There are generally two different labels for insomnia, primary and secondary. Secondary insomnia is insomnia that there is a medical reason for. This type of insomnia should be treated by a physician. This is where one condition is worsened by another disorder.
One common cause of secondary insomnia is sleep apnea. This is a disorder that is caused by difficulty breathing while sleeping. Symptoms include loud snoring, frequent long pauses between breaths that are followed by a gasping or choking to get air. All of these symptoms are persistently present.
Another common cause of secondary insomnia is Restless Leg Syndrome. This is a condition that occurs mainly at night when a person is trying to sleep, they get some very unpleasant sensations in their legs. The feelings include burning, itching, pulling, or tugging and the only relief is to keep moving the feet or to actually get up and walk around. This can be very irritating as the sensation does not hurt but is annoying and is further aggravated by the inability to sleep.
Circadian Rhythm Disorder accounts for another portion of insomnia and basically is as simple as your sleep cycle not matching up with your natural sleep cycle. Simply put, assume that a person is used to working midnights and then gets put on days or vice versa. This can really throw off a person’s sleep. causing insomnia that can often take a very long time to adjust to. Something as simple as Daylights Savings Time change can throw off one’s sleep cycle completely.
Often insomnia is caused by a medical condition or the medication that is used to treat that medical condition. This could include allergies, arthritis, heart conditions, hypertension, asthma, Parkinson’s disease, hyperthyroidism, ADD, or maybe just chronic pain. These medical conditions can be very debilitating but so can the medication that is given to treat it.
Check with your physician and see if insomnia is a side effect of any of your medication and maybe something can be done to change the medicine or to take it at a different time of the day so it does not interfere with your sleep. It sometimes can truly be something as minor as that, which can set you right back on track again. Many people have found that when Zoloft is prescribed for depression and or anxiety, it can make them tired. For some, that is a good thing but if taken early in the day it can force a person to walk around like a zombie or end up taking a nap which will mess up their sleep cycle later that night.
Secondary insomnia is the most frequent type of insomnia and fortunately, when the initial condition is diagnosed, more than likely insomnia will dissipate as well. So, in this case, it is usually the underlying condition that is causing insomnia or it could be the medication that is being used to treat the initial diagnosis. This is why it is so important to keep your doctor abreast of all situations that are irregular.