What Are The Different Types of Insomnia?

Insomnia, often known as “sleeping disorder,” is defined by a variety of symptoms, such as an inability to get sleep or remain asleep for 7 to 8 hours daily, leading to feelings of exhaustion, physical discomfort, and emotional misery.

Dangerous insomnia is proven when it’s accompanied by distress from fatigue, poor focus at work, and strained relationships with co-workers.

If you’ve ever had trouble sleeping, you know how exhausting it is. You are having trouble sleeping. As a result, you need more stamina to get everything done that you want during the day.

In order to ensure your immediate and future well-being, getting a diagnosis is essential. Did you know there are numerous kinds of insomnia, and each has its own set of treatment requirements?

It’s optional to stay up much past your bedtime in order to be diagnosed with insomnia. A sleep disturbance is indicated by difficulties falling asleep, maintaining sleep, or waking up at the appropriate time.

Types of Insomnia

Here’s a rundown of the eight different types of insomnia and some information to help you identify yours.

1. General Insomnia

General Insomnia

People who have problems falling asleep, remaining asleep, waking up at the usual time, or all three at the same time are said to have general insomnia, a category of sleep disorders.

Insomnia that is secondary to, or concomitant with, another medical problem. Lack of any underlying medical disease characterizes primary insomnia. These disorders may be temporary or chronic and can be further classified as primary or secondary.

Anxiety is one reason that might lead to disturbed sleep. The Sleep Foundation notes, however, that sleeplessness and anxiety are mutually harmful.

2. Adjustment Insomnia

Adjustment Insomnia

According to the National Library of Medicine, 30% of American adults have trouble sleeping. In addition, it’s the most prevalent problem in getting to sleep.

Divorce, separation, the death of a loved one, and poverty are other contributors to insomnia. In addition, extensive anxiety almost always precedes the onset of sleeplessness.

Restlessness during sleep is a symptom of adjustment insomnia caused by mental or emotional strain. Insomnia of this nature belongs to the category of primary insomnia and is sometimes referred to as acute insomnia.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine reports that adjustment insomnia typically lasts for some weeks. But it has a potential lifespan of three months.

When you’ve eliminated or learned to cope with whatever was making you stressed, your inability to sleep will go away. That strain is not necessarily the result of something bad. An exciting, positive development, such as a newborn or a new job, may keep you up at night.

However, adjustment insomnia can develop into long-term sleeplessness. Insomnia lasting more than three months warrants a visit to a sleep doctor.

3. Behavioral Insomnia Of Childhood

Behavioral Insomnia Of Childhood

The sleep habits of children alter significantly as they develop. Therefore, it’s common practice to delay bedtime and eliminate naps to gain more sleep during the night.

Around 30% of kids may be affected by sleep disruptions. The term “behavioral insomnia of childhood” describes these shifts (BIC). The American Thoracic Society identifies three distinct forms of that disorder:

Sleep onset association type refers to the inability to fall asleep or to fall back to sleep if conditions are not met, such as the presence of a parent or a beloved blanket.

The “limit-setting” variety manifests when a youngster refuses to go to bed and instead tries to put off bedtime by repeatedly asking for something to drink or using the restroom.

Two or more types of behavior must come together to form the mixed type. However, BIC can be controlled with regular bedtimes and restful sleep regimens.

4. Psychophysiological Insomnia

Psychophysiological Insomnia

Excessive anxiety or worry specifically focused on the inability to sleep is connected with psychophysiological insomnia.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people with this form of insomnia may benefit from sleeping in a different environment from their usual bedroom.

The strain of trying to fall asleep can make it even more challenging to fall asleep in the first place. People with psychophysiological insomnia tend to feel tight and worried as bedtime approaches and have a negative relationship with sleep, making it difficult to treat.

According to the research, cognitive behavioral treatment for insomnia (CBT-I) is the most effective method for treating psychophysiological insomnia.

5. Paradoxical Insomnia

Paradoxical Insomnia

Paradoxical insomnia is a sleep disorder that never actually disrupts a person’s ability to sleep. Those with this illness often go days without getting any shut-eye. Since their hyperarousal levels are so high, falling asleep takes them a long time.

There is also a short sleep duration associated with this form of insomnia.

The paradoxical insomniac maintains a heightened awareness of their environment the entire time they are awake.

As a result, they may feel as though they haven’t slept in days, but the only serious side effect of this type of insomnia is mild-to-moderate daytime fatigue.

6. Insomnia Due to Medical Condition

Insomnia Due to Medical Condition

This type of insomnia, known as secondary insomnia, is a symptom of a more serious medical or neurological issue.

Chronic pain, gastrointestinal problems, cancer, thyroid troubles, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease are just some diseases linked to disturbed sleep.

The progression and intensity of insomnia are directly linked to the medical problem that has been diagnosed. However, if insomnia is severe enough, it is treated separately.

Insomnia could be a symptom of a more serious health problem, so it’s important to consult a doctor if you have any suspicions.

7. Insomnia Caused By Drug Or Substance Use

Insomnia Caused By Drug Or Substance Use

Substances, including alcohol, coffee, food, and medications, can cause secondary insomnia by disturbing your normal sleep patterns.

Substances taken or used might disrupt sleep because their effects can linger in the body for several hours, especially after heavy use.

Also, research published in 2013 in Sleep Science found that some drugs used to treat illnesses, including high blood pressure, diabetes, and depression, can cause sleepiness and sleeplessness in some people.

The withdrawal from the sleep-inducing substance can cause insomnia as well. For advice on safely reducing or stopping using a substance, it’s best to talk to a medical professional about your specific situation.

8. Unspecified Insomnia

Unspecified Insomnia

There is no known reason for unspecified insomnia, and further research is needed to determine the root of the problem. Therefore, the “Unspecified” label is used as a placeholder while more thorough investigations are conducted.

Two distinct forms of insomnia exist when the cause is unclear:


Insomnia of unknown cause is thought to have a nonorganic origin, meaning that recognized chemicals and other physical reasons have been ruled out.

This suggests that the root of insomnia lies in an undiagnosed psychiatric issue, mental health condition, or sleep-disrupting habits.


Considered to have an organic basis but not explicitly identified, insomnia may have origins in various medical conditions, physical ailments, or substance usage.

Treatment Options

It’s recommended to consult a medical professional in order to develop an effective treatment strategy for insomnia.

The first step in treating your insomnia is for your doctor to pinpoint its source. If this is a secondary issue, you may need to see a doctor again to treat the primary problem.

Treating insomnia and getting a good night’s sleep typically requires a combination of talking to a professional, modifying your daily routine, and trying out some natural solutions.

It’s also crucial to work on enhancing your standard sleeping patterns. Common remedies for sleeplessness include:

1. CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy)

CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy)

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT-I) is a proven strategy for those who suffer from sleeplessness due to insomnia.

Basically, CBT-I instructs you on how to improve your sleeping habits. A therapist can show you how to manage your time in bed more effectively, reduce your stress levels, and relax.

Studies have shown that CBT-I can help people get to sleep faster and stay asleep longer and that these benefits can persist long after therapy has ended.

2. Light Therapy

Light Therapy

Most cases of insomnia that can be treated with light treatment include circadian rhythm disruptions. This is your body’s natural response to the changing light and dark conditions outside and helps set the stage for sleep.

Daily sessions with a lightbox, simulating natural sunlight, are part of a light therapy regimen. As a result, your circadian rhythms and sleep/wake cycles may be more normalized.

If cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) fails to alleviate your insomnia, you and your doctor can discuss the possibility of trying light therapy instead.

Light therapy is effective for insomnia but should only be used under medical supervision due to the risk of insomnia worsening if the light is turned on at the wrong time.

3. Medication


If a doctor diagnoses insomnia, they typically won’t prescribe medicine. In any case, they won’t take it for very long, as sleepwalking, dizziness, and persistent drowsiness are all dangerous adverse effects of this prescription.

Sleeping pills, also known as hypnotics, are generally safe so long as they are used as directed and the patient regularly checks in with their doctor to discuss any concerns.

If you have tried alternative treatments for your insomnia and are still having trouble sleeping, you may want to talk to your doctor about medication. However, you should know that medicine is a riskier option, and the costs frequently outweigh the advantages.

4. Natural Remedies

Natural Remedies
  • Practicing healthy practices before bedtime
  • Maintaining a regular exercise regime
  • Meditation
  • CBD
  • Supplements of melatonin


Insomnia strikes sleep badly, and to take care of our sleep, we need to get professional help and opt for treatment plans.

Hope this article has answered the types of insomnia and will help you better in dealing with your type of insomnia.

Sarah Wagner

I'm Sarah Wagner, and I founded Sweet Island Dreams in 2022. It's a blog dedicated to helping people mental vacation virtually anytime they want. By providing information about the best sleep of your life, I help people drift away to paradise without ever having to leave their bed!