Insomnia is a sleep disorder that is characterized by difficulty falling and/or staying asleep. People with sleeplessness have one or more of the following symptoms:
Difficulty falling asleep
Waking up often during the night and having trouble going back to sleep
Waking up too early in the morning
Feeling tired upon waking
Types of Insomnia
There are two types of sleeplessness: primary sleeplessness and secondary sleeplessness.
Primary sleeplessness: Primary sleeplessness means that a person is having sleep problems that are not directly associated with any other health condition or problem.
Secondary sleeplessness: Secondary sleeplessness means that a person is having sleep problems because of something else, such as a health condition (like asthma, depression, arthritis, cancer, or heartburn); pain; medication they are taking; or a substance they are using (like alcohol).
Acute vs. Chronic Insomnia
Insomnia also varies in how long it lasts and how often it occurs. It can be short-term (acute insomnia) or can last a long time (chronic sleeplessness). It can also come and go, with periods of time when a person has no sleep problems. Acute sleeplessness can last from one night to a few weeks. sleeplessness is called chronic when a person has insomnia at least three nights a week for three months or longer.
Causes of sleeplessness
Causes of acute insomnia can include:
Significant life stress (job loss or change, death of a loved one, divorce, moving)
Emotional or physical discomfort
Environmental factors like noise, light, or extreme temperatures (hot or cold) that interfere with sleep
Some medications (for example those used to treat colds, allergies, depression, high blood pressure, and asthma) may interfere with sleep
Interferences in normal sleep schedule (jet lag or switching from a day to night shift, for example)
Causes of chronic sleeplessness include:
Depression and/or anxiety
Pain or discomfort at night