Insomnia is a distressing sleep disorder that includes inability to fall asleep, inability to stay asleep, and inability to get deep sleep depending on the type of insomnia.
Q: What are the types of insomnia?
A: There are two types of insomnia: primary or secondary which have different causes.
1. Primary insomnia is characterized by sleeplessness due to reduction of synthesis of neurotransmitters (brain chemicals) in the central nervous system (brain) required for sleep, especially melatonin. Melatonin is produced during the night hours by the pineal gland from tryptophan, an essential amino acid derived from food.
Neurotransmitters are released when the axon terminal of a presynaptic neuron (nerve cell) is stimulated and acts by stimulating or inhibiting a target nerve cell.
2. Secondary insomnia has many causes. It can be a feature of malnutrition, lack of exercise, heartburn, mental disorders such as dementia and psychosis, emotional disorders such as depression and anxiety, guilt, worry, many conditions that involve itchiness, pain, disability, and a side effect of certain medications.
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