Insomnia is a glamourized sleep disorder that makes sleeping difficult for the person suffering from it. People who suffer from insomnia cannot fall asleep easily, and even when they sleep, they wake up before their body can rejuvenate itself. Such people often feel tired when they wake up in the morning and resort to drinking lots of stimulants such as coffee.
This condition impacts the quality of sleep, and there have been countless studies highlighting the poor sleep on our physical health. There are many connecting dots between poor sleep and life-threatening diseases. Even a person’s quality of life and enthusiasm decreases if they are not getting enough sleep, which can often happen to a person suffering from insomnia.
Thanks to the increasing awareness about the severity of this sleep disorder, people are now able to recognize their symptoms. Insomnia is the second most reported sleeping disorder as per this survey conducted to find out the prevalence and impact of sleep disorders and sleep habits in the United States.
Sleep disorders in the United States are decreasing as per the report, but given the latest circumstances, we may see a different picture soon enough.
Let’s explore the different types of Insomnia and their symptoms so that we can understand them better.
There are two main types of insomnia which are known as short-term insomnia and chronic or long-term insomnia.
When a person experiences a stressful situation or shock such as the death of a loved one they may suffer from short-term insomnia. It can also spring from being in a new and uncomfortable situation such as getting married or taking up a new job.
Acute insomnia is another name for short term insomnia, and this type of sleep disorder will pass away with 3 months or less. If the person can cope with the circumstances sooner then it may take even less time and most of the time, they may not even need any specific treatment for insomnia.
But if the symptoms don’t become less severe over time, there is a high possibility that short-term insomnia can become a long-term one.
This is a condition that can affect adults as well as children, but women suffer from short term insomnia far often than men, especially during pregnancy or menopause.
If a person has sleeping issues for more than 3 months, and about 3 nights per week, then it may be diagnosed as long-term or chronic insomnia. There are a variety of causes of chronic insomnia such as a sudden change in life, chronic illness, certain lifestyle choices as well as medications.
Though people of all ages and gender are susceptible to the risk of suffering from chronic insomnia, adult women are at a higher risk of it.
Apart from these two categories, there are categories based on the symptoms of the condition.
When insomnia springs as a result of another illness or disease such as depression, anxiety, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), or sleeps apnea then it is called comorbid insomnia.
Sleep Onset Insomnia
A person suffering from Sleep Onset Insomnia is not able to fall asleep easily and may take more than 30-40 minutes to fall asleep.
Early Morning Awakening Insomnia
People who suffer from early morning awakening insomnia wake up very soon in the morning even though they are tired and need more sleep.
Sleep Maintenance Insomnia
Sleep Maintenance Insomnia is diagnosed when a person has difficulty staying asleep after falling asleep. People who suffer from this type wake up multiple times at night and then they take about 20-30 minutes to fall asleep.
There are a number of people who have more than one type of insomnia and in such cases, they are diagnosed with mixed insomnia which covers the symptoms of multiple subtypes of insomnia.
The Most Common Causes of Short Term Insomnia:
Stress is the number one cause of short term insomnia and almost everyone must have experienced some sleeplessness under extreme stress and pressure.
There are multiple things that can stress us up, such as financial emergencies, loss of a job, or extreme workload.
Multiple studies such as have established links between work stress and sleeping disorders such as insomnia.
Certain Health Conditions
There are certain types of health conditions that make people suffer from short-term insomnia. Pain is one of the most common symptoms that keeps people awake at night. This can be a reason why many pregnant women often suffer from insomnia.
Money is important, and given the current world scenario, many of us have faced some sort of struggle while keeping up our finances.
Many times financial emergencies occur and we have no evident means to cope with them and such stress can also induce acute insomnia.
Major Change in Life:
Everyone agrees that change is inevitable in life and we can only move forward in life if there are some changes in our life.
Things such as marriages, a break-up, or loss of a loved one, a life-threatening condition, being fired from a job, or even changing your location can be a cause of short term insomnia.
Eating Too Close to Your Bed Time:
After we eat food, our body takes a considerable amount of time for breaking it down for the digestion process. This will take about 2-3 hours, and can vary depending on the nature of the food. If the food is full of multiple complex compounds, your body will take more time to break it down. While this process goes on, you cannot fall asleep.
So eating a heavy meal very close to your bedtime can also cause acute insomnia.
Clutter or Too many Distracting Objects in the Bedroom
Ideally, our sleeping space should be comfortable, and as fuzz-free as possible and should be reserved for relaxing activities such as sleeping and lovemaking.
But we add a lot of stuff in our bedroom, at times even use it as a storage space and accumulate a lot of clutter.
Such distractions, mess as well as clutter can subconsciously prevent us from falling asleep.
In fact, clutter around the sleeping space can even induce nightmares, apart from being a primary cause of short term insomnia.
Loud Noises are neither good for our environment, nor for us, as they tend to shock us. Noises keep us awake even if they are familiar so if your bedroom is near a place that plays loud music or the TV is on while you sleep, then the noise may be keeping you up when you should be closing your eyes and falling asleep.
Even the notifications ticks on your phone or appliances that emit noise can disturb your sleep and lead to acute insomnia.
Light is an important factor that plays a key role in our sleeping cycle. Most of us stay awake during the day when our part of the earth is lit by the sun and sleep during the night. The circadian rhythm of our body is set in such a way that sunlight or similar lights have associations with staying awake and darkness with rest and sleep.
In the past, there was a clear distinction between our sleeping hours and awake hours due to the absence of electricity.
But now not only do we have bright lights in every possible part of our homes, but most of our devices, including our phones and even our watches, emit light.
So if you are exposing your body to light from your phone or from your Television screen, or even from your watch, it will negatively impact your sleep.
Temperature is also a decisive factor in the quality of your sleep, and an imbalance in the temperature can also be a cause of short term insomnia.
First of all the temperature of your surroundings as well as your own body temperature has to be in accordance that is conducive to good sleep.
High body temperature, as well as a hot climate, can prevent you from falling asleep and cause acute insomnia.
Frequent Changes in Sleeping Routine
Our body loves patterns and thrives when there is some kind of routine and changes in your sleeping routine can cause insomnia.
Such changes can be waking up earlier than you normally do, or sleeping extremely late, or having no fixed time frame for sleeping. Even naps longer than 20-30 minutes can be the reason why you are suffering from this disease.
Travelling can be tiring, and tiredness can cause sleeping issues, but if you are someone who travels across different time zones, then jet lag may be the reason behind your sleeping problem.
Usually, people who cross different time zones are more likely to suffer from insomnia due to jet lag, but people traveling for most of their time also suffer from insomnia, irrespective of the time zones they travel to.
We, humans, have made a lot of progress in a very short span of time, but this process demands round-the-clock efforts due to which many of us have to work in shifts.
The shifts can be in form of different times, there are day and night shifts, rotating shifts, and even graveyard shifts.
People who work in shifts have no fixed sleeping routine and due to their work demands, they’re waking up and sleeping times change regularly so their body is not able to form a pattern.
This lack of sleeping routine and frequent changes can cause insomnia as well as other sleeping disorder such as Shift Work Sleep Disorder.
Poor Sleep Hygiene
Sleep Hygiene is about optimizing or adjusting our environment or our routine in such a way that it promotes good sleep.
It involves having fixed hours for sleeping, having a dark room while sleeping, and even lowering down the temperature. The factors of sleep differ from person to person and one can make individual adjustments to it.
But if a person does not understand or realize the impact of these factors on your sleep, it can be considered that they are practicing poor sleep hygiene.
As per this survey conducted to study insomnia in the UK population, older people have more common and persistent insomnia than children. This could be because as we get older our work-life balance becomes non-existent which leads to poor sleep hygiene and short-term insomnia.
The Most Common Causes of Secondary or Chronic Insomnia:
Mental Health Disorders
Mental Health Disorders can cause chronic insomnia in many people and there are various mental health conditions that have insomnia as a common symptom.
Anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and depression can cause chronic insomnia in people and can be also seen as a common symptom in these mental health-related conditions.
One of the reasons why such mental health conditions cause chronic insomnia is the fact that treating such conditions takes time. There is no shortcut to eliminating depression or anxiety over-night, and thus if insomnia is a symptom of these conditions, then most of the time it is chronic.
There are various sleeping disorders and they can have insomnia as a symptom, which is why it can cause chronic sleeplessness.
The most common sleep disorders that have insomnia as a symptom are shift work sleep disorder, sleep apnea, narcolepsy, and restless leg syndrome.
Chronic insomnia was called secondary insomnia in the past as most of the time it occurred as a symptom of other conditions. But further research and development in the study of sleep disorder have shown that insomnia can have independent roots.
There are many medications that can cause chronic insomnia as a side-effect and this is mostly because these medications are for the treatment of conditions that last a long term or at times are a life-time condition.
Medications used for the treatment of conditions such as asthma, depression, high blood pressure as well as allergic reactions are known to cause long-term insomnia.
Currently, there are many people who use tobacco products or drink alcohol and if these activities are done in access, that substance use can lead to chronic insomnia.
Apart from alcohol, cigarettes, and tobacco products, overconsumption of any substance that is not meant as food such as energy drinks, coffee, medications, and even multivitamin pills come under the category of substance abuse and can cause insomnia.
Pain or Physical Discomfort at Night
A good sleep requires comfort and relaxation, which can be absent if your sleeping environment is not comfortable. Also if you are in pain or sleeping in an uncomfortable position then also you can suffer from chronic insomnia.
Medical Conditions that cause Insomnia:
There are certain specific medical conditions that can be the cause of short-term as well as long term insomnia, let’s explore them further.
There are many different types of heart conditions that can cause insomnia in people. Medications that are used for treating heart conditions can at times be a cause of insomnia.
Parkinson’s disease is a brain disorder that gets worse over time, and currently, there is no cure for it but the symptoms can be improved by certain medications that include Dopamine Supplements. This condition involves chronic insomnia as a symptom.
Sleep disorders in Parkinson’s disease patients are a common occurrence and they make their symptoms worse over time. Apart from chronic insomnia in Parkinson’s disease patients, restless leg syndrome, daytime sleepiness, and narcolepsy can also occur.
There are many different types of cancer and this condition can cause a lot of stress for the person who is suffering from it. It involves a lot of pain even during the treatment so that can also contribute to sleeplessness and financial stress can also be a factor contributing to chronic insomnia.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
This is a condition that impacts the lungs and makes it difficult for the person to breathe, accompanied by a chronic cough. There is also a lot of pain involved that can aggravate the symptoms of insomnia.
When a thyroid gland malfunctions and produces an excessive amount of thyroid hormones in the body, then the person is said to suffer from hyperthyroidism. These excessive hormones can also lead to insomnia in the person.
There are different types of diabetes, and it is marked by a high level of blood sugar in the body which impacts various functions of the body. Diabetes can make a person experience excessive thirst, which makes them wake up repeatedly wake up at night for drinking water or for urinating. These repeated waking up due to diabetes can lead to chronic insomnia in the person.
This condition affects breathing and can make a person wake up at night multiple times, causing insomnia. The medications used for treating the symptoms of Asthma can also cause chronic insomnia in some people.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
This is a chronic condition and a person suffering from Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) experiences acid reflux which causes heartburn and a burning sensation in the stomach after eating, which can keep you up at night, eventually causing chronic insomnia.
Women experience menopause when their body becomes infertile and incapable of bearing any more children. There are lot many hormonal changes in the body when this condition occurs which can cause insomnia in women.
Obesity is a hotspot for a variety of heart diseases and can indicate a definite lack of physical activity which can impact your sleep. Also, obese people tend to overeat which can impact their sleep and cause insomnia.
There are some conditions such as diabetes and Nocturia that can cause frequent urination even at night which keeps you from getting quality sleep. This Nocturia can cause insomnia and even led to daytime sleepiness.
Medications for the Treatment of Insomnia and its symptoms.
Insomnia is a medical condition, and it can be treated and the form of the treatment depends on the cause of insomnia as well as the type of insomnia.
Your doctor will prescribe the medications you may need to treat all the symptoms of insomnia, but making lifestyle changes also helps a lot. For a start, you can try waking up and sleeping at the same time every day along with the use of medications such as Etizolam 1 mg for improving your condition more effectively.
If your doctor prescribes you Etizolam buy it and use it along with practicing proper sleep hygiene and making a sleep routine for sleeping well and living a healthier life.