Insomnia

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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