Home » Sleep Disorders » Insomnias


Insomnia is the inability to sleep or to stay asleep. It is a sleeping disorder, which causes disturbed sleep cycle and circadian rhythms. Individual suffering of insomnia finds it difficult to sleep or to stay asleep even when he has a chance to do. There are many causes of insomnia especially today’s hectic lifestyle.  

Individuals suffering from insomnia do not feel satisfied with their sleeping experience that causes many problems such as fatigue, tiredness, clumsiness and daytime sleeping. It also affects the mood, concentration and decision making skills of an individual.


Learn About Insomnias

Menopause And Insomnia Women and Insomnia

Five Types Of Insomnia

The five types of insomnia include acute insomnia, chronic insomnia, comorbid insomnia, onset insomnia, and maintenance insomnia.

Acute insomnia takes place for a very short time. It can be for a day or two and is not a matter of concern. This type of insomnia does not require any medication or relaxation therapy in order to treat it. It normally occurs due to an event in life. For example, it is likely that an individual suffers insomnia a night before an important exam or a job interview. This type of insomnia passes away as soon as the event is over.

Chronic insomnia takes place when an individual suffers for a protracted period. Insomnia is considered chronic when it occurs on a daily basis. According to the figures, when insomnia occurs for more than three nights in a week and for over a period of three months, it is categorized as chronic insomnia. This type of insomnia requires treatment with the help of medication or relaxation therapies.

Comorbid insomnia occurs as an impact of psychological disorders. Individuals suffering from psychological disorders find it difficult to sleep due to the changes in their body. This also results from the medications that are used to treat these psychological disorders. Comorbid insomnia is a side effect of psychological disorders and their medications and goes away once the treatment is over.

Onset insomnia is also called a delayed sleep phase. It is a delayed phase of sleep and an individual finds it difficult to sleep. The main reason behind this type of insomnia is the circadian rhythms. The body has a late and delayed time clock. This kind of insomnia happens due to a workload and the feeling of responsibility. It is treatable with the help of relaxation techniques.

Maintenance insomnia This type of insomnia is about not being able to stay asleep during the night. The individuals suffering from this wake up after a short interval of sleep and find it difficult to sleep. This can occur due to a stressful event that took place etc. this can be treated with the help of relaxation techniques and medications.

Insomnia Causes

There are many reasons that cause insomnia. Insomnia can occur due to medical reasons, depression, anxiety, food, and lifestyle.

The lifestyle of an individual plays a major role. The quality of lifestyle decides the quality of sleep. The consumption of alcohol can induce insomnia. The excess use of electronic devices also makes the brain alert which leads to insomnia.

Taking short naps during the day can affect the quality of sleep at night. It can also cause insomnia. A stressful lifestyle with tension and depression can also cause insomnia. A stressful or a joyful event that is going to take place can also affect the sleep. For example, the night before the exam or the night before traveling can lead to insomnia.

Insomnia can also occur due to the food an individual consumes. Alcohol causes disrupted circadian rhythms that lead to insomnia. Caffeine intake also leads to insomnia. Caffeine is a stimulant and its consumption before sleep can cause insomnia.

Eating heavy and spicy meals at night can also disrupt sleep. Heavy meals cause heat burn, acidity, and gastric problems. These can lead to a low quality of sleep and insomnia. The consumption of nicotine also leads to insomnia. Nicotine works as a stimulant and boosts the energy levels of the body. High energy levels in the body lead to insomnia. Cigarettes and tobacco have nicotine in them.

Insomnia and anxiety have a deep link. Individuals find it difficult to sleep when they are nervous or stressed. Tension and the burden of responsibilities force an individual to think continuously. This causes insomnia, as a relaxed mind is required to sleep. Thoughts related to the past events or the upcoming events can also cause anxiety that makes it difficult to sleep.

Depression is also a cause of insomnia. Psychological disorders lead to disrupted hormones, a bad feeling, low energy levels, low-motivation levels. All these factors lead to insomnia.

Medical problems cause discomfort and lead to insomnia.  Medical problems can cause irritability, pain, and discomfort. For example, nasal allergies, chronic pain, backache, headache, gastric problems, asthma etc. insomnia does not only occur due to the medical problems but sometimes it also results from the medications that are used for treatment.

Insomnia also occurs from sleep apnea. In this condition, the body muscles relax, blocking the airway. This cause disrupted sleep and insomnia. Restless leg syndrome is another common medical reason for insomnia. In this disorder, the brain triggers the sensation to move the leg. This caused discomfort and leads to insomnia.  

Insomnia also occurs as a matter of age. As an individual grows old, they lack physical activity. The reduction in physical activity leads to difficulty in sleeping. Aging also alters the sleep pattern. Older individuals are more likely to sleep during the day that makes it difficult to sleep at night.

Insomnia Symptoms

There are many symptoms of insomnia. The difficulty to sleep at bedtime and waking up during the night are the most common symptoms. Waking up before the required time is also the symptom of insomnia.

The daytime symptoms include tiredness and lack of concentration. The symptoms also include lack of motivation, depression, and anxiety. Clumsiness and making mistakes are also signs of bad quality of sleep. The increased accidents due to careless attitude are also a symptom of insomnia. An example is a car accident.

The worried attitude regarding sleep is also a symptom of insomnia. Daytime sleepiness and not feeling fresh and well rested is also a sign of insomnia.

Insomnia Treatments

Insomnia interferes with the quality of life and it requires treatment. Acute insomnia does not require treatment as it is temporary. However, other types of insomnia require treatment with the help of relaxation techniques or medications.

Cognitive and behavioral methods are the primary method to treat insomnia. This includes relaxation of the body that induces sleep. One of the behavioral methods is stimulation control.

A stimulation control method helps to form a better relationship between the bedroom and the sleeping time. It is associated with controlling the physical activities and eating habits before bedtime.

For example, a person will only get in bed when sleepy and leave the bed if it has been 15 minutes and you are awake. Moreover, foods that interfere with sleep are restricted. For example, alcohol and caffeine intakes are restricted.

Relaxation training is another method to reduce insomnia. An individual feels sleepy when the body is relaxed. Meditation helps to relax. A yoga position known as corpse pose helps to relax the body that induces sleep. Other relaxation methods like a hot shower before bed also help relax the body.

Listening to sleep-inducing music also help relax and promotes sleep. Restricting the use of electronic devices such as phones and laptops, trigger the brain to relax and sleep. Avoiding heavy meals also help avoid gastric problems promotes a night of quality sleep.

Cognitive behavioral therapy related to cognitive behaviors. This therapy helps to transform the thoughts and reasons that interfere with sleep. It helps to change the root cause due to which an individual is facing insomnia. This method focuses on changing for improvement. It helps to develop better sleeping habits and reduce insomnia.

Insomnia Medications

When the relaxation methods are not successful, medication used to treat insomnia. There are different medicines that help to treat insomnia. Some are available over the counter while others require a prescription.

The drugs available over the counter are antihistamines. These drugs might or might not work. Some of these can just create drowsiness and clumsiness. These are not a very successful method of treating insomnia.

The drugs that are prescribed by a physician are proven to help sleep. These medications consumed before bedtime in order to improve sleeping habits. However, these medications should be as a treatment in combination with improved relaxation and sleeping habits.

The medication that is prescribed often include antidepressants. Many individuals suffer insomnia due to depression and anxiety. Antidepressants are to treat the root cause of insomnia. Other medications include benzodiazepine, these are sleeping pills that help treat insomnia.

Doxepine is prescribed to those individuals that find it difficult staying asleep. Medications should be used when the relaxation techniques do not work as these can make an individual dependent.

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *