What is Insomnia?

what is insomnia

There are several markers of sleeplessness that answer the question: what is insomnia. Individuals who have insomnia exhibit a pattern of one or more of the following sleep issues.

  • Difficulty falling asleep on a regular basis
  • Regularly waking up several times during the night and experiencing an inability to resume sleep
  • Consistently waking up several hours before it's time to get up and not being able to fall asleep again
  • Always waking up exhausted and never feeling well rested

Healthcare professionals typically classify insomnia into one of three categories, according to the duration of time a person suffers from sleepless nights.

  • Transient Insomnia - Symptoms are present from one night up to a week.
  • Short-Term Insomnia - Symptoms last from one week up to a month.
  • Chronic Insomnia - Symptoms persist for a month or longer

Chronic insomnia is then divided further and classified as follows.

  • Primary Insomnia - When the insomnia isn't directly related to, or caused by, any other health problems such as allergies, arthritis, chronic pain, or depression.
  • Secondary Insomnia - This is when insomnia is caused illness, side effect of medication, substance abuse, or other sleep disorder. A poor sleep environment or poor sleep hygiene that causes sleeplessness is also identified as secondary insomnia.
  • Psychophysiological Insomnia - Also referred to as "learned" or "conditioned" insomnia, this condition type may be caused by a stressor and/or the fear of being unable to sleep. Individuals with this condition may sleep better when not in their own beds.

What to Do if You Think You Have Insomnia

If you're struggling with sleepless nights, visit your doctor as soon as possible to get a proper diagnosis. He or she will likely order a sleep study to fully evaluate your condition.

For transient or short-term insomnia, there are lifestyle and environmental changes than can help you on the path to better sleep. Click here for some tips on how to return to healthy sleep habits and feel better.

If your doctor determines you have chronic insomnia, he or she may treat your condition with a combination of sedative-hypnotic or sedating antidepressant medications, along with behavioral techniques to help you return to regular sleep.

Related Information - What is Insomnia?

Facts About Insomnia
Causes Of Insomnia
Sleep Disorders
Insomnia Tips
Insomnia Medications
Over The Counter Sleep Aids

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