The 10 Different Types of Insomnia (Part 1)

July 16, 2013

Sleep Deprived

Insomnia is extremely common in terms of both subject matter and with the people it affects. I think it’s the first thing that comes into people’s minds when you start talking to them about the subject matter of “sleep disorders.”

It’s also one of the first excuses or reasons that people will use when you ask them “Why do you sleep or wake up late?” or “Why are you so tired all the time?” Well, of course it’s not the only sleep disorder out there. There are lots of ’em. Just read our series about circadian sleep disorders (CSRDs) as an example and you’ll see how vast that world is.

Anyway, just as the world of sleep disorders is vast, the sub-category of insomnia is also a broad topic in itself. You see, there are a lot of different kinds of insomnia. Consider for a moment the world and its continents. Each continent has several countries, and each country has several states, regions, or provinces. Crazy, but it isn’t  much of a problem as long as you have a map. In this case, you won’t get or feel “lost” in a flurry of different kinds of insomnias because we’ll spit this topics into three different articles.

So basically, insomnia in itself needs very little introduction since I think almost everyone knows what that is. It’s when you can’t sleep. Okay. That’s a decent definition, and it’s not wrong. But there’s more. In general, it disturbs or disrupts or basically hinders normal sleeping function. It prevents falling and staying asleep. That’s what it is. So let’s start by looking at the 10 major different kinds of insomnia, shall we?

Army General
Oh no, it’s General Insomnia again. I hope he lets our platoon sleep tonight instead of sending us out to a skirmish.”

General Insomnia

Let’s start with the basics. No, it’s not a name of a really epic-sounding military general from a videogame or movie. Although, I’d have to admit, General Insomnia is a pretty awesome name for a military officer. This kind of insomnia is the most common one.

It’s basically consisting of the trademark characteristics of any other kind of insomnia. It’s difficulty falling asleep, trouble with staying asleep, and people with it have the problem of waking up tired. Basically, they are best defined by having low-quality sleep in most (or sometimes even all) nights.

Insomnia due to Drugs or Substances

This is pretty self-descriptive. Drugs and other substances are usually bound to have at least some sort of effect to your overall physiological balance since, after all, you do absorb it into your blood stream. It shouldn’t really come as a surprise to hear that insomnia is one of those side-effects.

Well, those certain [pharmaceutical] drugs or substances that cause insomnia vary from person to person, but overall, they’re caffeine, alcohol, a certain food or a specific medicine. And please note that I did mention food. It can be something as too much rice or pasta or a lot of other carbohydrates or just simply a kilogram of gummy bears or Nerds.

Cutting down on these carbs is good, but you got to be careful, too. Make sure to remember that sleep will also get disrupted by withdrawal from such foods, so take it easy, and keep it simple.

The Joker
“But does he really look like a guy who gets enough sleep as well?”

Insomnia due to a Medical Condition

This kind of insomnia is much rarer than the aforementioned General Insomnia (G.I.). It’s pretty self-descriptive as well, but this kind of insomnia is mostly caused by a mental disorder. That’s why you know it’s kind of serious. Maybe the Jokes acts the way he does because he has it. Good thing his skin is bleached white and covered with make-up so you don’t see his extreme eye-bags.

In any case in the non-fiction world, this type of insomnia is a symptom caused by that mental condition. It’s a side-effect. Although it’s a symptom, it’s treated separately from the mental disorder itself.

We’ve only just begun. This is not the end, my friend. There’s more in store. (Double-rhyme combo!) So yeah, make sure to check out Part 2 and Part 3 once they’re posted . See you there, but if ever you already are going to go to sleep, then sweet dreams!