effect on medications for the underlying condition itself.

Type 6 - Fatal Familial Insomnia

This type on insomnia is thankfully extremely rare as well as almost always proven to be fatal within two to three years. Insomnia becomes increasingly marked once this begins, leading to the complete inability to sleep and eventually death. Until now is no known cure for this specific illness. This is the consequence of lack of a gene which controls sleep durations. While there are a 50 / 50 chances that the child of a 'carrier' parent will inherit this condition, it is not until middle-age that most patients show symptoms - with the average onset being around 50. Fortunately, the main gene responsible has only been identified in 28 families worldwide.

For any type of insomnia giving immediate attention may help size the situation as best possible. It is also up to the person to keep a track of sleep patterns, so that he knows where exactly the mistake is. People may also begin depending on the sleeping pills and medications. At this time, care has to be taken not to become too depending on such factors, as natural methods are always the best remedy.


Niki How said...
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