Home Sleep Health 4 Types Of Insomnia

5 mins.

23 August 2022

4 Types Of Insomnia

You likely already know that sleep is essential for overall health and well-being. When the day ends, the natural course of action is to wind down and go to bed. While some have no problem falling asleep or staying asleep, others have a hard time due to a sleep disorder known as insomnia.  

Insomnia is defined as the persistent difficulty to fall asleep or stay asleep despite having ample time and opportunity to do so. As a result, insomniacs may experience excessive daytime sleepiness, mental and cognitive dysfunction, impaired work performance, and health problems (i.e., diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, heart and lung diseases) among others. 

Not all cases of insomnia are the same. This sleep disorder affects people in different ways, and distinguishing the difference between the forms of the condition can be a key in identifying the proper treatment. Here’s what you need to know about the different types of insomnia. 

What are the types of insomnia? 

Acute Insomnia 

Probably the most common type of insomnia is acute insomnia - this is typically described as a short spout of insomnia that lasts anywhere between a few days and a couple of weeks. It is also referred to as adjustment insomnia because it most commonly occurs when you experience a stressful event, such as sudden bereavement or a new job. People suffering from jet lag will also most likely go through a period of acute insomnia. 

Other causes of acute insomnia include environmental elements that impair your sleep, such as noise or light. In addition to sleeping in a new and uncomfortable place, you may develop insomnia if you are in any kind of physical discomfort or pain. If you are suffering from an illness or you’re on specific medication, then it could have a negative impact on your regular sleeping pattern as well.  

In general, acute insomnia lasts for less than three months and symptoms may fade on their own as time passes. Without recovery, however, it may potentially progress to chronic insomnia. 

Chronic Insomnia 

Chronic insomnia is a long-term pattern of sleep difficulty for at least three days in a week for at least a month or longer. There are two types of chronic insomnia and can manifest as either primary or secondary in nature. 

Primary chronic insomnia, also known as idiopathic insomnia, has no clear explanation or underlying medical issue. The cause of idiopathic insomnia is typically unknown and is being studied by scientists. On the other hand, secondary insomnia or comorbid insomnia, is more prevalent - and links to a complication involving another illness. 

Similar to acute insomnia, a common trigger for chronic insomnia is emotional distress. However, this sleeping disorder may also occur due to a long history of irregular sleep schedules due to the following: 

  • Shift work sleep disorder
  • Poor sleep hygiene
  • Underlying mental health disorders (i.e., anxiety, depression)
  • Physical and neurological illnesses (i.e., diabetes, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder),
  • Persistent nightmares
  • Medications (i.e., chemotherapy medications, antidepressants, beta-blockers)
  • And other sleep disorders (i.e., obstructive sleep apnea, sleep paralysis)

Onset Insomnia 

Onset insomnia refers to difficulty falling asleep at the beginning of the night or when attempting to fall asleep. Common symptoms include tossing and turning and not being able to fall asleep even after spending 20 to 30 minutes in bed. 

This type of insomnia can be traced back to a variety of triggers, including irregular sleeping schedules, poor sleep hygiene, or mental health problems. 

In general, anxious and depressed people carry worries to bed. These emotional and mental fixations cause hyperarousal, which further makes it difficult to fall asleep. This breeds into a vicious cycle involving anxiety and onset insomnia. 

The best way to combat onset insomnia is to understand its root cause. If you are experiencing a sleep disorder due to anxiety, seek professional medical help to help you understand the underlying conditions. 

Maintenance Insomnia 

People with maintenance insomnia experience difficulties staying asleep throughout the night. Oftentimes, this results in waking up at least once or too early and struggling to fall asleep again. The fragmented sleep associated with maintenance insomnia results in poor sleep and leads to negative consequences such as excessive daytime sleepiness and sluggishness. 

Maintenance insomnia can be caused by these conditions 

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Stress
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease
  • Sinus allergies
  • Periodic limb movement disorder
  • Sleep apnea
  • Asthma
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Chronic pain conditions

Treatment for maintenance insomnia may involve medication, lifestyle changes, sleep disorder treatment, cognitive behavioral therapy, or a combination of all. 

Natural remedies for insomnia 

If you’re at all concerned about whether insomnia can go away, home remedies may be able to alleviate the symptoms of insomnia if your sleeping patterns are getting in the way of your quality of life. 

  • Meditation: The practice of meditation entails sitting quietly and breathing slowly and steadily - starting a regular meditation routine might help alleviate the symptoms of insomnia.
  • Yoga: Much like meditation, performing yoga before bed can help you rest and unwind.

  • Exercise: Exercise is beneficial to one's overall health. It can improve your mood, give you more energy, help you lose weight, and help you sleep better.
  • Monitor your sleep: In the last decade or so, we’ve had the luxury of being able to record our sleep patterns without being hooked up to a giant, interfering machine. The invention of sports watches has allowed us to take a closer look at how our body behaves in the hours in which we sleep.  

Takeaway 

As you can see, the different types of insomnia can manifest in diverse ways. If you suffer from this, it is not something that you should take lightly as it has numerous negative implications for overall life quality. 

You should consider consulting your doctor to examine your condition and intervene if necessary. This is the key to finding the right treatment and improving long-term sleep health. 

 

Awaken your best with Sunrise by Emma 

Not getting a good’s night sleep can greatly affect your mood and energy, but hopefully this article was able to shed light on the underlying causes of why you may not have been sleeping your best. Learn more about sleep health and sleep wellness from sleep experts at Emma. advice which is always backed by science. 

Another crucial aspect of a good night's sleep and a healthy bedtime routine is having the right mattress – watch out for 7 signs to determine whether you need an upgrade with your mattress. 

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How are sleep disorders diagnosed?

People with sleep disorders may have difficulty going to sleep and may feel exceedingly lethargic during the day, depending on the type of disorder. Sleep deprivation can affect your energy, mood, focus, and overall health. Sleep disorders can sometimes be an indication or symptom of another medical or mental health concern. Once the underlying cause is identified and treated, the sleeping issues may go away. If you feel you have a sleep disordercondition, it's critical to get a diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible. The negative effects of sleep disturbances might lead to further negative health implications if they are not managed.

How are sleep disorders diagnosed?

People with sleep disorders may have difficulty going to sleep and may feel exceedingly lethargic during the day, depending on the type of disorder. Sleep deprivation can affect your energy, mood, focus, and overall health. Sleep disorders can sometimes be an indication or symptom of another medical or mental health concern. Once the underlying cause is identified and treated, the sleeping issues may go away. If you feel you have a sleep disordercondition, it's critical to get a diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible. The negative effects of sleep disturbances might lead to further negative health implications if they are not managed.

What are the Symptoms of Sleep Deprivation?

Sleep plays an essential role in keeping our body and mind healthy and recharged. Without enough hours of sleep, you’ll start feeling the symptoms and effects of sleep deprivation. Sleep deprivation is a condition caused by inadequate quantity and quality of sleep. This condition is common among teens and adults. According to the National Health Service (NHS), teenagers (ages 13-18) need at least eight to 10 hours of sleep. Meanwhile, adults (ages 19-60 years) need six to nine hours of sleep per night. But various studies have revealed that around 33% of teens and 63% of adults in the UK are not getting enough sleep, which could lead to many health problems if not treated or resolved right. It’s important for people to realise how important sleep is for their physical and mental health. Treating sleep deprivation early on can help you live a healthier life and become more productive in the day. 

What are the Symptoms of Sleep Deprivation?

Sleep plays an essential role in keeping our body and mind healthy and recharged. Without enough hours of sleep, you’ll start feeling the symptoms and effects of sleep deprivation. Sleep deprivation is a condition caused by inadequate quantity and quality of sleep. This condition is common among teens and adults. According to the National Health Service (NHS), teenagers (ages 13-18) need at least eight to 10 hours of sleep. Meanwhile, adults (ages 19-60 years) need six to nine hours of sleep per night. But various studies have revealed that around 33% of teens and 63% of adults in the UK are not getting enough sleep, which could lead to many health problems if not treated or resolved right. It’s important for people to realise how important sleep is for their physical and mental health. Treating sleep deprivation early on can help you live a healthier life and become more productive in the day. 

Are you Sleeping on the Right Type of Mattress?

There is only one thing we want after a long day at work sitting in an uncomfortable office chair: a big and comfortable bed all for ourselves. However, this dream can instantly turn into a nightmare if you own the wrong type of mattress.  You must be thinking about how can a mattress be wrong. According to sleep experts, you should choose a mattress based on your sleeping position. You need support in different areas of the body while sleeping and not everyone sleeps in the same position. Therefore, there are multiple types of mattresses in the market to facilitate all types of sleepers.  Before you get lost in the mattress world, we will match you with your soul-mattress. After extensive research, numerous discussions with sleep experts, and various in-house tests, we can provide you with the essential information on mattress shopping. 

Are you Sleeping on the Right Type of Mattress?

There is only one thing we want after a long day at work sitting in an uncomfortable office chair: a big and comfortable bed all for ourselves. However, this dream can instantly turn into a nightmare if you own the wrong type of mattress.  You must be thinking about how can a mattress be wrong. According to sleep experts, you should choose a mattress based on your sleeping position. You need support in different areas of the body while sleeping and not everyone sleeps in the same position. Therefore, there are multiple types of mattresses in the market to facilitate all types of sleepers.  Before you get lost in the mattress world, we will match you with your soul-mattress. After extensive research, numerous discussions with sleep experts, and various in-house tests, we can provide you with the essential information on mattress shopping. 

What do we know about the link between CBD and sleep?

Most of the population will have experienced a bad night’s sleep at some point in their lives, but this is usually short lived. However, many can suffer from sleepless nights for a longer period of time, which can sometimes have negative effects on physical and mental health.  Taking cannabidiol (CBD), a cannabis derivative, is becoming more and more popular for attempting to improve sleep and reduce anxiety. To pinpoint the precise effects CBD has on sleep and other issues with physical and mental health, however, much more research is needed to give a definitive answer to whether CBD can help us sleep.

What do we know about the link between CBD and sleep?

Most of the population will have experienced a bad night’s sleep at some point in their lives, but this is usually short lived. However, many can suffer from sleepless nights for a longer period of time, which can sometimes have negative effects on physical and mental health.  Taking cannabidiol (CBD), a cannabis derivative, is becoming more and more popular for attempting to improve sleep and reduce anxiety. To pinpoint the precise effects CBD has on sleep and other issues with physical and mental health, however, much more research is needed to give a definitive answer to whether CBD can help us sleep.