Sleep problems always cause discomfort and lack of energy and mood, 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 the nature of what generates this disturbance.

In this article we’ll look at what types of insomnia there are , what their effects are and how they evolve.

Types of insomnia

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

That’s why to understand exactly how someone’s sleeping problems are, you can use all those classification criteria at once.

Having said that, let’s move on to 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 produces insomnia , it can be of two types.

1. Intrinsic

Cases in which the cause of the problem of adequate sleep can be explained by a specific alteration in the functioning of the brain belong to this category. For example, if there has been a brain injury , there may be problems with falling or maintaining sleep. The same is true for certain disorders, such as restless leg syndrome.

2. Extrinsic

Extrinsic insomnia occurs when the problem can be explained by the dynamics of interaction with the environment . For example, work burnout and disruption of work schedules can generate insomnia, and the same is generally true of lack of sleep hygiene or the consumption of stimulants.

According to your intention

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

3. Mild insomnia

When insomnia alone affects the daily routine and the degree of health in a very superficial and transitory way , it can be considered as mild. For example, it takes half an hour longer 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 tiredness, discomfort and concentration problems .

5. Severe

In this type of insomnia, health is greatly affected, and so is the ability to adapt to an appropriate schedule. In addition to the symptoms of the previous type, there are problems with memory, vision (sometimes it is difficult to “focus” well for a while), bad moods and a clear lack of energy that prevents you from carrying out important tasks.

According to its duration

Types of insomnia can also be classified by their duration. This is where we find these categories:

6. Chronic insomnia

When problems with falling asleep or staying asleep last longer than about 5 or 6 months, it is considered chronic insomnia. This type of problem is complicated to correct, as has been “embedded” in a person’s routine for a long time and the circadian rhythm has changed a lot until it is in a state that is difficult to alter .

7. Acute, or transient, insomnia

Some events or stress crises can cause a person to experience insomnia for a few days. The problem is considered transitory if the symptoms do not last for more than 4 weeks .

8. Short-term insomnia

This category includes cases where the duration of the problem exceeds one month but disappears before it can be considered chronic .

By the nature of your symptoms

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

9. Of conciliation

In this type of insomnia, the problems appear at the time of falling asleep, so it takes a long time between going to bed and starting to sleep. However, once you have started to rest for real, there are no frequent awakenings .

10. Maintenance

In this kind of insomnia the problem is in maintaining 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 phases of sleep or will do so rarely throughout the days.

11. Early awakening

People who suffer from this insomnia wake up much earlier than they should (for example, 3 hours after going to bed) and can no longer fall asleep, because from the beginning they feel too active to go back to bed .

12. Mixed

This category is a “catch-all” category that includes cases where characteristics of two or more types of insomnia occur consistently.