Stress & Sleep Problems

Sleeping problems and stress, is an antagonistic relationship associated with sleep, and like sleep and depression it is sometimes unclear whether the sleep disorder is causing stress or stress is causing a lack of sleep. However, stress is the most common cause of insomnia as stress tends to result in experiences of over-thinking, worry and anxiety. Stress can be brought on by anything from bereavement to newborn babies and it is obvious how it can affect your sleeping pattern as your mind is unable to switch off due to this stress. Equally, if you find that you cannot sleep for any particular reason, it can lead to stress as you become fatigued and stressed over the disrupted sleep. Sleep itself can become a stress for some people suffering from sleep disorders.

Controlling Stress Levels

Stress increases the production of hormones such as adrenaline and due to this our mind is made more active, we are more alert, blood rushes to our muscles and all we can focus on is the cause of the stress. Unfortunately, due to our hectic lifestyles there are many potential issues that can lead to stress, and whilst the majority of the population can push these stresses aside, there are also many people that can be greatly affected by stress. Unlike other factors that can affect our sleep, e.g. self-inflicted aspects such as smoking, stress is often a lot harder to simply eradicate or medicate as it is a very specific issue for each suffering individual. Stress is often a very rational emotion that many of us will suffer at various points in our lives but prolonged periods of stress can seriously affect our health.

Temporary stresses, such as moving house, a newborn baby etc are all forms of stresses that, hopefully, with time are eradicated and do not have time to fester and become a serious issue in sleeping patterns. People who can remain in control of their stressful situation rarely report disturbed night’s sleep due to such periods of stress. Yet when stress becomes an issue, it is vital that you acknowledge that your stress levels have become a problem as unsolved stresses can lead to more serious issues such as anxiety and depression. Try to find stress-relieving activities is the first instance, (read Factors Affecting Sleeping Patterns) and if you experience a stressful period for a considerable amount of time, contact your doctor for advice.

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