Based upon the cause and duration of sleeplessness, insomnia can be broken down into a few categories.
This type of insomnia is not linked to any ailment/health issue. Due to the fact that this type of insomnia is not a secondary effect of a more serious ailment, there are several general guidelines to follow in treating this.
- Keep caffeine to a minimum after noon.
- Avoid tobacco and alcohol prior to bedtime.
- Keep your designated area of sleep free of noise, electronic interference (See; fatigue) and keep it dimly lit.
- Avoid naps during the day to try and develop a routine sleep pattern e.g. 10pm – 6am
- Do not eat large meals close to bedtime
- Exercise early, as opposed to late
If these measures still do not correct the issue, it would be best to take up prescription drugs. Be warned though, this should be a last ditch effort considering prescription drugs will be your only means to control the problem, and not get rid of it.
Roughly7 out of 10 people are believed to suffer from this type of insomnia. This is the direct opposite to primary insomnia where an underlying ailment is to blame. In short, the major causes of this type are as followed.
- Serious ailments such as cancer, arthritis or heart/lung diseases
- Substances such as tobacco, alcohol and caffeine.
- Other prescription drugs you may be taking
- Insufficient sleeping environments and/or an immediate change in sleeping routine e.g. traveling
- Restless leg Syndrome or Sleep Apnea (Two Other Sleep Disorders)
- Depression and/or Anxiety
This is the type to not worry over too long. It’s mainly caused by excitement, temporary stresses, sickness, change in one’s sleep pattern e.g. from traveling and jet lag. Should wear off when things settle down. ;D
This is pretty much the same as acute insomnia, but caused by more severe and ongoing stress/trauma/anxiety. Be wary, this is a psychological type of insomnia that may turn chronic if not dealt with soon.
This type of insomnia has no rules. It can occur every night, many nights a week or several nights a month. This insomnia may be caused by an underlying medical problem or deep psychological problems, such as depression. Treating the underlying ailment may treat the insomnia, but, because there may be many causes, it is difficult to pinpoint. It is best to seek a professional.