Acute and Chronic Insomnia

Merriam Webster defines insomnia as “prolonged and usually abnormal inability to get enough sleep”. WebMD informs us that if a person has insomnia, then they may wake during the night, wake too early in the morning, have problems falling asleep, or possibly they feel tired after waking up from a night’s sleep.

 

It’s interesting to note that there is more than one type of insomnia. There is acute insomnia, which typically is shorter in duration and often caused by life events. Additionally, there is chronic insomnia, which is a long-term problem. What are some causes of insomnia? Though these lists are not comprehensive, they do explain some insomnia triggers:

 

Acute insomnia is often started from: Chronic insomnia can be caused by:
  • Sleep interference, such as that caused by jet lag
  • Continual stress
  • Pain, illness or medications
  • Depression
  • Loss, such as the loss of a family member, a job, or a marriage
  • On-going pain
  • Worry or stress

 

If a person is experiencing either type of insomnia, they may have problems concentrating, be tired, or could be easily angered. What if they continually think about how the insomnia is negatively affecting their lives? Will this make the insomnia worse or cause any ill effects? It seems that the answer is - almost definitely.

 

Worry and stress can cause both acute and chronic insomnia. Thinking about how you aren’t sleeping is worrisome. Worrying can cause insomnia, meaning spending time contemplating about your lack of sleep could be the cause of lost sleep. It could cause anxiety, feelings of tiredness, and even depression. The worst part is that just by believing that you are an insomniac, you could be causing poor sleep.

 

What is a good way to combat self-induced insomnia? First, remember that even if you aren’t a perfect sleeper, this does not automatically mean that you are a bad sleeper. Next, try not to harp on how well you didn’t sleep but instead pay attention to those times when you do seep well. Finally, stop classifying yourself as an insomniac. If you have a bad night sleeping, don’t focus on the negative but instead look forward to the better sleep you will get the next night. Start believing in the power of positive thinking, and the results might surprise you. You may even end up sleeping better than you thought you could.


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