Stressed Out? A Good Night’s Sleep Can Cure What Ails You

Your child brings home a report card filled with low marks.  Your dog just bit your neighbor, and the sink in the kitchen no longer works.  You feel you’re under major stress.  As a result, you find yourself tossing and turning at night, unable to get a good night’s sleep.  This is truly unfortunate, because sleep can re-charge a person’s batteries, enabling him or her to better tackle the stressors that come along the road.


           Stress-induced insomnia can take a variety of forms.  For instance, you may have difficulty falling asleep in the first place.  Or you may wake up hours earlier than you should.  You may find yourself waking up several times during the middle of the night.  Or you may even find that you feel tired when you wake up in the morning because you didn’t get good quality sleep. 

            One important point to remember is that you are not alone.  Just about everyone suffers from lack of sleep at some point in life.  That said, dealing with insomnia can be exhausting.  You might feel run down during the day and have difficulty concentrating.  You may turn to coffee in order to keep awake during the daylight hours, which can lead to a feeling of restlessness.  You may even try taking a nap in the mid-morning or late afternoon, only to find that you have difficulty sleeping again at night. 

           While old age, depression, and substance abuse can all lead to insomnia, it might be said that the number one cause is stress.   If your insomnia persists for a week, you should contact your doctor.  He or she may prescribe medication to enable you to get to sleep more quickly.   But you should be aware that there are other techniques you can use to deal with stress-related insomnia.

         To begin with, try to determine the root cause of your stress.  This might be your job, your home life, or even some of your recreational activities.  Next, determine whether you are overscheduled.  By eliminating some of your commitments, you might be able to seriously reduce your stress level.  Then, do some problem-solving.  How can you make a stressful situation better?  It could involve engaging in positive thinking, changing your attitude about the situation, or coming up with solutions to resolve the situation.

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            There are also some concrete steps you can take to improve your sleep.  For instance, make sure that your bedroom is conducive to sleep.  This means finding the most comfortable bedding available, decorating your room with soft, subtle colors, and eliminating clutter or other signs of work in progress.

             In addition,  condition yourself to associate your bed with sleep.  This means resisting the temptation to do work in bed, or study for your classes while lying down.  You should even try to avoid watching TV programs in bed.  The idea here is to eliminate stimulants from your sleeping area which could prevent you from falling asleep.   If you like to read in bed, make sure that you read only fun, pleasurable books, not significant tomes that could keep you up at night.

            One other helpful tip is to set up a regular routine prior to going to bed.  It may involve taking a bath or shower to relax you or drinking some milk right before settling down to sleep.  Also, try to get up at the same time every morning so that you are following an established schedule.  In addition, make sure that you do not engage in drinking beverages with caffeine or alcoholic drinks after dinner.             


Insomnia is one of the most dangerous side-effects of stress.  It can rob you of your energy, strength, and endurance.  It can make the simplest tasks difficult to handle during the course of the day.  And it can even lead to major depression.  If you find yourself having trouble getting to sleep at night, take immediate action.  Don’t wait for your body to feel the stress of night after night of sleeplessness.  The more proactive you are, the greater the likelihood that you’ll be able to combat insomnia, as well as the stress that goes with it.   Refreshed and renewed, you’ll be able to take on the challenges that come your way, once you’ve gotten enough sleep.    


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