transient insomnia

How to Relieve Transient Insomnia and Sleep Better

Especially relevant, the National Institutes of Health, describe insomnia as a common sleep disorder in which people have a hard time sleeping. Furthermore, insomnia is classified as either transient insomnia, acute insomnia, or chronic insomnia. In fact, the primary differentiator between these three classifications, is the length of time people suffer from insomnia. Above all, transient insomnia usually lasts less than a week, acute insomnia lasts a few weeks, while chronic insomnia lasts several months or years.

Stages of Transient Insomnia

Most noteworthy, the three stages of chronic, acute, or transient insomnia correspond to the onset of sleep, maintenance of sleep, and end of sleep.

For example, some people have a hard time going to sleep. But, after falling asleep, they may not be able to stay asleep. Or, after falling asleep they wake up too early in the morning. Or, after falling asleep they stay asleep a long time. On the other hand, some people fall asleep right away but, then, they wake up soon after and have difficulty going back to sleep.

Onset of Sleep

In fact, difficulty falling asleep, sometimes for hours, occurs at the onset of sleep. And, this difficulty may be due to:

  • 1
    Stress
  • 2
    Your head wrapped around nagging problems
  • 3
    Fear
  • 4
    Anxiety
  • 5
    Going to bed when you are really not sleepy
  • 6
    Your sleep environment being not conducive to good sleep. For example, sleeping on an uncomfortable mattress.

Maintenance of Sleep

Most noteworthy, everyone wakes up at least once in the middle of the night. And most people go right back to sleep, some without even knowing they woke up. But for others, going back to sleep becomes a problem. Indeed, these difficulties may be due to:

  • 1
    An illness that prevents them from sleeping soundly
  • 2
    Pain that causes them to wake up
  • 3
    Going to the toilet
  • 4
    Exposing themselves to bright light after they wake up
  • 5
    Presence of anxiety or depression

End of Sleep

Finally, there are times you wake up too early in the morning and can’t go back to sleep. And, this may be due to:

  • 1
    Sleeping lightly during the night
  • 2
    Older people go to sleep early and so they wake up early
  • 3
    Some people need less sleep than others. So it’s natural to wake up early in the morning
  • 4
    Depressed people spend more time in REM sleep. REM sleep is a very light stage of sleep, where people are easily woken up.

Definition of Transient Insomnia

Most of all, transient insomnia is a temporary form of insomnia which can last from one night to a week. Furthermore, transient insomnia may be one night of poor sleep or recurring episodes of insomnia interspersed with days and weeks of normal sleep. Indeed, transient insomnia is caused by the following conditions.

  • 1
    Changes in the sleep environment, such as sleeping in a hotel
  • 2
    Changes in bedtimes
  • 3
    Depression
  • 4
    Stress
  • 5
    Anxiety
  • 6
    Worrying about something that’s going to happen in the future
  • 7
    A nagging issues such as problems with relationships
  • 8
    Medications used to treat anxiety, stress, and depression
  • 9
    Not feeling well, such as a blocked nose making it hard to fall asleep
  • 10
    Jet lag
  • 11
    Too much excitement
  • 12
    Bad sleeping habits
  • For example, eating a heavy dinner just before bedtime
  • Or, drinking caffeinated beverages in the evening
  • Or, falling asleep with the lights on, watching television
  • Next, using cell phone, computer, or tablet before bedtime
  • Finally, smoking

Definition of Acute Insomnia

On the other hand, acute insomnia can last several weeks and caused by the following conditions.

  • 1
    Long illness
  • 2
    Stress from a bigger or recurring problem
  • 3
    Medical conditions such as arthritis, chronic pain, COPD, strokes, asthma, sleep apnea, heart failure, thyroid problems, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and endocrine problems.
  • 4
    Death of someone close

Definition of Chronic Insomnia

Lastly, chronic insomnia lasts a long time, may be even months or years. And, chronic insomnia may occur for the reasons listed below.

  • 1
    Sleeping environment not being conducive to sleep
  • 2
    Mistiming sleep
  • 3
    Long term health problems
  • 4
    Long term stress and anxiety

Breadth of the Disorder

Meanwhile, at some point in their lifetime, most people have difficulty falling asleep once in a while. However, it’s only when this problem occurs frequently or regularly that people are diagnosed as having chronic, acute, or transient insomnia.

In fact, studies show that up to 95 percent of Americans suffer from episodes of insomnia as some point in their lives. Furthermore, according to the American Sleep Association, 30 percent of adults experience either transient or acute insomnia, while 10 percent experience chronic insomnia. Especially relevant, 770 million people around the world suffer from chronic insomnia.

Gene Region Linked to Chronic, Acute, and Transient Insomnia

Most noteworthy, a February 2019 study, in Nature Genetics, of more than 450,000 people in the United Kingdom identified 57 gene regions associated with chronic, acute, or transient insomnia. Meanwhile, 29 percent of the study participants reported frequent sleeplessness. Furthermore, these gene regions explain why some people get insomnia and other don’t. In addition, the study found that increased insomnia symptoms doubled the risk of coronary artery disease, depression, and a reduced sense of well-being.

Psychiatric Disorders Linked to Chronic, Acute, and Transient Insomnia

Yet, another new study, using DNA from 1.3 million people, resulted in identification of 956 genes. In fact, variants of these genes increased risk of insomnia. Also, the study discovered biological processes, cell types, and areas of the brain that have these genes.

Next, they found that parts of these genes play an important role in the functionality of axons (which allow neurons to communicate with each other). In addition, some of the genes were active in cells of the frontal cortex and the brain’s subcortical nuclei. Especially relevant, recent brain imaging studies showed these same brain areas as suspects in people with insomnia.

Also, the study found a strong genetic similarity between insomnia and:

  • 1
    Depression
  • 2
    Anxiety
  • 3
    Stress
  • 4
    Other psychiatric disorders
  • 5
    Metabolic disturbances in obesity and diabetes

Finally, the study reported that vulnerability to insomnia runs in families.

Remedies for Transient Insomnia or Acute Insomnia

Because insomnia doubles the risk of coronary heart disease along with links to other conditions, insomnia needs to be treated. Moreover, treatments for acute or transient insomnia are given in the section below.

Treatments for Insomnia

  • Working
  • Emotionally upsetting conversations
  • Scary movies
  • Thrilling novels
  • Smoking – Nicotine is a stimulant making it hard to fall and stay asleep. In fact, studies show that nicotine increases insomnia, daytime sleepiness, and sleep problems. In addition, nicotine suppresses the restorative Rapid Eye Movement or REM sleep.
  • 2
    Next, get ready for bed by taking a warm bath, listening to relaxing music, meditating, or reading a soothing book
  • 3
    Meanwhile, alcohol can disrupt your sleep by interfering with your sleep cycle, causing you to wake up too early. In addition, alcohol blocks the deep restorative REM sleep.
  • 4
    And, if you must snack, eat easily digestible snacks before bedtime. For example eat cheese, fruits, or cereal with milk.
  • 5
    Moreover, to allow time for food to be digested, do not eat one hour before bedtime
  • 6
    Most of all get an aerobic workout, such as speed walking, during the day
  • 7
    And, avoid caffeine in the afternoon and evening. Regrettably, caffeine is found in many foods and drinks, so you really have to watch out for those kinds of foods.
  • 8
    And, if you get too  tired during the day, take a quick 20 minute nap in the middle of the afternoon but definitely before 5 PM.
  • 9
    Finally, try a foot massager to get a Shiatsu massage. 

Bedroom

  • 1
    Keep your bedroom quiet. For example, a fan may be able to drown out noise that you can’t control (such as street noise entering through the windows).
  • 2
    Don't forget to make the bedroom as dark as possible. For example, heavy shades help block outside lights.
  • 3
    Put your clock in a location that makes it difficult for you to look at it while lying down on your bed.
  • 4
    The bedroom should be free from all blue light emitting devices, such as cell phones, TV, and tablets.

Most of all, if none of these remedies work, it is important to see your doctor.

About the Author Lisa