Do you find that you’re increasingly stressed out? Are you having trouble sleeping at night and you’re not sure what to do about your insomnia? Whether you’re experiencing stress from your finances, relationship issues, your work or any other stressors you’re not alone. About half of adults surveyed recently indicated that they experience insomnia in some way, shape or form (trouble falling asleep, difficulty staying asleep, or so severe that you can’t function properly during the day). Insomnia is usually, though not all the time, related to stress.
We know now because of so many studies that sleep is critical to our overall health. That means insomnia, or lack of sleep, can have a profound impact on your life. Having a sleep deficit can cause you to feel slower mentally and be more emotional. Dealing with an ongoing insomnia issue can create more stress and the vicious cycle continues, especially if your insomnia is related to stress to start with. Luckily, there are a few things that you can do to help manage and prevent insomnia related to stress.
Muscle Relaxation Techniques
Having constant tension in your body makes it more difficult for your body to fall asleep. It’s possible that you don’t even realize that something is stressing you out; but your body can be all tensed up as a result of a stressor. Progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) is a really useful way to de-stress your body and fall asleep. You can focus on each section of your body. You might get so bored you’ll just fall asleep.
Keeping a Journal
Journaling might be useful for you if you’re having trouble sleeping, or waking up during the night and constantly going over something that’s causing you stress. Journaling itself is an effective way to boost your stress management and has a lot of health benefits, too. By keeping a journal regularly you can work to clear your mind or work through any strong emotions that are preventing you from sleeping well. You can even brainstorm solutions to situations that are causing you stress and that you feel are out of your control.
Working Through It
You might want to try a technique of changing your perspective if you’re losing sleep over something causing your anxiety. Anxiety, including insomnia-inducing anxiety, is a response that everyone experiences when facing a situation that necessitates action. By changing your perspective and viewing the situation as a challenge to surmount instead of something threatening can change your posture from passive and anxious to active and problem-solving. Try to look at situations facing you from different perspectives to see the positive opportunities you might be missing. This is a particularly useful technique to help with anxiety-caused insomnia.
Don’t Pressure Yourself
Once you start losing sleep regularly, you can become stressed just thinking of going to bed and not being able to fall asleep. If you’re this far in, there are some things you can try so make your insomnia less stressful and take the pressure off. To start with, if you’re struggling with sleep and you’re sure it’s not around the corner, get out of bed and do something else. This makes you feel in control of your time and prevents you from just watching the clock go by.
You should also try to keep your bedroom for sleep only so that you associate that room with calm and sleep, and nothing stressful. Don’t have a desk or home office in your bedroom. Get out of bed and read a book, or do a few things around the house that aren’t too intensive and can help get you tired.
Another good idea is to cut back or eliminate completely any caffeine in the afternoon and evening.
What’s important is that you shouldn’t go through it alone. The majority of people who have problems with insomnia do not get help for it. This is a problem because there are medical and therapeutic solutions to insomnia that can help you move past your problems and live a healthier lifestyle. If you’re suffering from ongoing insomnia and none of these techniques outlined here have helped, speak to your doctor.