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Alaska Sleep Education Center

Stress, Insomnia and How They are Related

Posted by Sally Norton on Nov 2, 2018 8:50:00 AM

Insomnia is one of the worst stress-induced conditions you can experience. Not being able to sleep after a hard-days-work can cause a plethora of issues. Is your job, family, or relationship related stuff causing you such stress that it affects your sleep?  Although insomnia is not caused only by stress, it is most often the main cause.

If you do not sleep well, it can cause you daytime problems. These problems include feeling constantly tired, slower metabolism, appetite disorders and more. In this text we will talk about this issue in-depth and offer some solutions as well.

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Characteristics of Insomnia

So, we’ve determined what insomnia is, now let’s look at the characteristics. Is it insomnia or just one sleepless night? If you are experiencing this on a regular basis, then it is probably insomnia. Do you feel tired in the morning? Do you wake up often during the night and have a light sleep?

Insomnia can cause long term issues, such as light sleep and daytime tiredness. People with insomnia usually hear every single sound in and around their room and this will either wake them up or prolong falling asleep. They also experience being nervous and anxious during the day because of the lack of sleep. Insomnia also causes poor rest. People that suffer from it often wake up with a headache, tired limbs, and it can even cause depression. Try to treat it before it does further damage.

 

Determining the Cause of Insomnia

Stress is not the only thing that can cause insomnia. There are other possibilities, such as depression or anger. You have to be sure what the cause of your insomnia is, so you can begin treating it. Ask yourself when it started and try to remember the things that were going on in your life then.

If it is one of those issues that are not related to stress, you should probably look for professional help. They can provide help through anger management sessions or prescribe medicine for depression. If you determine it is stress-related, then try to follow these instructions.

 

Battling Stress-related Insomnia

One of the ways to battle insomnia is to see how much sleep you are currently getting. For example, you get 4 hours of sleep every night. Try to adjust your sleep schedule so you go to bed 4 hours before your alarm clock. That way you can trick your brain into only needing that much sleep. You will start feeling like you need more sleep, and that small amount of sleep your body starts needing will add up to your next night. Continue doing this until you get the desired amount of sleep every night.

Another way of fighting insomnia is winding down before going to bed. This has proven as an effective method of battling stress-related insomnia. You can do this by just relaxing, without the need to do anything.

Turn off your phone and try to stop thinking about work or whatever else is causing you stress. Turn on your TV and watch something that will take your attention away from the stuff that worries you. You can also try reading a book or listening to music, or even both at the same time!

Keeping a journal is another good way to approach the battle. Some people may feel the need to express their emotions, and they cannot do so because the situation they are in can be inappropriate for such behavior. You can express those emotions in a journal or a diary. This will help you alleviate stress because you will feel like you talked to somebody and your stress level will diminish.

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You can try looking at your problems differently. Instead of looking at them as a threat, look at them as new challenges. When you think about it as a new challenge, this change of perspective can help alleviate stress. That way you put yourself in control and see the problems as solvable. This can even make you see something that you missed before, considering the whole stressful situation.

Although the bedroom is considered a room for sleep and pleasant activities, people suffering from insomnia often look at it as a place of stress, rolling and turning, failing to fall asleep. When you go to sleep, and after some time you feel that it’s still far off, get out of bed and do something else. This way you will condition yourself to associate your bedroom with sleep. Seeing your bedroom as a room where you have bad feelings is not a good way to battle insomnia. Keep your computer, phone, and work outside of your bedroom, and use it only for sleep and other pleasant activities.

You can consider going on a vacation or even moving permanently. Going to a place with a climate you prefer can do a lot for minimizing your stress. If you prefer warmer places, consider relocating to Florida.

There is a reason why many people go there to retire! If you prefer cold, winter months, you can go to a ski resort and have a pleasant vacation, without having to worry about your work or your problems.

If all else fails, you can always seek professional help and get medication. If you can avoid this solution, that would be great because some of these medications have side-effects. They can even not work because they are hugely dependent on your mental state. If you accept the medicine and believe it is going to work, then it will work, but if you feel like it is a waste of money and time, then it probably won’t. That is why they are paired with sessions with your psychiatrist, so they can guide you through the whole process.

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Insomnia is a big health issue and should be confronted as soon as possible. Call Alaska Sleep Clinic to speak with one of our board-certified sleep specialists for your free sleep assessment.  You can also learn more about Insomnia by down-loading our FREE e-book on this topic.

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Topics: insomnia, sleep habits, sleep hygiene

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