Common Types

The different types of insomnia can be based on the causes, as well as how long the condition lasts.
Common types that are based on specific causes include:
  • Primary insomnia
  • Secondary insomnia.
Types that are based on how long it lasts and how often it occurs include:

Causes of Insomnia

There are many insomnia causes. Some are more likely to result in short-term insomnia, while others are more likely to cause chronic insomnia.
Short-term insomnia generally occurs in people who are temporarily experiencing one or more of the following:
  • Stress
  • Environmental noise
  • Extreme temperatures
  • Change in the surrounding environment
  • Sleep/wake schedule problems, such as those due to jet lag
  • Side effects of medication, particularly medications that treat:
Chronic insomnia is more complex and often results from a combination of factors, including underlying physical or mental disorders. One of the most common causes of this type is depression.
Other medical conditions that can cause it include:
Chronic insomnia may also be due to behavioral factors, including:
  • Drinking alcohol before bedtime
  • Ingesting excessive amounts of caffeine
  • Excessive napping in the afternoon or evening
  • Chronic stress
  • Expecting to have difficulty sleeping and worrying about it
  • Smoking cigarettes before bedtime
  • Irregular or continually disrupted sleep/wake schedules, as may occur with shift work.
In 20 percent of chronic cases, the cause is unknown. This is known as primary insomnia.

Insomnia Information

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