Stress and Insomnia go hand in hand. It becomes more complicated to stay relaxed and feel comfortable when we spend our days running to manage our job, career or business, family life, and personal life. Often, 24 hours in a day are not enough when we live surrounded by the Digital world and lots of stress. Stress causes symptoms of insomnia. While Insomnia itself is the reason for anxiety, it’s the vicious circle that we should break.

How stress provokes Insomnia

Our body has a biological clock, and only that schedule ensures a healthy lifecycle of all the actions taking place inside us. Stress breaks this chain, and it can impact negatively in many ways affecting your quality of life. 

Imagine you are lying in bed feeling anxious, worrying, thinking about pondering deep questions or feeling stressed about insomnia itself. All those thoughts will not let you feel relaxed and calm your mind enough to fall asleep. For many people, this stress is temporary and can be quickly resolved, but when it continues night after night, then the very thing keeping you awake is the stress about losing sleep. 

When you feel anxiety and fatigue, your brain hijacks the stress level system, flooding your body with a fight and freezing chemicals. Cortisol and adrenocorticotropic hormones course through the vines, increasing the heartbeat and blood pressure. Then your body suddenly kicks into alert and jumps into hyperarousal. In this condition, your body is susceptible to the smallest signs of discomfort and noise.

Yes, you will fall asleep, but the quality of it may be low. The primary source of energy of our brain is cerebral glucose. Our metabolism slows down to preserve that glucose, which is the source of our life when we are awake. While during insomnia, your body produces adrenaline which speeds up the metabolism, and even sleeping the body works and burns the glucose. The symptoms of poor sleep are:

  • mood changes
  • weekend immunity
  • memory issues
  • the trouble with thinking and concentrating
  • high blood pressure
  • weight gain
  • accidents

When you experience sleepless nights for several months then you are suffering from chronic insomnia and you need to see the doctor.  Chronic insomnia itself isn’t risky for your life but it may lead to disorders in the chemical processes that are taking place in your body all the time.

Obviously, we wouldn’t leave you with this kind of depressive description only, and here is good news. There are easy steps to avoid sleepless nights.

Develop a strict schedule of your bedtime. Make sure you feel comfortable in your bedroom. It should be dark, the temperature should be a little bit lower, so you can feel the fresh air. Associate your bed with sleep only, avoid spending your time in your bedroom for work or other activities.

The number one enemy of your circadian rhythm is the light from the gadgets. Circadian rhythms are part of the body’s internal clock, running in the background to carry out essential functions and processes. One of the most critical and well-known circadian rhythms is the sleep-wake cycle. Light from Gadget distracts your attention, not allowing your brain to get prepaid for deep sleep. Instead, light sends signs of alert to the brain, which may lead to anxiety and fatigue. 

  Exercises increase the quality of sleep. It makes the sleep more restful and deep. Physical activities increase the restorative sleep phase healing your body and mind. Being physically active requires you to expend energy, so you feel more tired and ready to rest at the end of the day after a hard workout.

You can use medication to aid sleep in some cases, but hardly you would find any cure that you perfect for different reasons for insomnia. There is a danger of getting addicted to sleeping pills. After using them for a long time you wouldn’t be able to sleep without those pills. Instead, you may start with relaxing teas or herbs.

Before seeking any treatment make sure your sleepless nights are because of insomnia as you may be suffering from a less common genetic problem, which is delayed sleep phase disorder or DSPD. In this case, your circadian rhythm is merely different from the others.

Our body and mind should always be in a healthy balance. The brain controls every chemical process that is going on in our body. Feeling stressed breaks that connection and this is where we become vulnerable. Just remember that cheery thought, a healthy lifestyle, and strict schedules are the key points to impact how we feel and how we would treat the things we are surrounded by. Love yourself and work hard to make yourself better.

By Nelly Nazaryan

For The American Institute of Stress