A diagnosis of primary insomnia sounds like it would be the first and most prevalent type, but in fact primary insomnia is infrequently seen. When a person is diagnosed with primary insomnia it means that their sleep problems are not caused by or a symptom of another medical condition. Insomnia that is secondary to or symptomatic of another condition appears far more frequently, and is much easier to treat.
People who suffer from primary insomnia fall into one of two categories. The first, and most common is a result of conditioning. It is officially referred to as psychophysiological insomnia, though some sleep specialists refer to it as conditioned or learned insomnia. The first indication that a sleep professional gets that the patient they are interviewing may be suffering from this condition is when they describe themselves as being extremely anxious or experiencing great stress when thinking about or trying to get to sleep. One of the reasons that this is considered to be a conditioned response is that most patients find relief when they are outside of their normal sleep environment where there are so many things that remind them of previous nights’ struggles with getting to sleep. Continue reading