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Insomnia is diagnosed when someone has problems falling asleep or staying asleep and sleep that
does occur is heavily disturbed.
Initial insomnia- falling asleep
Middle insomnia- remaining asleep
Terminal insomnia- waking up too early
Insomnia can be mild, acute and chronic. It affects 10% of adults and is more common in teenagers.
Insomnia can lead to poor attention and judgement, irritableness and an increased risk of accidents.
Primary- Insomnia can be primary, a disorder in its own right. Primary insomnia has no clear clause
and has to last over a month in order to be diagnosed. Possible causes may be staying up too late or
sleeping in a room that is too bright or maladaptive thinking, but the insomnia is the only problem
being experienced. These causes may disappear but the insomnia still continues because of an
expectation of bad sleep i.e. worrying too much about not sleep.
Secondary- Secondary insomnia is when there is a single underlying psychiatric, medical or
environmental cause that as a result has led to insomnia. In order for the insomnia to be treated,
firstly the underline cause needs to be treated i.e. those who suffer from depression may also suffer
from insomnia as a result of irregular sleep patterns as a result of the depression. When given
anti-depressants they tend to sleep better even though the drugs don't have a direct influence on
the insomnia. Other causes may include, life style i.e. shift work, other sleep disorders such as
narcolepsy and hormonal changes.
Factors affecting Insomnia
These factors interfere with the natural progression of brain activity from daytime functioning to
Environmental factors- such as loud noises, bright lights, very hot or cold rooms, snoring, an
uncomfortable bed. These environmental stimuli interfere with the brain's natural calming down of
Stress- Accuse stress such as major life event, exam pressure or a new job can lead to insomnia
because brain activity is heightened at the time it should be slowing down. Acute stress is only
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However with chronic stress the stressor
Sleep Hygiene and bedtime behaviour- bad sleep hygiene such as caffeine, alcohol, nicotine,
stimulating activities i.e. watching TV, doing homework and chatting on the phone all disturb the
progression of calming and slowing the brain for sleep. Poor sleep hygiene means the brain is still
very active and is in daytime mode. Taking naps in the day also perpetuates insomnia.
Parasomnia- Sleep apnoea is when a person stops breathing while asleep.…read more