it comes to breaking down the different categories of insomnia, most
doctors first separate the disorder into three broad, general
categories: acute, transient, and chronic insomnia.
these basic categories are roughly based on the amount of time the
sleeping problems persist and also at least partly on the underlying
causes as well.
insomnia is the lowest category in terms of time, as this
insomnia is usually directly related to a specific event or worry that
the individual may have, which typically only lasts for a few days
week or two at most. It can be caused by a wide variety of different
factors, and could be something as simple as jet lag after long flights
or short term worries about an upcoming meeting, job interview, test,
insomnia refers to sleeping problems which persist for
several weeks at
a time. Again, it can be related to sudden stresses in life or a longer
term illness or worries. It is generally considered to be much more
damaging to a person's life, as several weeks of poor quality sleep can
lead to sleep deprivation, which in turn can cause other
not properly treated, acute insomnia can quickly turn into chronic
insomnia, which is basically long term insomnia that can
months or even years on end.
Down the Types of Insomnia Further
three categories of insomnia are quite general and broad ranging,
without dealing much with the underlying cause of the sleeping
problems. These underlying causes are incredibly important in properly
diagnosing and treating these issues.
That's why the American Academy of Sleep Medicine
has further broken this disorder down into eleven different categories,
based mostly on what is causing the person to have difficulties
first category is just general insomnia which
refers to a low quality of sleep caused by an inability to fall asleep
or remain asleep
throughout the night.
most effective treatment for this is cognitive behavioral therapy
the sleeping problems are long lasting, or herbal remedies or sleeping
medications for short term problems. This category could include all
three types of insomnia, depending on how long the problems persist.
This category normally refers to acute insomnia
and is caused by sudden
stress or excitement in a person's life that
they keep dwelling on, resulting in difficulties sleeping. Usually once
the stressful situation is over, the person's sleeping
to normal after they are able to let go of the stress or excitement.
This is insomnia
in children that is
caused when children are not
given a specific bedtime that is strictly
enforced. Even more so than with adults, children need a very rigid
sleep schedule that they stick to, or else they may start lying awake
for hours due to not having a regularly established sleep schedule.
- Childhood Behavioral
This category refers to sleeping problems
caused by drugs, alcohol,
or other substances including
food. Even substances that we generally consider mostly harmless, such
as caffeine or alcohol
can wreak havoc on a person's sleeping patterns
and severely degrade the quality of their sleep.
- Substance Related Insomnia
problems normally go away as soon as the person realizes what substance
is preventing them from sleeping and begins to abstain from taking
whatever it is for at least a few hours before bedtime.
The most severe type of
idiopathic insomnia is a lifelong sleeping disorder that is usually
related to some other
underlying condition, although often the actual
cause is difficult or nearly impossible to determine.
only way to try to effectively treat idiopathic insomnia is to try to
healthy sleeping patterns and try to minimize the effect
any other issues that you feel could be preventing you from sleeping
Sometimes only used temporarily, this
term refers to sleeping problems that have no apparent root in any
other condition, leading to the conclusion that it is a mental or
psychological problem that is causing the sleeping issues.
category is only applied for a period of time, until the actual mental
disorder has been identified.
- Unspecified Non-Organic
Similar to the non-organic insomnia, this
category refers to insomnia where the underlying cause has yet to be
determined. However, in this case, this category is
applied when the
doctors believe it is a physical condition or other health problem that
is leading to the sleeping difficulties. Menopausal
insomnia also falls under this category, as well as pregnancy
- Unspecified Organic
In some cases, even allergies (food or seasonal) can also cause insomnia. If you believe you are suffering from insomnia from allergies, try looking up whether the symptoms you are experiencing match the ones described on Reed's website.
Certain medical conditions,
such as those resulting in chronic pain or again a mental health
disorder. However, in this case it is usually necessary to
but separately treat the underlying mental illness and
the sleeping problems themselves, often through the use of sleeping
medications in this case.
- Insomnia Caused by
This type of insomnia is
by excessive worrying
and anxiety. These problems are self-sustaining
and can result in a vicious circle, as the longer it takes a person to
fall asleep, the more they begin to worry and focus on their inability
to sleep, thus increasing anxiety and making it that much more
difficult to sleep.
Probably the most difficult type of insomnia to
understand, and many would suggest it is not really insomnia at all.
This term refers to the situation where a person begins to feel that
they have sleeping problems and start focusing on them, when in fact
they are actually getting the sleep they need.
people with this condition tend to overestimate the time it takes them
to fall asleep and also how many hours they actually slept, while also
reporting an intense
awareness of their surroundings during the night
that suggest a heightened
state of mind during sleep.
to the Snoring