There are 3 main categories of insomnia and it is possible to experience all of them at the same time.
Sleep Maintenance Insomnia is the inability to stay asleep during the night.
This means waking up at least once during the night, and struggling to get back to sleep when you do wake. This type of insomnia leads to a decrease in the amount of time spent asleep, but also sleep quality, making you more likely to feel sleepy the next day.
Sleep Maintenance Insomnia is the most reported issue on the SleepHubs Check-Up, with 68% of people experiencing frequent awakenings during the night.
Did you know, we sleep in cycles of around 100 minutes. It is in fact normal to awaken after the second cycle of sleep (about 3 hours after falling asleep). This dates back to caveman times where we used to wake in the night to check we were safe.
During the daytime, when we are awake, we build up our sleep ‘drive’ which helps us to fall asleep at night, and when we sleep, this drive empties, ready to begin the cycle again the following day. After 2 sleep cycles (around 3 hours), we have had most of our deep sleep, where the sleep drive diminishes – and since we no longer have enough credit in our sleep drive, we find it more difficult to fall back to sleep.
Pain, discomfort and nocturia (needing to use the bathroom in the night) can all contribute to Sleep Maintenance Insomnia. You may be woken up by these factors and because your sleep drive has diminished, it is difficult to get back to sleep.
To read about the other 2 categories of insomnia, click the buttons below.