Types and Symptoms of Insomnia

Sleep is instrumental in life. Sleep helps to protect the mental and physical health and impart qualitative life. Sleep also supports development of the body. Amount of sleep required by different age levels vary. Teenagers require minimum of nine to ten hours sleep because they do a lot of physical work. Adults require minimum of 6hours a day.

Study says incase, a person does not adhere to the amount of sleep needed with regard to his age, he would struggle every time to get a sound sleep with many physio-psycho disorders. Insomnia affects the health of a person in several ways; poor temperament, lack of motivation, judgment and attention are possible consequences. Most people have had a night during which they couldn’t get to sleep, no matter how desperately they tried.Such a person is suffering with insomnia. Insomnia, the term for having trouble sleeping at night, is one of the most common sleep complaints whereby person finds difficulty in falling or staying asleep. Women are more likely to have insomnia than men. It is common among shift workers, people who have a history of depression; and those who don’t get much physical activity. Insomnia is a common problem that takes a toll on your energy, mood, health, and ability to function during the day. One can get rid of sleep disorder by consulting physician or taking pills on time and avoiding unnecessary stress and tensions for a better living.

Check your insomnia by just observing the following symptoms-

  • You find difficulty falling asleep
  • You often wake up often during the night and are unable to go back to sleep
  • You wake up too early in the morning, despite late night sleeping
  • You feel tired upon waking
  • You find yourself irritated for no reason
  • You face problems with concentration or memoryInsomnia


  • About 30 percent of adults have symptoms of insomnia
  • About 10 percent of adults have insomnia that is severe enough to cause daytime consequences
  • Less than 10 percent of adults are likely to have chronic insomnia. 

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Types of Insomnia

There are two classification of insomnia- Primary &Secondary insomnia and Acute & Chronic insomnia which is tabulated below:

Types of Insomnia

classification of insomnia

Diagnosis of Insomnia

The evaluation of insomnia includes a physical exam, a medical history and a sleep history. The doctor may ask you to keep a sleep diary for a week or two and keep a track of your sleep patterns and what you feel during the day. The patient himself does not know about the sleep behaviour, therefore the doctor may want to interview your bed partner about the quantity and quality of your sleep. In some cases, for sleep tests sleep centres would be recommended for special tests.

Treatment for Insomnia

Treatment for Acute insomnia

Acute insomnia or mild insomnia may not require treatmentand can be prevented or cured by practicing good sleep habits.

Prescription drug: Even after practising good sleeping habits you are not able to sleep and are unable to do your routine work then your doctor may prescribe sleeping pills for a limited time. Doctors generally prescribe short-acting drugs with rapid onset; these drugs can help you avoid effects such as drowsiness and sleepiness during the day. The traditional sleeping pills are Benzodiazepine receptor agonists, which are typically prescribed for only short-term use. Newer sleeping pills are Non-benzodiazepines, which may pose fewer risks but are effective for longer-term use.

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Over the counter drugs (OTC drugs): Over the counter products like Melatonin, L- tryptophan supplements and valerian teas are taken for insomnia. You should avoid using over-the-counter sleeping pills for insomnia, because they have undesired and unpredictable side effects, moreover,  they tend to lose their effectiveness over the time if taken regularly. OTC drugs can help you sleep better, but some OTC products contain antihistamines that work as sleep aids and make you feel constantly sleepy during day so one must consult a doctor before its intake. Unapproved Drugs: Drugs from a variety of classes have been used to treat insomnia without FDA approval. They include Trazodone, Anticonvulsants, Antipsychotics, Barbiturates and Nonhypnoticbenzodiazepines. Many of these medications involve a significant level of risk.

Treatment for Chronic insomnia

Treatment for chronic insomnia includes first treating any underlying conditions or health problems that may be causing insomnia. A change in lifestyle may provide some relief from short term insomnia. If insomnia continues, your health care provider may suggest behavioural therapy. Behavioural approaches help you to change behaviours that may worsen insomnia and to learn new behaviours to promote sleep. This is calledCognitive behavioural therapy. Cognitive behavioural therapy includes the following:

  • Cognitive therapy: You are required to change your attitudes and beliefs that hinder your sleep.
  • Relaxation training: Technique of relaxing your mind and body is mastered.
  • Sleep hygiene training: The bad habits that contribute to poor sleep are corrected.
  • Sleep restriction: First sleeping time is severely limited and then timings gradually increased
  • Stimulus control: It is the technique that we have brought up listening since childhood. Going to bed when sleepy, waking at the same time daily, leaving the bed when unable to sleep.

Alternative ways to treat insomnia

Medicines can help you beat the insomnia, but they act for a short period. The role of therapies is inevitable, if therapies are amalgamated with some other techniques, you will not ever face any sleeping disorder. These techniques involve Yoga &Meditation. They are the methods to emanate the immense energy in your body- spiritual as well as physical.

treat insomnia

They help in relaxing and healing the body, which helps people sleep efficiently. Practising breathing exercises (pranayama) help people in promoting their sleep by slowing breathing and reducing stress hormone levels. Meditation helps relaxing the body, and calming the mind.Yoganidra and Vispassana meditation are commonly practiced techniques for reducing sleep disorder. Apart from them, you need to stop and think about your food habits. Cut down the intake of caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine; they have a pronounced effect on sleep, causing insomnia and restlessness.

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