Insomnia is a large and important topic. Whole books are written about it. Within this article I will highlight what is most important to know about the problem and some steps towards overcoming it.
First of all, insomnia is more of a symptom than it is an illness. The word insomnia comes from the Latin In (not) + Somnus (sleep). It literally means “not sleeping”.
Be that as it may, most insomnia sufferers get some sleep. The problem is that the sleep is either too short or of poor quality.
Everyone experiences a sleepless night of tossing and turning once in a while. This is normal and is not outside of healthy sleep. However, when insomnia becomes a regular occurrence it is a sleep disorder. There are three categories of insomnia, ordered according to duration:
Categories of Insomnia
- Transient Insomnia – Lasts less than a week. This type of insomnia can usually be connected with some kind of stress
- Acute Insomnia – From one week to one month in duration. Acute insomnia does not mean the person has not slept at all for a month, but that sleep has been difficult to initiate or sustain, or that the quality of the sleep has been very poor and unrestful.
- Chronic Insomnia – More than one month of poor sleep. Additional effects caused by long term sleep disruption may include severe muscle fatigue, aches and pains, hallucinations, lack of concentration, mental fatigue and double vision.