The key difference between insomnia and parasomnia is that insomnia involves trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or getting good quality sleep, while parasomnia involves unusual physical events or experiences disrupting sleep.
Insomnia and parasomnia are two common sleep disorders. Sleep disorders are those that impair sleep and prevent people from getting restful sleep. They can cause daytime sleepiness and other common symptoms. Moreover, these sleep disorders can affect every aspect of life, including safety, relationships, school and work performance, thinking, mental health, weight, development of diseases like diabetes and heart disease. They can be treated through counselling, medications, practicing sleep hygiene, regular exercises, etc.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Insomnia
3. What is Parasomnia
4. Similarities – Insomnia and Parasomnia
5. Insomnia vs Parasomnia in Tabular Form
6. Summary – Insomnia vs Parasomnia
What is Insomnia?
Insomnia is a sleeping disorder where people face difficulties in falling asleep or staying asleep. The symptoms of this condition may include difficulty falling asleep, waking up during the night, having trouble going back to sleep, waking up too early in the morning, having an unrefreshing sleep, having daytime problems such as fatigue, sleepiness, problems with mood, concentration, repeated accidents at work or during driving due to lack of proper sleep. Insomnia is caused by family history, brain activity differences, mental health conditions like anxiety, depression, life circumstances, and changes. The complications involve in insomnia include depression, anxiety, hypertension, heart attack, stroke, obstructive sleep apnea, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and psychosis.
Moreover, insomnia can be diagnosed through medical history, physical examination, sleep apnea test, actigraphy, and multiple sleep latency test (MSLT). Treatment options for insomnia may include developing good sleep habits, medications such as benzodiazepines, Z-drugs, dual orexin receptor antagonists (DORAs), antiseizure drugs, sedating antidepressants, melatonin, herbs and supplements, and mental health care.
What is Parasomnia?
Parasomnia involves unusual behaviours that people experience prior to falling asleep while sleeping or between sleep and wakefulness. The common symptoms include waking up confused or disoriented, waking up wondering, not remembering doing certain activities, finding unfamiliar cuts in the body, difficulty in sleeping throughout the night, and feeling daytime sleepiness and fatigue. Parasomnia can occur due to different triggers such as stress, anxiety, depression, PTSD, substance usage, certain medications, shift works, other sleep disorders like insomnia and sleep deprivation, and neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease. Parasomnia also results in complications such as health-related side effects like psychological stress.
Moreover, parasomnia can be diagnosed through medical history, physical examination, sleep history, polysomnogram, video electroencephalogram (EEG), and neurological exams through CT or MRI. Furthermore, treatment options for parasomnia may include medications like topiramate, antidepressants, dopamine agonists, melatonin, levodopa, and benzodiazepines such as clonazepam, cognitive behavioural therapy, and home treatments scheduled awakenings, and a safer sleep environment.
What are the Similarities Between Insomnia and Parasomnia?
- Insomnia and parasomnia are two common sleep disorders.
- Insomnia can cause parasomnia.
- Both sleep disorders can have similar symptoms, such as difficulty in sleeping throughout the night, feeling daytime sleepiness, and fatigue.
- Both sleep disorders can be diagnosed through medical history, physical examination, and sleep tests.
- They are treated through specific medications and therapies.
What is the Difference Between Insomnia and Parasomnia?
Insomnia involves trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or getting good quality sleep, while parasomnia involves unusual physical events or experiences disrupting sleep. Thus, this is the key difference between insomnia and parasomnia. Furthermore, insomnia is a more common sleep disorder than a parasomnia.
The below infographic presents the differences between insomnia and parasomnia in tabular form for side-by-side comparison.
Summary – Insomnia vs Parasomnia
Insomnia and parasomnia are two common sleep disorders that can affect the quality of the lifestyle. Both these sleep disorders can have similar symptoms, such as difficulty in sleeping throughout the night, feeling daytime sleepiness, and fatigue. However, insomnia involves trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or getting good quality sleep, while parasomnia involves unusual physical events or experiences disrupting sleep. So, this summarizes the difference between insomnia and parasomnia.
1. “Parasomnias: Types, Symptoms, & Causes.” Sleep Foundation.
2. “Insomnia: Definition, Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment.” WebMD.
1. “Depiction of a person suffering from Insomnia (sleeplessness)” By Myupchar (CC BY-SA 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia
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