Insomnia Types, Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

What is Insomnia

Let us first understand what is Insomnia ? The term insomnia originates from the Latin in (no) and somnus (sleep), which implies inability to sleep or total lack of sleep.

There are some subjective parameters that need to be considered while defining insomnia, these are –

  • The onset of sleep
  • Maintenance of sleep
  • Quality of sleep
  • Impact of sleep disturbance on family and on social and professional life
  • Quality of life
  • Frequency or duration of insomnia

It can be defined as a problem faced while falling asleep or staying asleep. The more commonly used term ‘insomnia’ falls in this category, that also includes problems associated with poor sleep quality. Poor sleep quality refers to the phenomenon that although you have slept, you do not feel refreshed when you awaken.

Insomnia is the inability to obtain an adequate amount or quality of sleep. This difficulty can be in falling asleep, remaining asleep, or both.

People with insomnia do not feel refreshed when they wake up. Insomnia is a common symptom affecting millions of people that may be caused by many conditions, diseases, or circumstances.

Sleeplessness or insomnia is a symptom and may be caused by stress, depression, pain, medications, sleep disorders, poor sleep habits, anxiety, poor sleep environment and unhealthy habits.

According to an American Medical Association (AMA) report, approximately 54% of adults in the United States are suffering from insomnia and 10% experience Chronic Insomnia

Classification of Insomnia

Insomnia can be classified by its night symptoms and duration.

Sleep-onset insomnia refers to difficulty falling asleep.

Maintenance insomnia refers to waking frequently during the night or waking early.

Middle of the night insomnia can be characterised as difficulty returning to sleep, awakening in the middle of the night and facing difficulty in falling asleep again.

Insomnia can also be classified in relation to the number of sleepless nights. Short-term, or transient insomnia is common and usually lasts for a few days only. Long-term, or chronic insomnia lasts for more than three weeks and increases the risk for injuries at home, work and while driving because of daytime sleepiness, tiredness, fatigue and less concentration. Chronic insomnia can also result in depression. Know more about the types of insomnia in the next page.

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