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Do You Have Insomnia, or Just Temporary Sleep Problems?

By Candace Rice

Very few people can claim to never have difficulty sleeping. But for those who do, it may be a case of wondering do you have insomnia, or just temporary sleep problems?

Insomnia is usually a chronic, long term condition, during which a person may have any or all of the following: difficulty getting to sleep, waking up and unable to go back to sleep, early waking patterns, restless leg syndrome. It is classified into two categories: secondary insomnia, which is unrelated to any physical or environmental causes such as illness, pain, medications, etc. and primary insomnia, the repetitive sleep difficulties that seem to have no real cause or identifiable origins.

Temporary sleep problems happen to almost everyone, and can be the result of heartburn, a bad day at work, hot weather, jet lag, and other relatively minor disruptions of your daily life or sleep patterns. Insomnia on the other hand, can impact a person's ability to function, resulting in sleepiness during the day, excessive irritability, and even depression.

Insomnia can occur for a few days, or even weeks, and on a sporadic basis where the sufferer sleeps well for months and it recurs again without obvious reasons.

It's unlikely that temporary sleep problems will cause any significant disruption in a person's life. However, some circumstances such as pain due to injury, accident or surgery, may require medication to allow you to get the sleep you need to recover both mentally and physically.

If you are suffering prolonged and repeated bouts of sleep disruptions, are unable to get to sleep, and finding yourself unable to concentrate during the day, it would be wise to consult your physician. They will ask about any changes in your personal life, diet, and other factors that could have an effect on your ability to sleep. Treatment will depend on their assessment of your condition.


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