A distinction is made between primary and secondary insomnia; the former has no known medical, psychiatric or environmental cause, whereas the latter has.

          Insomnia is diagnosed when:

        A person has been experiencing sleep difficulties for more than one month

        The resulting daytime fatigue causes severe distress or impairs work, social or personal functioning.

        Sleep onset latency – takes more than 30 mins to fall asleep

        Sleep efficiency – less than 85%

Several night time waking

Dement: Sleep researcher

          Dement estimates that at least ½ of all humans acknowledge that they sometimes have difficulty sleeping, but that only 5-10%  of sufferers actually get diagnosed with insomnia.

          He also argues that insomnia is not a sleep disorder but rather a symptom that can have many different causes.

Primary Insomnia

          This type of insomnia is not attributable to a medical, psychiatric or environmental cause.

          There are numerous primary insomnia subtypes including:

        Psychophysiological insomnia

        Idiopathic insomnia

        Sleep state misperception

Psychophysiological insomnia

          Anxiety-induced insomnia, sometimes known as learned insomnia or behavioural insomnia.

          A state of chronic (long lasting) physiological arousal maintained by high arousal and anxiety about not being able to sleep.

          results in:

        vicious cycle of trying harder to sleep and becoming tenser, expressed by patients as ‘trying


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