Terminal insomnia Definition and Cure

Posted in Insomnia Causes Symptoms Treatment

In terminal insomnia, achieved sleep is not refreshing for doing daytime activities. Too early morning awakening impacts daytime alertness. Read below health letter and know more about this medical condition.


What is terminal insomnia?


Dear friend,


Hope you are doing fine. So far we have understood insomnia meaning difficulty in sleeping. First, we classified this sleep disorder based on the reason. It may be primary or it may be conversely occurring due to other disorder. Second, we categorized insomnia as acute or chronic. In addition, this sleep disorder can also be categorized as sleep onset insomnia, intermittent insomnia, middle insomnia and terminal insomnia.


Let we discuss this new categorization in detail.


What is sleep onset insomnia?

terminal-insomniaSleep onset insomnia is a time lag between going to bed and subsequently falling asleep. It is also termed as initial insomnia or early insomnia. In fact, a large number of insomnia sufferers fall in this category. And as we discussed previously, anxiety and depression are the usual causes. Based on the same logic, let we see terminal insomnia definition.



What is middle insomnia?


As the name suggests, the sufferer’s sleep gets disturbed in the midway of his regular sleep duration.


What is intermittent insomnia?


Here individual keeps on disturbed throughout his sleep duration. The phases of awakening are for a brief period. As a result, the person suffers more from a quality of sleep than the total amount. Snoring is one of the common cause of intermittent insomnia. In this case, the person suffers from intermittent asphyxia.



What is terminal insomnia?


Anxiety Causes Terminal InsomniaTerminal insomnia definition: Terminal insomnia means difficulty in achieving sleep in case it was got disturbed in between. In short, terminal insomnia is early morning awakening usually between 2 to 4 am. In contrast to initial insomnia, here the person suffers from regaining sleep. An early morning awakening in such individuals is pathologic. Due to difficulty in falling back asleep, they get a small amount of sleep than what it is required. Usually such individual suffers from a headache, daytime sleepiness, drowsiness, and fatigue. Also waking up too early causes pain around orbital area, low concentration and impact on daytime alertness. An individual may lose keenness of work that he was doing regularly with perfectness. Terminal insomnia is also termed as sleep offset insomnia or late insomnia.


What causes terminal insomnia?


As we know, anxiety is the major cause of insomnia. If the person becomes anxious after early awakening, he could not fall back asleep. Similarly, a depressed person may suffer from terminal insomnia if his sleep gets disturbed. Apart from these psychological factors, hunger or early morning hypoglycemia may cause insomnia. Medical illnesses like a backache, arthritis or dental pains are few examples that may cause terminal insomnia. Hence terminal insomnia is more common in adult individuals than the younger ones.

Stimulants like alcohol or caffeine can cause terminal insomnia. Digestive disorders like heart burns or ulcers may cause late night awakening.


When to say you have terminal insomnia?


Terminal Insomnia DefinitionIt is inappropriate to term ‘occasional early morning awakening’ as terminal insomnia. However, if the sleep disturbance happens regularly then you might have terminal insomnia. But wait…it is important to decide early morning awakening as physiological or pathological. For this purpose, just check the impact of early morning awakening on your health.




Sleep requirement is different for each individual. Normal adult individual needs five to seven hours of sleep each day. The person requiring seven hours of sleep may suffer if he gets five hours sleep. Hence based on individual sleep requirement, early morning awakening may be pathological or not. Ideally, benefits of good sleep should prevail throughout the day. In other words, the person must be fresh, alert and rejuvenated till the next sleep need arises.


What is the relation between hunger and terminal insomnia?


Here I want to use hunger and hypoglycemia synonymously. Actually, we use the term hypoglycemia in the case of diabetic individuals. In hypoglycemia, the blood sugar level of diabetic individual drops below the normal range. Such hypoglycemic individual suffers from palpitation, sweating, fatigue, and drowsiness. In a severe case, he may become unconscious.

Dear friend, just remember how did you feel if you were hungry??

The hungry person suffers from weakness and fatigue. One may lose mental stability. He may become anxious and low. Probably hypoglycemia underneath causes mental agony.

Therefore the person who avoids his dinner or takes it in low quantity may feel hungry in the early morning. Probably hunger would be the reason to awaken him. That’s why he could not fall asleep again. To add more, the hunger may provoke train of thoughts.

A full glass of milk may work wonder provided the hunger is the root cause of terminal insomnia. It is equally important to have dinner with sufficient quantity of food.


Are you waking up too early with anxiety attacks?


Apart from hunger, anxiety is another common reason off terminal insomnia. Especially adult people suffer from anxiety attacks early in the morning. Business worries, financial losses, estranged relationships or job stress are few common examples that set mental agony.


 What precautions should one take if he has terminal insomnia?


Alcohol Causes Terminal InsomniaAs we discussed earlier, it is important to decide whether you have terminal insomnia or not. If even five hours of sleep keeps you alive throughout the day, then there is no reason to worry. However, if you observe insomnia symptoms due to early morning awakening then be careful.

1) Be careful while driving. Insomnia impacts alertness. Such individuals are accident prone.

2) Monitor sugar regularly if you are diabetic

3) Consult physician and confirm insulin dosages if you are prescribed with it

4) Avoid heavy and spicy meal early in the morning if hunger observed as the major cause of terminal insomnia. The heavy meal may cause acidity/ heartburn.


Treatment for early morning waking:


Terminal Insomnia CureLet’s see what we can do to cure terminal insomnia.

1) Consult physician if you are suffering from pain or have disorders like a backache, arthritis etc.

2) Avoid stress, provoking thoughts if your sleep gets disturbed early in the morning

3) Improve sleep hygiene. Prepare sleep diary and monitor your prospects.

4) Make surrounding conducive for sleeping. Take care of noise and light in your bedroom.

5) Do exercise yoga or meditation. Relaxation techniques work if performed regularly.

6) Just lying in the bed and providing rest to eyes help to avoid further consequences.


I have discussed sleep phases during our previous conversation. It is equally important to know our sleep cycle. For this purpose please read sleep cycle article again. Thereupon you would better understand the impact of above insomnia type upon our health.

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