Insomnia is a condition that is described as the inability to fall asleep or remain asleep. It is an inability to get the amount of sleep you need to wake up feeling rested and refreshed. Insomnia is probably the most common sleep complaint in the world. It can be acute, lasting for just a night or several nights but not more than a month or it could be chronic, lasting for a month, several months or even years. Insomnia is caused by different conditions. Stress is a common cause but it should be noted that not all individuals who are under stress develop insomnia.
How to know if it stress-related insomnia
Many people who suffer from insomnia blame the sleep disorder on stress or worry. People can get stressed by different things-it could be the loss of job, sickness in the family, the death of a loved one, marital or relationship problems, a sales target that is hard to meet, etc. At times the anticipation of pleasant events like a person’s forthcoming wedding, moving to a new house or planning a long vacation with family maybe also be causes of stress.
To know if your insomnia is stress-related ask yourself this question: When did I start having insomnia? If it is stress-related insomnia it should have come with the occurrence of the stress trigger and it should be resolved with the disappearance of the stress trigger. If your insomnia persists even if you are out of the stressful condition than chances are what you are experiencing is not stress-related insomnia. It could be some habit that you have like taking too much caffeine-rich drinks during the day or over-stimulating your body before bedtime that is causing the insomnia. It could also be cause by some health issues.
How to deal with stress-induced insomnia
Many individuals with stress-induced insomnia take sedatives to relax them so that they would eventually fall asleep. Some take prescription sleep medications. These medications are not cures for insomnia but just offer temporary relief. If not taken with care they may actually even worsen insomnia after some time. Medication should only be used as a last resort.
The first step in treating stress-induced insomnia is to deal with the underlying mental or emotional issues. Professional help might be necessary to for example enable an individual to settle relationship issues or to cope better with emotional turmoil brought about by the loss of a loved one. The individual should exert effort to identify the underlying cause of stress and to deal with the cause.
Relaxation techniques like yoga, tai chi, meditation,guided imagery and progressive muscle relaxation have all been found to alleviate stress. These relaxation techniques however have to be practiced on a regular basis to have a lasting positive effect.
Sleep is an important human activity. You should not let insomnia rob you of sleep. By exerting effort to address the source of your stress and by regularly practicing prescribed relaxation techniques you are bound to have restful sleep again.