There seems to be a strong connection between stress and sleepless nights. However, not all cases of insomnia are directly related to stress, but if you are under stressful circumstances, you are at a higher chance of suffering from insomnia. If you suffer from insomnia because of stress, alleviating the stress can solve your sleepless condition. Stress triggers insomnia by making it hard for you to fall and stay asleep, and also affects the quality of your sleep. When stressed, you are hyper-aroused, which upsets the balance between wakefulness and sleep. But the majority of stressed people don’t have insomnia.
If you think you are stressed, the first thing you should do is to find out when it occurred. “When did I become stressed?” Next, figure out if your sleep problem comes and goes when stress strikes and goes, or it persists all the time. This will help you know whether insomnia is situational or occasional. In addition, it is good to clarify what stress means. For instance, you could be frequently anxious as to whether or not you are experiencing unusual stress. You may find it difficult to relax and fall asleep at the end of the day. Do you feel infuriated or depressed? If you realize that you are always in low moods, perhaps you are suffering from a mental disorder like depression, a serious condition than stress.
Coping with Insomnia
- Regardless of the cause of your insomnia, you should come up with a good behaviour plan. This plan should focus mainly on your attention to periods of relaxation. Sleep Time – At first, you need to have a regular sleep and wake-up time depending on the number of hours you currently sleep every night. For instance, if you are currently sleeping for only 6 hours a night, but you are aiming at 8 hours, set your sleep time to 6 hours. As your condition improves*, make gradual adjustments to increase the amount of time you spend in bed. Your goal should be to avoid waking up in the middle of the night while gradually increasing your sleep time.
- Have Time To Relax – create some time to calm down and relax before you go to bed. This is helpful as it gives your brain time to wind down and activate mechanisms meant for decreasing activity in order that the sleep systems can get in control. You can start relaxing two hours before your bedtime. Ensure that you are done with all chores, switch off your phone, TV and computer. This keeps distractions away which can make it hard for you to get in slumber land. However, you can listen to soothing music, read a book or meditate as a daily ritual before going to sleep.
- Condition Your Sleep Behaviour – this is a very crucial step to fight stress-induced insomnia. Ensure that your bedroom is neat and visually pleasing, such that you will find it a pleasant place to be. People suffering from insomnia often become anxious about entering into their bedroom. They see it as another place where they will spend the night tossing and turning. Try your best not to enter your bedroom at any time other than when you are going to sleep, changing clothes or having sex.
- Leave Bedroom When Awakened – in case you are awakened in the middle of the night, move out of your bedroom and go to a relaxing place. However, refrain from engaging in activities that require much of your attention, such as working on a computer, making phone calls, watching TV or engaging in a conversation with your partner. Simply put, don’t be a nuisance to yourself or others.
Fighting Stress with Medication
Along with a good behaviour plan and over-the-counter medication, you can fight stress-induced insomnia for a couple of days. The only challenge is finding the right medication because they have varied effectiveness. In addition, long-term use can lead to tolerance or dependency. Still, some can make you feel fatigued or tired the following day. Avoid overdose or misuse of OTC medications as some can worsen your insomnia if used for an extended period.
Sleep deprivation can have serious consequences for your health. It is a problem that many people struggle with and it has been shown to significantly affect the quality of their lives as well as those around them who care about them deeply.
If you think sleep might be missing from your life, there are steps everyone should take before considering any other options such as taking over-the counter medications or asking family members if they would mind helping out during working hours so we don’t miss out on things like bedtime story readings while still getting tons done throughout our days!
To ensure a healthy, restful sleep cycle it’s important that you create the proper environment for relaxing in. Try getting around 7-9 hours each night with no devices allowed near your bed before turning off lights and going to be formally called “bedtime.” If these tips do not work out then see doctor or specialist who can help combat any problems caused by lack thereof!
When to Seek Help
In case you find that you are unable to cope with stress and insomnia for an extended period, and you have tried every effort, it may signal something more serious. Contact your doctor immediately for professional advice or RX drugs. Your doctor may conduct a sleep study if you’ve sleep disorders like obstructive sleep apnea, narcolepsy, restless leg syndrome, or insomnia. This will help to determine the best course of treatment for you. Treatment for sleep disorders can include lifestyle changes, medication with top sleep aid supplements, and surgery.
Stress and insomnia are interlinked in some people but not in others. While these two can have adverse effects on our overall health, the good news is that they can be overcome. They simply require a behaviour plan and discipline. But first, try to find if insomnia and stress are connected before finding a way out. If the symptoms persist or become overwhelming, talk to your doctor immediately. But don’t allow stress-induced insomnia to take a toll on your life. There is always an easy way out. Also, April is Stress Awareness month, so spread awareness among the society towards managing and comping stress.