Insomnia

  • Medical Author:
    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.

  • Medical Editor: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

Insomnia Pictures: 10 Tips to Avoid Insomnia

Quick GuideInsomnia Pictures Slideshow: 10 Tips to Avoid Insomnia

Insomnia Pictures Slideshow: 10 Tips to Avoid Insomnia

What causes insomnia?

Insomnia may have many causes and, as described earlier, it can be classified based upon the underlying cause. The International Classification of Sleep Disorders, has classified insomnia into multiple categories:

  1. Adjustment insomnia (acute insomnia): short-term or acute insomnia usually do to stress or environmental changes
  2. Psychophysiologic insomnia (primary insomnia): prolonged stress with chronic insomnia
  3. Paradoxical insomnia: little or no sleep at nights with rare normal night sleep because of a pattern of consciousness throughout the night, or where near constant awareness of environmental stimuli occurs
  4. Insomnia due to medical condition: insomnia associated with medical disorders such as advanced chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), arthritis, cancer, renal disease, fibromyalgia, neurologic problems, Parkinson's disease, and chronic fatigue syndrome
  5. Insomnia due to mental disorder: depression, schizophrenia, and maniac phase of bipolar illness, for example
  6. Insomnia due to drug or substance abuse: for example, alcohol abuse, stimulant abuse, caffeine abuse
  7. Insomnia not due to substances or known physiologic conditions, unspecified: temporary diagnostic term used for suspected but unproven underlying mental, physiological or environmental problems
  8. Inadequate sleep hygiene: proper sleep scheduling, routine use of alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, frequent daytime napping, using the bed for watching TV, snacking, or reading and/or studying for tests or work related subjects
  9. Idiopathic insomnia: long-term insomnia begun in infancy or childhood with no readily identifiable underlying cause
  10. Behavioral insomnia of childhood: insomnia in children based on adult caregiver observations
  11. Primary sleep disorders causing insomnia: insomnia due to restless leg syndrome, obstructive sleep apnea/hypopnea (shallow breathing) syndrome, nocturia (need to urinate at night) or circadian rhythm disorders for example
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/23/2015
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