What are the Different Types of Insomnia?

Article Details
  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 11 October 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article

Insomnia, or the interruption of or inability to sleep, is a symptom of several disorders, medical conditions, or other conditions that affect the human mind and body. The types of insomnia one may suffer from ranges from chronic insomnia, which occurs regularly over a long period of time, to transient insomnia, which may last less than a week. One other type of insomnia, acute insomnia, can occur for a month or less. These types of insomnia and the disorders causing them can lead to other health issues if not addressed properly.

One of the types of insomnia, transient insomnia, can be caused by short-term issues such as injuries or illnesses. More commonly, transient insomnia can be caused by changes in environment, changes in sleep patterns — beginning to work a night shift, for example — or even by stress. Of the types of insomnia mentioned, transient insomnia can be the easiest to cope with because it is often caused by factors that can be changed relatively easily.

Drugs and alcohol can bring on all three types of insomnia mentioned. Other stimulants, such as caffeine, can disrupt sleep patterns and eventually lead to insomnia. Such insomnia can usually be treated if the sufferer ceases his or her use of drugs, alcohol, or other damaging stimulants.


Insomnia can occur at different times during the sleep pattern. Onset insomnia occurs when one cannot initially fall asleep. Stress and anxiety can cause onset insomnia and is common in working adults. Identifying the cause of the stress that in turn causes onset insomnia can help the sufferer begin to overcome this type of sleeplessness. Middle insomnia occurs when a sufferer wakes in the middle of the night and has difficulty getting back to sleep. This condition can be caused by medical problems, injuries, discomfort in the sleeping environment, or other changes in the sleeping environment. Middle insomnia can be treated by treating the root cause, such as injuries or other medical issues.

Chronic insomnia can result from psychological disorders, or it can be a disorder on its own. Such cases are considered severe and must be treated by a professional. In any case of sleeplessness, insomnia can lead to other problems during waking hours. People who suffer from chronic insomnia often struggle with fatigue and restlessness during waking hours, muscle aches, difficulty thinking clearly, and double vision. Insomnia can be mistaken for other sleeping conditions, so a sufferer should consult a professional to seek appropriate treatment.



Discuss this Article

Post your comments

Post Anonymously


forgot password?