Types of Insomnia, Causes, Symptoms and Treatment


Insomnia is a condition in which you have trouble falling or staying asleep. Some people with insomnia may fall asleep easily but wake up too soon. Other people may have the opposite problem, or they have trouble with both falling asleep and staying asleep. The end result is poor-quality sleep that doesn’t leave you feeling refreshed when you wake up.

Insomnia can affect any person, of any age, at any time in their life. While insomnia is often a fleeting or “transient” condition, many people experience chronic insomnia. When left untreated, insomnia can have many dramatic effects on the body, including physical, psychological and emotional.

Types of Insomnia

There are different classifications of insomnia: transient, intermittent, and chronic. Transient insomnia is short term insomnia. It can last from a single night to a few weeks. Intermittent Insomnia is insomnia that occurs on and off. Chronic insomnia is insomnia that occurs constantly, usually most nights and lasts for a month or more.


Insomnia symptoms can vary and may be different from person to person. Insomnia is a medical condition characterized by the inability to sleep. People who suffer from insomnia typically have a hard time falling asleep; they lie in bed for hours in frustration, tossing and turning. Because of the poor quality of sleep they are getting, insomniacs are tired for most of the day.

The following symptoms indicate possible insomnia:

•    difficulty falling asleep at night
•    inability to get adequate sleep at night
•    feeling tired after sleep
•    waking up at early hours
•    waking up through the night.


You might be surprised at the vast range of factors that can cause sleep problems. Health and lifestyle issues such as stress, illness, or sleep environment might be at play. Or you might have a sleep disorder that interferes with the quality of your sleep. Whatever the cause or causes of your insomnia, there are effective solutions.

Insomnia stems from 4 main causes:

1.    Psychological

2.    Lifestyle

3.    Environmental

4.    Insomnia as a secondary illness


Treatment of insomnia often depends on the cause. If insomnia is a secondary condition or symptom to another problem, healthcare professionals prefer to treat the primary condition whether it be depression, long term anxiety, or a medical condition that is leaving the patient awake at night. Some antidepressants, such as SSRI’s, can cause insomnia, however, others have a sedating effect. These include: Elavil, mirtazapine, trazodone and doxepin.

The antidepressant trazodone (Desyrel) also may help with insomnia. Over-the-counter sleep aids contain antihistamines that can induce drowsiness. They’re OK for occasional sleepless nights, but they, too, often lose their effectiveness the more you take them. Many sleeping pills contain diphenhydramine, which can cause difficulty urinating and a drowsy feeling in the daytime.