Difficulty in getting to sleep or staying asleep is a very common problem in today’s world.
Depending on the cause, the duration, or the consequences, we can say that there are different kinds of insomnia. In this article, we’ll talk to you about the most important ones.
What is insomnia?
Not being able to sleep for a night because we’re anxious is normal. If you can’t get to sleep the night before a big event (a trip, a move, a wedding, etc.), you don’t need to worry.
The problem is when the problems getting sleep become the rule and not the exception.
Insomnia affects a large amount of the world’s population. And, it can show up when going to bed or early in the morning (waking up and not being able to get to sleep again).
It is divided up depending on the duration:
- Acute if it lasts for less than one month.
- Subacute if it lasts between four to six weeks.
- Chronic if it goes past 6 months and it hasn’t been solved.
There are many causes for insomnia. But, it’s especially due to psychological changes like stress, depression, or anxiety.
For some people, this is due to a hormonal imbalance. It can also be related to certain circadian rhythm problems (that regulate when you sleep and wake).
Also, we should know that insomnia can have other origins like:
- Bad conditions in the place you’re sleeping
- Irregular sleep habits
- Large meals
- Taking stimulants (coffee, alcohol, drugs, etc.).
At the same time, there are some who have insomnia after a surgery. It can also be caused by abstaining from alcohol, PTSD, or from a medication’s side effect.
What can control insomnia?
We can prevent the appearance of this problem. And, we can prevent it from becoming chronic if we have healthy habits:
- Don’t take stimulants at night.
- Eat a light dinner
- Exercise up to the evening.
- Control your room’s environment. And, reduce lights and sounds.
- Keep a routine for your sleeping and waking hours.
- Give yourself a relaxing bath at night.
- Don’t watch tv or use your smartphone in bed.
- Avoid long naps.
Sleep is fundamental for our body. This is because it repairs and restores your body. Also, it thermoregulates and prepares your body for the next day’s activities.
So, insomnia can have many negative consequences. Among them, the following stand out:
- Difficulty concentrating or memorizing
- Tiredness, reluctance, drowsiness
- Traffic or work accidents
- Irritability, depression, and a bad mood
- Disorientation and existential crises
What kinds of insomnia are there?
The kinds of insomnia are divided into three large groups: they depend on the duration, intensity, and the time period.
Passing or acute
This is when the disease lasts for a maximum of 4 weeks. It can be due, for instance, to changes in your pattern of sleep, when you work, or your geographical location (what we know as “jet lag”).
Also, this kind of insomnia can be caused by other things. They include stress, personal problems, or too much coffee or alcohol.
Short term or subacute
This lasts between 4 and 6 weeks. It’s more common in people that suffer from a major accident or who have lost a loved one.
Also, it’s very common to experience it as a consequence of PTSD.
Long term or Chronic
This has a duration that’s greater than 3 months. And, it can go until the person treats the problem. In most cases, this is due to a chronic physical or mental disease.
This is the most common sleep disease. This is because it doesn’t have consequences that are that negative in the person’s quality of life.
The next day, they wake up more tired and with less desire to work. But it doesn’t put their health at risk.
When insomnia becomes something more common, the effects are more visible and important.
The day to day deterioration in the person is related to several things. These include their irritability, anxiety, and the lack of accomplishment at work.
Having a bad mood is common. And, people who suffer from it have problems retaining information as well.
In this case, the sleeping disease has a greater intensity. And, it noticeably impacts the life of the affected person.
They can’t do any of their daily activities. This is because they don’t have enough energy to even get out of bed.
Also, their mood changes are more erratic. You can take medications or certain substances to reverse the situation.
Onset or at the start
It seems that we can hardly get to sleep. This is characterized by difficulty getting to sleep until early in the morning.
The person doesn’t find an effective way to sleep (counting sheep, reading, meditating, listening to relaxing music, etc).
Many times, this kind of insomnia is caused by anxiety or by problems. And, it doesn’t let your brain calm down enough.
Maintenance or in the middle
In this case, the problem develops in the early hours of the morning. Even though you can get to sleep, in the early hours of the morning you wake up. And, you can’t get back to sleep.
You can also wake up several times during the night.
At the end
This is also known as early morning awakening. In this case, the person wakes up before the time they set their alarm clock for.
This can be due to a lack of total darkness in your room. You might open your eyes with the first rays of the sun. Or, it could be because of a lot of anxiety due to an important event that day.
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