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WHat is insomnia? What are the symptoms? WHat are the causes?

What is Insomnia? – 3 Causes and Symptoms

What is insomnia? Insomnia, better known as transient insomnia, is a psychiatric sleep disorder wherein individuals have trouble falling asleep. Insomnia, usually followed by day-time sleepiness, irritability, decreased energy and a fatigued mood, can persist for several days or even weeks. Some studies show that up to 40% of Americans experience at least one episode of insomnia in a week. In this article we will try to answer questions about insomnia, types, symptoms, and other relevant questions about insomnia.

Types of insomnia

As of late, many studies are looking into learning more about what types of symptoms occur when an individual has sleep deprivation. Those types that are studied the most are those with mild forms of insomnia those that last:

  • several days
  • multiple weeks
  • long-term

One of the major findings in the research is that those who are suffering from mild types of insomnia have signs or symptoms that may appear similar or be the same as occasional insomnia. However, most of them exhibit signs of severe types of insomnia, which include restless tossing and turning, inability to stay asleep and waking up several times during the night. Characteristics of short-term types of sleep deprivation are episodes of light and sound sleep, while long-term types of sleep deprivation consist of the constant inability to get to sleep.

Why do I suffer from insomnia?

There are several reasons why you may be suffering from sleep deprivation. Insomnia may be related to heredity and genetics, your work or life style and current health. Researchers have also discovered that some personality traits and experiences can also have effects on your sleeping patterns. For instance, some people may be naturally highly insomniac, but through stressful circumstances or events that cause sleep deprivation, their ability to fall asleep may become compromised. As you can see, this situation can result in both short-term and long-term effects.

Insomnia can also be the result of poor sleep hygiene. It has been found that those people who sleep less than seven hours each night are more likely to suffer from insomnia. Poor sleep hygiene means you are not making it a habit to go to bed at the exact time each night. Moreover, habitual insomnia can start due to stress, worrying all through the day and skipping sleep at night.

Middle-aged and older adults

The most common sleep disorder is insomnia, which affects more than 11 million adults in the United States alone. Some studies have shown that insomnia is more common among middle-aged and older adults. Other research indicates that women have higher rates of insomnia than men. One reason could be that women generally have a longer working hours, thus falling asleep earlier in the day.

People with poor sleep habits are more likely to experience:

  • waking up frequently during the night
  • poor morning moods
  • lack of concentration.

Some people may feel drowsy after falling asleep for several hours. Others may feel completely awake even though they have fallen asleep for a few minutes. This is usually caused by severe disruption of sleep habits such as:

  • skipping the night’s sleep
  • excessively sleeping during daytime.

Mental health

Insomnia may also be a result of some forms of mental health problems such as:

Other physical complications that may occur are urinary retention, impaired breathing, dizziness and nausea. In some cases, the symptoms of insomnia can be mistaken for signs of other health conditions.


These are some of the causes and symptoms. If you are suffering from such symptoms, you must try to improve your lifestyle changes. As mentioned above, it is important to get enough sleep at night. It is also recommended to avoid certain lifestyle changes that may lead to further complications such as:

  • smoking
  • alcohol consumption and caffeine intake
  • late bedtimes
  • insufficient amount of sunlight (which can contribute to poor eye movement)
  • too much use of artificial light
  • use of sleeping pills.
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