Stress Insomnia: Your Worries Won’t Let You Rest

Insomnia due to stress: your worries won't let you rest

Insomnia due to stress is not uncommon. Difficulty falling asleep is often related to an overactive mind. Sometimes it feels impossible to turn off our brains before going to sleep.

Our thoughts and worries can then become so overpowered that they hinder us from falling asleep. After many sleepless nights, we can experience excessive exhaustion.

Insomnia is not a fatal disease. However, it does take away the quality of life of those people who suffer from it. What is important to remember is that insomnia brains are synonymous with an inability to focus, retain new information, and respond effectively to simple stimuli.

All this creates a vicious circle where a lack of rest ultimately increases the stress. Little by little we can then move from transient insomnia to a chronic sleep disorder.

This is not an easy situation to deal with. The lack of a good night’s sleep is actually one of the main causes of traffic accidents.

The Chernobyl nuclear accident in 1986 was in fact the result of human error. It was the result of the lack of rest among the employees. We also cannot ignore the fact that prolonged insomnia due to stress leads to social, physical and cognitive decline. This can cause depression over time.

Causes of Insomnia

Insomnia due to stress: what causes it?

The journal  Psychosomatic Medicine  has published a study conducted by physicians Charles M. Morin and Sylvie Rodriguez. This study came to a conclusion that most of us can already guess. We all experience stress every day, right? Sometimes, however, that stress takes over. Then it becomes too much for us and we can’t handle it anymore.

So when the brain sees that it has no control over many of those stressful situations, it experiences hyperactivity. The smallest problems then take on enormous dimensions. Everything becomes a threat.

Little by little we enter a state where our thoughts weigh more heavily. Over time, our thoughts devour us. They make us restless and fill us with fear at night.

On the contrary, people who have the right skills to handle something deal with stress in a more appropriate way. These skills allow them to prevent disturbing thoughts from entering at night.

The Characteristics and Effects of Chronic Insomnia

Stress insomnia is not associated with any biological condition. These are some signs that warn of this condition:

  • Difficulty falling asleep.
  • Waking up several times a night. Sometimes this makes it impossible to fall asleep again.
  • Difficulty finding a good position to sleep in.
  • Intrusive thoughts and mental images.
  • nightmares.
  • Digestive complaints, shivering and nighttime headaches.
Characteristics of Chronic Insomnia

On the other hand, insomnia due to stress can also be transient (if it lasts from two days to two weeks). However, it can also become a chronic primary insomnia if it lasts more than three weeks. In the latter case, a person begins to show the following symptoms:

  • Irritability.
  • Fatigue.
  • Problems concentrating.
  • Poor performance at work.
  • Physical complaints: muscle aches, digestive problems and headaches.

After the first month, the person may also begin to experience shortness of breath, apathy and helplessness. We’ve already pointed this out, and a study from the University of Texas has also shown it. Chronic insomnia can cause depression in many cases.

How can you fight insomnia due to stress?

dr. Daniel J. Taylor of the University of Texas at San Antonio pointed out a remarkable fact. The  International Review of Psychiatry  has published an interesting article by him. In this article, he argues that many people seeking to treat insomnia turn to medication rather than psychological therapy.

If the patient doesn’t learn how to handle the cause—in this case, the stress—they can develop a psychological disorder over time. Cognitive behavioral therapy is therefore without a doubt one of the most effective treatments for insomnia due to stress.

Fighting insomnia

Helpful Strategies

On the other hand, it is also useful to apply some simple strategies:

  • Make sure your bed is comfortable and that you have a suitable mattress.
  • Keep external stimuli such as light and sound to a minimum.
  • Provide fresh air and sufficient humidity in your bedroom.
  • The temperature for sleeping should be between 16°C and 18°C.
  • Follow a routine. This means that you go to bed at the same time every day.
  • Avoid watching television or using your cell phone or computer an hour before going to sleep. Reading a book is better before going to sleep.
  • Also, avoid having a heavy meal during dinner.
  • Practices such as mindfulness help with insomnia due to stress. Also, don’t hesitate to start combining your breathing with meditation.

Don’t be afraid to ask for professional help if your sleeping problems last more than 2 weeks. An overactive mind and disturbing thoughts don’t just keep you from sleeping. They also take away your quality of life.

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