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The 12 types of insomnia (depending on their duration, severity and symptoms)

The 12 types of insomnia (depending on their duration, severity and symptoms)

October 5, 2022

The problems at bedtime always produce discomfort and lack of courage and energy, but that does not mean that the causes of these symptoms are the same. In fact, there are different types of insomnia that affect us in a certain way depending on how the nature of what this alteration generates.

In this article we will see what are the types of insomnia that exist , how are their effects and how they evolve.

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The types of insomnia

There is no single criterion to classify what are the types of insomnia, but rather different parameters are used to classify them . This means that these alterations have different dimensions and that each of them does not describe the totality of the characteristics of insomnia suffered by a person. For example, insomnia of the intrinsic type may be long-term at times, but in others it is short-term.


That is why to understand exactly how sleep problems are experienced by someone, you can use all these classification criteria at the same time.

Having said that, let's see how to classify these sleep disorders depending on the criteria used.

According to the causes of insomnia

If we focus on the nature of what causes insomnia , this can be of two types.

1. Intrinsic

This category belongs to those cases in which the cause of the problem to sleep properly can be explained by a specific alteration in the functioning of the brain. For example, if a brain injury has occurred , there may be problems to reconcile or maintain sleep. The same goes for certain disorders, such as restless legs syndrome.


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2. Extrinsic

Insomnia of extrinsic type occurs when the problem can be explained by the dynamics of interaction with the environment . For example, job burnout and the breakdown of work schedules can cause insomnia, and the same happens in general with the lack of sleep hygiene or the consumption of stimulants.

According to its intendity

Sleeping problems can also be differentiated according to their severity. These are your types:

3. Mild type insomnia

When insomnia alone affects in a very superficial and transitory way the daily routine and the degree of health , it can be considered mild. For example, take a half hour more than normal to fall asleep for about three days.

4. Moderate

In moderate insomnia there are routines and habits that are already affected by this problem, and in the same way health is compromised by fatigue, the discomfort and concentration problems .


5. Severe

In this type of insomnia health is very affected, and the same happens with the ability to adapt to an appropriate schedule. To the symptoms of the previous type it is necessary to add the problems of memory, of vision (sometimes it costs to "focus" the gaze well for a while), the bad mood and a manifest lack of energy which prevents carrying out important tasks.

According to its duration

The types of insomnia can also be classified by their duration. In this sense we find these categories:

6. Chronic insomnia

When the problems to conciliate or to maintain the sleep last more than about 5 or 6 months, it is considered that there is chronic insomnia. This type of problem is complicated to correct, since has long been "embedded" in a person's routine and the circadian rhythm has changed a lot until it is in a difficult state to alter.

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7. Acute insomnia, or transient

Some events or stress crises can cause a person to experience insomnia for a few days. It is considered that the problem is transitory If the symptoms are not maintained for more than 4 weeks .

8. Short-term insomnia

This category includes cases in which the duration of the problem exceeds the month but disappears before being considered chronic .

Due to the nature of its symptoms

Considering the qualitative differences between the symptoms of insomnia types, we can classify this problem into 3 categories:

9. Conciliation

In this type of insomnia the problems appear at the time of falling asleep, so there is a long time between the person lies down and begins to sleep. However, once you have really begun to rest, there are no frequent awakenings .

10. Maintenance

In this class of insomnia the problem is to maintain sleep, so the person will wake up many times throughout the night and therefore will not rest well, since it will not go through all the phases of the dream or will rarely to long of the days.

11. Early awakening

People who suffer from this insomnia wake up much sooner than they should (for example, 3 hours after going to bed) and can not go back to sleep, since from the beginning they feel too active to go back to bed .

12. Mixed

This category is a "catch-all" in which cases are included in which characteristics of two or more types of insomnia occur at the same time constantly.


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