Types & Forms of Insomnia


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Insomnia itself is a broad term and there are various different forms of insomnia; many can be confused and misunderstood. Three common groupings of insomnia can be defined by the period that the insomnia spans across; Transient Insomnia, Short-term insomnia and Chronic insomnia.

Transient Insomnia

Sleep disruption that lasts only a few days and is commonly caused by a change in lifestyle that affects your sleeping cycle, e.g. jet lag.

Short-Term Insomnia

Sleep disruption that lasts for several weeks due to longer periods of stress, e.g. work stress or bereavement.

Chronic Insomnia

Often occurring through untreated short-term insomnia and often lasts for months with at least three night’s sleep a week being disrupted.

However, more recently, chronic forms of insomnia have been given several other categories, with common terms being;

Idiopathic Insomnia

Also known as childhood onset insomnia, idiopathic insomnia is a lifelong issue of disrupted sleep. Whilst this insomnia is unrelenting and remains with you throughout your life, your mental state remains healthy.

Sleep-State Misperception Insomnia

Sleep-state misperception insomnia is a complex form of insomnia as you may claim that you have not slept, yet studies within a sleep clinic will show that you have. Thus, you may describe having a vast awareness of your external environment. Your daytime activities are not as affected as you would perhaps think due to your belief they you have not slept at all, when you actually have.  Studies show that because you largely underestimate the time you have slept, when you are shown evidence that you have slept considerably more than you believe, an improvement is often seen.

Pyschophysiological Insomnia

This form of insomnia is thought to arise from excessive worrying following an event that has caused the sufferer to have restless sleep. If you suffer from this type of insomnia you could enter into a vicious circle of worrying about sleeping, not sleeping and worrying even more. Even though you may experience extreme fatigue during the day, you may be unable to nap. Bedtime becomes a tense and worrying factor and can seriously affect your daily activities, as you become groggy and irritable.

Whatever the type of insomnia suffered, be it short-term or chronic, it is important for you to try and establish the root cause of your insomnia.


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