We live in a world where stress is a direct side-effect of the lifestyle we lead. Due to this, many aspects of our lives are negatively affected by stress and one of those aspects includes our sleep and sleeping patterns.
You may have noticed that you can’t seem to relax enough to fall asleep or that your mind is running a hundred miles per hour whenever you want to go to sleep. This can easily be related to stress.
The inability to fall asleep is known as insomnia, a disorder that causes us to lose precious sleep.
The Connection Between Stress and Insomnia
There are many different causes of insomnia, but stress is believed to be the main one. Stress and insomnia are closely related and can wreak havoc on your overall health.
You can easily notice if the lack of sleep or inability to sleep is related to stress. Just follow your sleeping patterns and if you are able to fall asleep once some of the stress has been relieved – you have your answer. In this case, you will know that stress is, in fact, the cause of your insomnia.
In order for us to function normally, we need to have at least 7-9 hours of sleep. And suffering from insomnia can seriously reduce this period and thus cause different health issues.
Physical and Mental Consequences of Both Stress and Insomnia
Not getting enough sleep negatively affects both our mental and physical health. If you don’t get enough sleep you won’t be able to concentrate or function normally and due to this, your job will suffer just as well your life in general.
Some of the most common physical and mental side-effects of insomnia include high blood pressure, depression, and other disorders and illnesses.
High Blood Pressure
If the periods of your lack of sleeping are long, you should be worried. It’s believed that people who don’t get at least 6 hours of sleep are at risk of developing high blood pressure.
Sleep helps regulate stress hormones and it keeps your nervous system healthy. That’s why your lack of sleep can affect your body’s ability to regulate stress and thus leads to high blood pressure.
High blood pressure then leads to many serious problems such as heart diseases and other health issues.
Stress and insomnia, when mixed together, can lead to depression. People who aren’t getting enough sleep become restless and anxious. Anxiety is a well-known trigger of depression.
Stress, insomnia, and anxiety are all responsible for depression, and the relationship between all of these factors is much more complicated than it seems. People who don’t have trouble sleeping are at less risk of developing depression than those who have.
That’s why treating insomnia can prevent the development of depression.
Other less serious but equally important physical effects that stress has on our health include teeth grinding and clenching. Teeth grinding is known to cause severe dental problems such as cracked tooth enamel, the strain on the jaw joint, and even broken or chipped teeth.
Teeth grinding is just a minor consequence of stress that can be effectively dealt with. There are some very good and effective teeth grinding solutions that can help you stop this involuntary action.
However, as teeth grinding and clenching is a side-effect of stress, the best thing to do is to visit a specialist who will help you deal with this problem once and for all.
How to Deal with Insomnia?
Insomnia, in combination with stress, can take a serious toll on your life. The best way to deal with insomnia is to treat the cause of it – meaning stress.
If you find all the stressors in your life and eradicate them, or at the very list minimize them, you might be on a good way to permanently getting rid of stress and its symptoms, including insomnia.
On this journey to getting rid of the stress, you can seek professional help. If you are suffering from chronic stress, they will give you a diagnosis and a way to treat it.
There are other ways to deal with stress too, and they include physical exercises, meditation, and even laughter.
Dealing with stress and insomnia as its direct symptom can be difficult and overwhelming. However, no matter how difficult it is it needs to be dealt with. Stress and thus insomnia can create serious medical problems that can affect your health and even cause death in some cases.
Don’t let unnecessary stress affect your health and your sleep. Sleeping at least 8 hours is important for both our mind and body.
About the Author
Mia Johnson is a writer with a ten-year-long career in journalism. She has written extensively about health, fitness, and lifestyle. A native to Melbourne, she now lives in Sydney with her 3 dogs where she spends her days writing and taking care of her 900 square feet garden.