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Stress and Insomnia: What Can Chronic Stress Do to Your Well-Being?

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stressed woman

Stress exists everywhere we go. Whether it’s a very little one or a mild one that causes irritability. So much stress can even lead to chronic stress in which it’s already associated with blood pressure and heart health.

It can even lead to insomnia. Stress-induced insomnia is when your high levels of stress and anxiety take over your mind and keep you from sleeping. This can when one is too concerned about work, school, health, finances, or any life problems. Even when they try to sleep, anxiety stays and keeps their mind active.

Stress and Insomnia

Stress-related insomnia can also cause if there’s a traumatic or stressful event that occurred in one’s life, whether recent or long-term. They may experience fatigue, the difficulty of focusing, and remembering certain events. This can even lead to depression, which shows symptoms of behavioral issues, diminished energy, and motivation.

While mild and non-frequent stress has little impact on the body, chronic stress affects our mental and physical health and can turn more severe. Aside from that, chronic stress and insomnia can cause another chronic disease in another system of the body:

The gastrointestinal system is filled with nerves and bacteria the help the brain regulate mood and maintain bodily health. When overly stressed, this interaction can be damaged and dysfunctional. This can cause any gastrointestinal discomfort, like stomach pain or bloating. You can also lose your appetite because of this, which can damage your digestive health. Sometimes, people overeat to relieve stress, thus obesity can happen.

Musculoskeletal system. Have you noticed your muscles tense up when you’re stressed? This is a reaction of your body to protect you from potential pain or harm. Chronic stress can cause frequent muscle tensing, which can turn into further problems such as migraine, lower back, or upper extremity pain.

The nervous system communicates signals to the brain that regulates adrenaline and cortisol, making us tense up and calm down. Chronic stress can overwork your nerves make your body tired.

Respiratory system. When you’re stressed or anxious, it can lead to short or rapid breathing. Acute stress can trigger asthma attacks and other already existing respiratory conditions. When chronic stress happens, it can lead to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

It is also possible to have problems in the reproductive system because of so much stress. Too much stress can lower your sexual desire or arousal, making them prone to cancer and other reproductive issues. Males can experience reduced sperm count and swimming speed and strength. Women may have problems in bearing or developing a child.

woman with insomnia

Dealing with Stress-Related Insomnia

Insomnia is a problem that you wouldn’t know it’s a big deal until you experience it yourself. A simple sleep deficiency within 24 hours can already affect your performance. It can make you mentally slow and more emotional. Longer sleep deprivation can already become worse, exacerbating your experience of stress. With more stress, the higher chances of insomnia.

Dealing with this problem can be stressful too because not all remedies work for everybody. Each individual who suffers from chronic stress and insomnia has different ways of coping and handling their respective situation. Stress alone or insomnia alone can already be difficult to solve. You can only imagine how people with stress-induced insomnia can cope.

Physical exercise is never removed from every doctor’s recommendations. If you still feel like it doesn’t do much for your body, it definitely does. Of course, you have to be consistent with it to have an effect. Exercising is always better than just sitting and moping around. If you’re dreading it, just start by walking outside. If you can, you can turn it up a notch and do some running until it becomes a daily thing. It doesn’t have to be intense, but you just have to move and get active.

When people encounter tai chi, it automatically sets off that it’s only for seniors when people of all ages can practice it to gain physical and relaxation exercises. Online tai chi classes are even offered in certain sites where anyone can learn it in the comforts of their home. Other relaxing mind and body exercises also include yoga, meditation, and various breathing exercises.

Progressive muscle relaxation is an evidence-based treatment for insomnia, effective for reducing overall body tension as well as mental stress.

Stress and insomnia can worsen into a mental illness, or in many cases, a mental illness is the cause of more stress and insomnia. Remember that it’s okay if your patience slips once in a while. If you still can’t sleep, then get up and do something else instead of staying in your dark bedroom, filling your mind up with more stressful scenarios.

Focus on what you can control. Don’t isolate yourself from people because that is never the solution. Seek help and comfort if you need to.

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