Stress insomnia is one of the main health problems that many people face in their daily lives. It is a type of sleep disturbance that has a direct impact on both the wear and tear on the body and the risk of making mistakes and being exposed to risk during the day-to-day, and this situation, in turn, can increase stress, which makes the situation worse.
In this article we will see both tips on how to combat stress insomnia and the typical symptoms of this disorder.
Stress insomnia: how does it show up?
At the time of going to sleep and falling asleep, our perception of the possible dangers or problems that lie ahead of us is very important. If there is something that makes us think we are in a vulnerable situation, the nervous system will tend to remain in a state of alert, as this makes it more likely that we will seek a solution immediately.
Unfortunately, in Western societies the problems are not usually about exploring the environment for nearby resources or safe places to turn to, but rather about more abstract purposes and many intermediate steps. For example, passing an exam next week, or reconciling with a person who lives far away.
So, at bedtime it is not always practical to feel that restlessness, and all you can do is try to fall asleep . It is in these cases that the less mable side of this mechanism of adaptation to the environment appears: stress insomnia.
The main symptoms of stress insomnia are the appearance of intrusive thoughts and mental images that arise in our consciousness again and again, the difficulties in finding a posture in which we feel comfortable, the impossibility of disengaging our focus from a particular subject , and in extreme cases, tremors due to causes other than temperature.
In other cases, stress insomnia not only manifests itself when trying to fall asleep, but causes us to wake up in the middle of the night without feeling particularly sleepy and without wanting to stay in bed.
Of course, these signs should not be related to an illness or the fact that we went to bed at late hours, since these are factors that have a clear impact on how we sleep in the short term.
What can I do to get back to sleep?
Here are some tips you can follow to start getting quality sleep and, in general, to feel better .
1. Give yourself a margin
It is important to value one’s own health and not to make it seem that lack of sleep is a circumstantial thing or a simple source of discomfort. Not facing up to the problem makes it easier for it to get worse and bigger day by day.
So, break momentarily with those responsibilities that are not clearly urgent and dedicate one day only to re-enter the dynamic of sleeping well. This implies missing several things on the first day, but in return we create the right situations to give our best during the weeks to come. Once the stress insomnia is gone, we will be much more efficient in our tasks and we will lose less time.
2. Avoid using screens at dusk
During the hours before you go to sleep, try to avoid exposure to bright lights and screens. This way, your nervous system will not remain activated as it would be during the hours of most natural light .
3. Play sports in the morning
Sport is a good way to discharge some of the stress, and in that sense it is good to use it as a resource. However, avoid at all costs practicing it a few hours before dinner, or after. Otherwise, your body will still be very active when you try to fall asleep.
4. Do not take stimulants
Whatever happens, avoid taking any substance that significantly activates your nervous system, such as coffee .
5. Practice relaxation exercises
By using these simple exercises from time to time, you will help keep your stress levels from getting too high. You will work especially on your focus and breathing patterns. The latter will help you oxygenate better with less effort , so you’ll be giving yourself reasons for your nervous system not to stay alert.
6. Make sure your bed is comfortable
It seems obvious, but many times we make our sleeping problems worse by pretending to fall asleep in a bed that is not properly prepared, or in a place that is not even designed for you to sleep in.
So, make sure that the place is big enough to stretch out well in it, that the sheets adapt to the temperature that it makes, and that there are no objects that limit your mobility , taking into account that while you sleep you will be changing your posture many times.