Unable To Sleep Because Of Stress? Here’s How It Affects Your Health

In everyday life, we face many challenges about work, family, relationships, and so on. Sometimes, these problems cause sadness, stress, worry, anxieties, and restlessness. Well, it is common to feel under stress in some circumstances, but if your stress is persistent rather than being temporary, you should be concerned.

It is no secret that sometimes you’re unable to sleep because of stress. The more stressed you are, the less sleep you will have. Some people oversleep during stress, which to is not good. Your body can cope up with the bad quality of sleep for a few days but if it continues for a significant period, your body will start having its adverse effects.

Effects of stress on your sleep

Our body is not accustomed to handling stress for a long time. Stress makes us restless and alert—in short, it doesn’t let us sleep. Even if you manage to fall asleep, you won't feel well-rested.

Our sleep is divided into three main stages—light, deep, and REM sleep. Light sleep is the beginning or end-stage of sleep, where we are still a little conscious; it is easy to wake someone who is in the light sleep stage. Deep sleep is the stage where our body restores and repairs itself. In the REM (Rapid Eye Movement) stage our brain takes care of memories and emotions.

It takes our brain more time than usual to release hormones responsible for deep sleep when we are stressed. Consequently, our deep sleep gets reduced, and our body fails to repair itself completely and that is why you feel drowsy the next day.

Also, when you do not have enough sleep, your body produces more stress hormones. As you can see, this is a vicious cycle that can be broken by having good quality sleep.

How to deal with stress?

Sleep is one of the best ways to manage your stress. When you become tired or sleepy, you become intolerant towards things and it increases stress. Once you sleep well, there is a good chance that your mind will process the stress; and, you will wake up fresh and relaxed in the morning.

Adults usually need seven or eight hours of sleep. Infants need relatively more sleep, and elderly people need fewer hours of sleep. Hence it is imperative that you get an adequate amount of sleep. Here are some tips that can help you improve your sleep and manage your stress.

      1. Assess your stress
        Well, it might not be easy to execute this suggestion because when we are stressed, it is difficult to feel calm. Still, you need to figure out the reasons for your stress and work on it, though it is not a day's job. It won’t happen overnight, but if you are persistent enough, it will become easier over time. Also, you can take some help from someone very close to you to help you battle it out.
      2. Have a routine sleep
        Establish a routine for your sleep. It will help your body to fix the disturbed sleep patterns. Also, do the things that help you sleep, whether it is reading a book or fixing yourself a hot bath. Bathing in warm water reduces your stress to a significant level.


        Image soure - Freepik
      3. Practice meditation
        It is the best way to deal with your stress, but most of the people are unable to follow it. It is hard to sit somewhere idle and not do anything. The main reason people fail in practicing meditation is that they try too hard. If you are a beginner, don’t try to block your thoughts; don’t try too hard to concentrate on anything. Just close your eyes and observe your thoughts, emotions, sensations, and breath. Don’t run away from thoughts that make you sad, angry, or make you feel embarrassed; just observe them and the sensation in your body and mind. Gradually, you will feel the difference.


        Image soure - Freepik
      4. Start exercising
        Exercise is essential for our health, whether it is mental or physical. Start with light exercises or jogging and try to stay consistent. Join the gym if it helps you. If you find exercising rigorous, try yoga and other activities that not only help reduce stress levels but also make you feel comfortable. Exercising also aids in getting a night of good sleep.


        Image soure - Freepik
      5. Improve your diet
        Diet plays an essential role in your mood and overall mental health. Try to avoid junk food as much as possible. Include the food in your diet that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, and antioxidants. Brazil nuts, fatty fish, mushrooms, eggs, and green tea help to deal with stress.


        Image soure - Freepik
      6. Seek professional help
        If nothing is working out, its best to talk about therapy options. It is never too late to opt for counselling from a specialist, who could help you deal with the situation better.


        Image soure - Freepik

        Having sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea or insomnia, can also cause you stress. These sleep issues can lead to other health risks and one should not ignore this possibility. You can start by taking this online sleep assessment or home sleep test and find out your level of risk of having a sleep disorder.


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