Having insomnia has been associated with poorer reported quality of life, difficulties in interpersonal relationships, and compromised job performance. Moreover, persons with insomnia are more likely to develop serious medical conditions, such as high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.
Therefore if you think you may be suffering from insomnia, it is important to seek the counsel of a qualified healthcare professional. Understanding the different types of insomnia – and the factors that contribute to your condition – can help you and your doctor make good decisions about treatment.
What is Insomnia
Insomnia is readily experienced, but hard to define. Sleep doctors generally point to a dissatisfaction with falling or staying asleep, in a situation in which there is adequate opportunity for sleep.
Insomnia may be short-term (acute) or long-term (chronic). To be considered long-term, researchers suggest it needs to occur at least three times a week, for at least three months. Other elements associated with insomnia include a sense of distress, impairment in one’s daytime life attributed to poor sleep, and symptoms that are not better explained by another mental or medical disorder or effects of a substance.
The thinking about the relationship of insomnia to other disorders has changed over the years. For a long time, insomnia was described as being of two types: primary (when it occurs by itself) or secondary (when it occurs as part of an illness such as depression or a medical condition).
Insomnia is now recognized as a freestanding disorder in its own right. When it occurs in the context of another illness, both need to be treated.
Not All Insomnia is Alike
Sleep doctors differ about
whether it is fruitful to talk of subtypes of insomnia, based on the mechanisms
behind it. Others prefer to say that that there are several factors that can
contribute to how insomnia appears – and the type of insomnia help that will be most effective. Among the types of insomnia are:
One thing that is clear is that insomnia is a disorder 24 hours a day. Some studies show that many persons with insomnia, though they feel tired and fatigued, actually have more difficulty falling asleep during the daytime than persons who sleep well.
About the Author
This article on the different types of insomnia is written by Wallace B. Mendelson, M.D. Dr. Mendelson is a psychiatrist, sleep specialist, and author of the book Understanding Sleeping Pills, available on Amazon.com.
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