Stress is the number 1 cause of sleep problems. About 1 in 10 people have insomnia due to stress.
They have trouble falling asleep and therefore build up a lack of sleep.
When you’re stressed, you start to worry more often about what you could do better or should have done better.
In addition, you have the feeling that you cannot find peace, even if you try to relax. You feel tired, but you can’t fall asleep.
Purpose of this article: In this article I will give you 25 effective tips to get rid of insomnia due to stress for a better night’s sleep. These tips can help you reduce stress so you can sleep better at night.
The influence of stress on sleep
Stress is not always under your control. Unexpected things can happen that make you feel a little more tense.
Worrying about things that make you stressed, however, is detrimental to your sleep.
If you are worrying and grinding you become restless and you cannot fall asleep.
When you’re stressed, your body is full of cortisol. In order to sleep well, your cortisol hormone level must not be low.
If your natural rhythm is disrupted, you may be tired and sleepy during the day, but still awake at night.
It is also possible that you are sleepy on the couch, but as soon as you are in your bed you cannot fall asleep. Or that you always wake up way too early.
The consequences of insomnia
Insomnia due to stress can have very unpleasant consequences, especially if it lasts for a long time.
If you haven’t slept well, you’ll feel tired the next day. You have a harder time concentrating and you can tolerate a lot less things.
People who suffer from insomnia ( insomnia in English) due to stress feel this way every day. They become irritated more quickly and can therefore react unnecessarily or overly emotionally.
As a result, you get even more psychological and physical complaints such as:
- Headaches: Because your body has not had enough rest, you can suffer from headaches or migraines during the day.
- Decreased sex drive: a person who is tired does not have a high sex drive. In men, insomnia can even lead to infertility.
- Even more stress: because you can’t sleep, you put yourself under even more pressure.
- Reduced resistance: while you sleep, your body gets time to recover. If you don’t get enough sleep, you’ll get sick much faster.
- Tiredness: Too little sleep makes you feel drowsy and less alert. This will make it harder for you to function.
- Heart disease: if you have chronic sleep problems, you are more likely to have high blood pressure and therefore also to have a heart attack.
- Increased chance of depression: Studies have found links between insomnia and depression. For example, insomnia can develop into depression.
- Poor memory: People who suffer from insomnia are more likely to forget things.
- Underperforming: if you are constantly tired, you are more likely to make mistakes and perform less well.
- Overweight: studies have shown that insomnia causes you to eat larger portions and especially to reach for unhealthy food.
- Higher risk of traffic accidents: if you sleep less than 6 hours a night, you are 3 times more likely to have a traffic accident. After only 1 night of bad sleep, your eye-hand coordination already weakens.
- Aging faster: beauty sleeps are not fables. People who don’t sleep well feel unhappy and look unhealthier.
- Relationship problems due to stress
If you suffer from insomnia due to stress, you hardly fall asleep when you go to bed.
And if you do manage to fall asleep, you wake up multiple times.
If this continues for a longer period of time, you are dealing with insomnia and all kinds of problems. This is because your biorhythm is disrupted.
Poor sleep due to unconscious stress
If you don’t know why you don’t sleep well, it could be that you unconsciously experience a lot of stress. You may be busy at work, problems with your partner or physical complaints.
These are all factors that can cause stress consciously or unconsciously.
Even if you think you can handle it all well.
Yet your body responds to the situation by staying in a constant state of alertness. And that in turn causes you to sleep badly.
Stress is the difference between where you are right now and where you want to be. Stress is resistance in your mind and ego and you can feel this in your body.
Stress is not conscious. It is an unconscious process. For your unconsciousness the current situation is dangerous.
Because stress mainly takes place in your subconscious, the process of becoming stressed often goes unnoticed.
It’s actually an invisible process that you often don’t notice until it’s already too late.
Sleeping a lot due to stress
And that fatigue has a negative impact on daily functioning. Poor or not sleeping is unhealthy, but too much sleep can completely disrupt your body.
A University of Cambridge study found that people who sleep more than 8 hours a night have a 46% chance of developing heart problems. In addition, the risk of premature death is also 20% higher.
Sleeping too much can also lead to other complaints:
- Increased risk of diabetes
Getting enough sleep is extremely important for a healthy body and mind. However, this does not mean that excessive sleeping is a better option. Sleeping a lot makes you even more tired.
Exactly how many hours of sleep someone needs is different and is on average between 7 and 9 hours per night.
There are also late sleepers who need up to 10 to 12 hours of sleep and they feel fine with that.
You only sleep too long if you sleep more than 9 hours a night and then wake up very tired.
If you sleep too much, it is best to introduce as much regularity into your life as possible. Try to go to bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time in the morning.
Not being able to sleep due to burn out or fear
People with a burnout also often suffer from sleeping problems.
Not being able to fall asleep, waking up every time, or waking up too early.
However, a good night’s sleep is essential for people with burnout. After all, this is necessary to be able to recover properly.
People with burnout often have sky-high cortisol levels.
So it’s no wonder they can’t sleep. If there is too much cortisol in your body, a number of processes are severely disrupted:
- REM sleep becomes less deep or disappears completely. As a result, daytime events are not processed.
- You are going to wake up very early in the morning so you won’t get enough sleep.
- Because there is so much cortisol in your body, you will wake up faster at night.
This also applies to people who feel anxious. Anxiety causes stress and makes you more alert. Daily stress can also make you feel anxious.
You can also become anxious because of something that is not there, but because of thoughts and scenarios that are playing in your head.
If your fears get bigger and bigger, you will eventually be unable to sleep. So it is very important to address the cause of your fear.
25 Tips To Get Rid Of Insomnia Due To Stress:
#1 Unwind with relaxation exercises
Just before going to sleep, do relaxation exercises such as mindfulness, yoga, breathing exercises or meditation.
You can also imagine that you are sleeping.
This way you can also bring yourself into a state of relaxation. This type of exercise calms your mind and boosts the quality and duration of your sleep.
#2 Avoid blue light
Electronic devices such as a TV, laptop, smartphone and tablet emit blue light.
This light can have a negative effect on your natural biological rhythm, which can lead to sleeping problems.
Blue light reduces the production of melatonin, a sleep hormone that helps you fall asleep. Turn off these types of devices at least 1 hour before going to sleep.
It is not only better to avoid blue light. It can also help to dim the lights as much as possible at night.
After all, a lot of light ensures that you stay alert and awake.
#3 Take a bath
Sleeping with stress is impossible. Therefore, relax in a hot bath or shower before going to sleep.
This is soothing.
In addition, switching from the warm bath to a cooler bedroom will lower your body temperature and make you feel sleepy.
#4 Do light range of motion exercises
Exercising before going to sleep can keep you awake, but light exercise has the opposite effect.
Gentle leg exercises help improve blood flow in your extremities and can have a calming effect and help you fall asleep more easily.
#5 Countdown from 100 to 0
It probably seems a bit bland, but counting sheep really works.
By focusing your brain on 1 thing, it relaxes. It’s pretty much the same technique used in meditation.
There you will focus on the rhythm of your breath and this will make you feel calmed.
#6 Get plenty of exercise
It has been shown that sport is a very good stress reliever and that it can also help against all kinds of sleep complaints.
What you should pay attention to is that you exercise early in the day and not just before going to bed.
#7 Stop worrying
When you go to sleep stressed, your head is full of worries. You are then worrying all the time while this does not provide a solution at all.
On top of that, you end up in a vicious circle with thoughts repeating themselves all the time.
It is then practically impossible to fall asleep.
Try to pay attention to all your worries and thoughts during the day
Give yourself a fixed moment of worry of 20 minutes every day. For example, make a list of things you need to solve.
It can also be a relief to talk to someone. That way you don’t go to sleep with your problems and you prevent sleeping problems.
#8 Avoid coffee and alcohol
Do you have the habit of drinking a glass of alcohol or a cup of coffee in the evening after dinner? Then stop with this.
Caffeine increases adrenaline production in your body, making you feel active. And in the evening you just want to relax. A nightcap is also not a good idea.
It could indeed be that you fall asleep faster, but you will sleep less deeply and restlessly.
It is best not to drink anything, including water, two hours before going to sleep.
This can mean that you have to get up in the middle of the night to go to the toilet and that is of course not conducive to your sleep.
#9 Plan rest moments in your day
If you always go to sleep with stress, try to regularly schedule a short rest period in your day. For example, for every 2 hours you have worked, you can give yourself a short break.
Then take a short walk or just walk around the office.
These small breaks help you to relax so that you can gain new energy.
This way you can avoid being completely tense at the end of the day and having trouble falling asleep again.
#10 Eat light meals at night
A meal that contains a lot of fat and carbohydrates quickly becomes heavy on your stomach.
And this can make you sleep worse. This also applies to chips, cookies and other snacks.
Food with a lot of simple carbohydrates and sugar raises your blood sugar level, which provides temporary extra energy.
In addition, your body also has more work to digest.
Your stomach will growl and rumble and that can also keep you awake.
In the evening, opt for a healthy snack such as a salad or cottage cheese and drink herbal tea or water instead of sugary soft drinks.
#11 Learn not to want to sleep anymore
When you go to sleep with stress, you feel constantly tired.
Once you’re in your bed, you really want to fall asleep, but by wanting it very much, you get just the opposite effect.
By constantly thinking ‘I need to fall asleep’, you put extra stress on yourself.
If you don’t sleep, you worry that you won’t function properly the next day, and that fear keeps you from sleeping even more.
Try a new belief such as, “Not being able to sleep sucks, but I’ll survive.”
#12 Take an evening walk
Taking a short walk before going to bed has a calming effect. The fresh air makes you sleepy and calm.
Become aware of the environment and the silence. It is the moment to give meaning and to let all your negative thoughts slip away.
Walking lowers blood pressure and is also good for your mood. And these are all benefits that promote your sleep.
#13 Don’t go straight from work to bed
Try to be as relaxed as possible before going to sleep. If you’ve been working late into the night, don’t rush to go to bed right away, otherwise you won’t get enough sleep.
This will have just the opposite effect. Your brain needs to relax a bit first. So never go to sleep with stress.
Even if it’s late, try to read quietly or take a warm shower before you go to bed.
#14 Make your bedroom as dark as possible
The production of melatonin is stimulated in a room that is as dark as possible.
So make sure that the windows are covered as well as possible and that you turn off electronic devices that give off light.
#15 Make a realistic weekly schedule
Go through in advance what your week will look like and make a realistic schedule that you stick to.
This gives you a satisfied and calm feeling and that way you go to bed more relaxed.
#16 Have compassion for yourself
Even if you don’t always sleep well, be kind to yourself. Sometimes it doesn’t work out well, but that’s okay.
We don’t always have to be perfect. Having compassion for yourself will only help the situation.
#17 Try not to sleep during the day
If you suffer from insomnia due to stress, it is better not to sleep during the day.
If you still feel too tired during the day, take a short power nap of no more than 20 minutes. Set your alarm so you don’t oversleep.
#18 Get up if you can’t sleep
If you’re tossing and turning because you can’t fall asleep, get up and do something quiet.
There’s no point in lying awake in your bed for hours on end staring at the ceiling.
Walk around a bit, read something and then try again. Don’t watch TV or use the internet.
Also Read: 12 Signs It is Time To End Your Relationship
#19 Try to stay awake
It may sound illogical, but staying awake can break your insomnia.
That way you can possibly break the pattern of insomnia due to stress. Your brain will work against you.
This is also known as a sleep paradox. You can do this by keeping your eyes wide open and repeating that you don’t want to sleep.
The brain cannot process these kinds of negative thoughts properly, so it interprets it as an instruction to fall asleep.
#20 Roll your eyes
Closing your eyes and rolling your eyeballs three times can help you fall asleep.
This trick stimulates what your eyes normally do when you fall asleep. This can lead to the release of the sleep hormone melatonin.
If you can clearly see a moment of happiness in front of you, you will quickly feel relaxed and sleepy.
Visualization works best if you use at least 3 senses. Sketch for yourself a situation in which you can feel the environment.
Think for example of a tropical beach, a lush forest or calm waters.
Then imagine that you can smell the flowers, feel the sand under your feet and hear the water flowing.
#22 Put your body to sleep
If you can’t fall asleep, “sleep” your body to sleep.
Start at your feet and just tell them to go to sleep, then move on to your ankles, lower legs, and knees.
Continue in that way, going over all your body parts. You may be asleep before you reach your shoulders.
#23 Listen to ASMR
ASMR is still a relatively unknown phenomenon, but it is a very good way to fall asleep or to relax.
ASMR stands for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response.
The combination of soft speaking, whispering, certain movements and sounds give you a tingling sensation in your head or your body. And this feeling ensures that you relax.
You can find many ASMR videos on YouTube. Listening to soothing tones or music can also help.
#24 Avoid certain drugs
Some medicines increase your heart rate and prevent you from sleeping.
If you suffer from insomnia, take a good look at the package insert of the medication you are taking.
This could make your sleeping problems worse or persist.
#25 Consult a doctor
PS How did insomnia affect your life? What has helped you to get rid of your sleeping problems? Leave a comment below. We would like to hear from you.
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