Alaska Sleep Education Center

The Best Solutions for Insomnia Caused by Job Stress

Posted by Sally Norton on Sep 24, 2019 9:56:00 AM

Whether you love or hate your job, it can get very stressful. You probably know that feeling when everything is going all right and you have it all under control. But in a matter of seconds, it all changes.

With sudden deadlines, situations you have no control over, your job can quickly become extremely overwhelming. So it's natural that you can't wait to go home and go to bed. But when you do go to bed,  all you do is toss and turn and you can't fall asleep, due to insomnia caused by job stress.

The problem is that we don't leave our jobs behind.

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And that's not the way it has to be, no matter how stressful your job is. When you get home, you should be able to leave your work behind. Especially when you want to fall asleep.

Going through things from work in your mind won't help you do your job better. But sleep will. One of the side effects of sleep deprivation is that it's even harder to cope with stress. Thus, the wheel becomes even harder to break. So, it becomes inevitable to tackle this problem and find a solution for insomnia caused by job stress.

Luckily, there are several answers to this problem.

How stressful is your job?

Jobs are stressful, but some jobs are more stressful than others. For example, serving in the military might come close to the top. Not only do some of these people suffer from insomnia, but they also sometimes suffer from PTSD. And, in order to feel better, they might need a change of environment. Luckily, there are experts at arranging relocation for service members that can help them out.

However, if you are not a service member, don't forget that it doesn't make your stress any less important. Even though there might be more stressful jobs out there, your perception of your job is what matters and what you can use as a solution.

Always keep in mind that you're more important than your job. Especially when the day gets hectic. No matter how much you try, you don't have to show that you're competent at the risk of your health.

Your diligence and responsibility don't have to come at the expense of your peace. Instead, find another source of this. It can come from holding on to any positive aspect of your job, rather than self-deprecating thoughts.

Mindfulness

Even though the word implies that your mind is full when you practice mindfulness, it's quite the opposite. Actually, you try to silence all the useless noise in your head and focus on what's happening at the moment. And it doesn't even have to be something soothing, like the sound of the wind. It can be the sound of a copy-machine or an ACU. That's why you can practice it at work.

Your point of focus can be what you're doing at the moment, so you can actually be productive. If you're reaching for a stapler, you should notice it. For example, I'm raising my hand and I'm taking a stapler. And it's as easy as that.

But it takes practice. When you notice your mind going somewhere else, try to gently change the focus again. And this will be especially challenging as well as important when the stressful part of a work-day comes.

As a result, most people get tense when this happens. So, notice the effects of the stress. Are you tense in your shoulders? Is your breath shorter? Notice it and keep the focus on that. As a result, the thoughts that lead to this will dissolve eventually.

And most importantly, this tension is what you're bringing home to your bed. So, in order to cure insomnia caused by job stress, practice mindfulness during your work-day and while commuting. And of course, before going to sleep.

Herbal tea

A lot of people take chemicals either to stay awake or to go to sleep. However, it's important to break the chemical insomnia cycle. Luckily, there are herbs that can help you calm down and prepare you for sleep.

There are natural remedies that can be helpful.

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  • Valerian tea is great before sleep, as it can reduce anxiety, relax you, and improve your sleep.
  • Lemon balm tea can also calm your nervous system and give you a night of good, healthy sleep.
  • Chamomile tea can gently soothe and calm you down.

It goes without saying, that you should avoid coffee after 6 PM. Also, if you happen to drink more than one or two coffees a day, you might want to consider changing that habit.

PMR

Progressive muscle relaxation is a non-pharmacological method that has numerous benefits. It reduces anxiety and stress in muscles and has helped numerous people in treating insomnia. In order to perform it, you need to do a "body-scan" from head to feet.

Basically, you go through every muscle group in your body and squeeze the muscle for 15 seconds. Afterward, you slowly release for about 30 seconds.

Develop healthier habits

There might be multiple causes of insomnia caused by job stress, depending on the person. So, if one solution doesn't work, you should definitely try combining it with another one. What will definitely help you is to develop healthier habits:

  • Exercise helps relax your body and mind. However, you shouldn't do it before sleep, as it will make you feel awake.
  • Why not yoga your way to better sleep? It takes just 5 minutes before going to bed, and the effects are amazing.
  • Looking at cellphones and computer screens keeps us awake, so avoid doing it later in the day.
  • Find a healthier way to be responsible and to remember your tasks, like writing down what you need to do.
  • Find out what stops you from going to bed at the same time each evening. You might realize it's just a force of habit.

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The best solution for insomnia caused by job stress might be meditation.

It combines mindfulness, breathing techniques, and it will help you become aware of unhealthy habits that are keeping you awake. But note that meditation will either make you sleepy, or awake, it depends on you.

Practice it just before sleep or a couple of hours before. In the long run, it will help you relieve stress. While it does take time, it's more than worth it.

Get Help

If you are struggling with sleep issues in spite of your best efforts to self-diagnose and treat your sleep issues, you simply need help from qualified sleep specialists trained to help improve your sleep.   Please visit your local sleep clinic, and if you live in Alaska, click on the link below to connect with a professional sleep specialist.

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Topics: insomnia, stress, jobs, meditation

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