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Insomnia is a symptom which can accompany several sleep, medical and psychiatric disorders, characterized by persistent difficulty falling asleep and/or staying asleep despite the opportunity.Insomnia is typically followed by functional impairment while awake. Both organic and non-organic insomnia without other cause constitute a sleep disorder, primary insomnia. One definition of insomnia is"difficulties initiating and/or maintaining sleep, or non-restorative sleep, associated with impairments of daytime functioning or marked distress for more than 1 month.

Types of insomnia

Althoughthere are several different degrees of insomnia, three types of insomnia have been clearly identified: transient, acute, and chronic.

Transient insomnia lasts from days to weeks. It can be causedby another disorder, by changes in the sleep environment, by the timing of sleep, severe depression, or by stress. Its consequences - sleepiness and impaired psychomotor performance - are similar tothose of sleep deprivation.

Acute insomnia is the inability to consistently sleep well for a period of between three weeks to six months.

Chronic insomnia lasts for years at a time. It can becaused by another disorder, or it can be a primary disorder. Its effects can vary according to its causes. They might include sleepiness, muscular fatigue, hallucinations, and/or mental fatigue; butpeople with chronic insomnia often show increased alertness. Some people that live with this disorder see things as if they are happening in slow motion, wherein moving objects seem to blend together. Cancause double vision.

Patterns of insomnia

Onset insomnia - difficulty falling asleep at the beginning of the night, often associated with anxiety disorders.

Middle-of-the-Night Insomnia -Insomnia characterized by difficulty returning to sleep after awakening in the middle of the night or waking too early in the morning. Also referred to as nocturnal awakenings. Encompasses middle and...
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