Stress: a word that almost certainly goes hand in hand with our modern-day life. I am sure that there are very many of us who can relate to that. Whether it is family, relationship, work or situational, stress can be very destructive and is a regular contributor to why people lose sleep. It is often connected to thoughts that just will not stop and have us waking up at all hours. Importantly, stress-induced insomnia can also cause us to have serious trouble falling asleep.
Stress induced insomnia
It is also, in my opinion, 1 of the toughest things to reduce, as stress is often unavoidable. Many people will tell you to just remove the trigger from your life. While it is sometimes possible to do this, that is not always the reality.
Stress and insomnia have a very symbiotic relationship. One feeds the other and they go together like peas in a pod. The more you stress, the worse your insomnia is inclined to get. Equally the less or worse you sleep, the more likely your stress is to increase. This quickly becomes a loop that is hard to break out of. Finding ways to manage this can be key to you getting some rest again.
Finding the trigger is vital. If you do not know where your stress is coming from, it makes it all the harder to try and find ways to manage it.
Acute stress may be situational and short-term. Importantly, just because it is short-term does not mean that you should not do something about it. In my opinion, the moment you notice that you have issues falling asleep, that is when you should start trying to manage it. Often times we realize it too late and then the loop is that much harder to break.
Knowing that there is an end in sight is very helpful, as you know it is just temporary. Let's say you find exam time for your studies very stressful; you know that you have only 2 weeks and then the major stress factor is over.
This guys, is here to stay.
Chronic stress is when there is no end in sight. And, it can be due to a variety of reasons. Maybe your job is really stressful, you have however been unable to find a lower-stress job, and you need the income. So, this is where it finds you.
Chronic stress could also be linked to many other things: family, finances, relationships, life, mental health issues, and the list simply goes on.
How to manage stress?
Making difficult changes
We all have to find what works for us and fits into our lifestyle. Telling someone who works for 12 hours a day and has a family, that they need to go for an hour's walk after work may be very fruitful. It may also leave them feeling more helpless than before they tried to make a change.
Finding a release
It is important to find your release, what makes you feel calmer. Is it a walk, journaling, or talking to a friend on the phone? Maybe you like meditation, gym, or listening to music and switching all your devices off while you watch the sun go down. There is something. We just need to focus on how we are feeling during and after our activities and we will soon know what makes us feel a little lighter.
Taking just 5 minutes
If you only have 5 minutes a day to spare, make that 5 minutes work for you. Possibly listening to a guided meditation with noise-canceling headphones will help. Something is always better than nothing.
I would love to hear from you. How do you manage your stress-induced insomnia? Do you empty your head into a journal before bed, or do you go for a run after work?
Please share your stress-induced insomnia story or a comment below.
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