How to combat stress to treat insomnia

How-to-combat-stress-to-treat-insomniaIt is estimated that nearly 50 percent of insomnia cases are a result of stress; however, sleep experts have compiled a list of tips you can use to reduce stress and improve your sleep. If you find yourself tossing and turning at night, unable to sleep because of stress, these tips should help you get back to having a sound sleep night after night.

  • Setting an alarm is a helpful trick to make sure you don’t wake up late, but it’s also beneficial if you turn the clock around so you aren’t checking the time throughout the night.
  • Try breathing techniques as a means of reducing anxiety. Use your “out” breath to release anxiety and tension and imagine with each breath that stress is leaving your body.
  • Now that you’re a bit calmer, try meditation. Count your in and out breaths: for example, 1-2 in, 3-4 out, 5-6 in, and so on. Don’t worry if you lose count—you can simply start back from one again.
  • If your room is quiet, you can try meditating by listening to the sounds outside of your room.
  • If breathing exercises and meditation aren’t successful, you can try a technique known as “paradoxical intention.” This involves staring at a point in your room for a long period until your eyes become so heavy that you close them and fall asleep.
Sleep experts recommend that, if you are unable to fall asleep within 20 minutes, then you should leave your room so you don’t associate it with restlessness. In the meantime, you can read something inspirational until you begin to yawn or feel sleepy. Avoid watching TV or using technology, as the blue light emitted from these devices can actually worsen your insomnia. You can also try meditation in another room until you feel sleepy, and then return back to the bedroom.

If insomnia is a chronic problem for you, or if stress is affecting more than just your sleep, you should see your doctor for better guidance.


Related: Insomnia causes, symptoms, and natural remedies to sleep well without sleeping pills

Author Bio

Emily Lunardo studied medical sociology at York University with a strong focus on the social determinants of health and mental illness. She is a registered Zumba instructor, as well as a Canfit Pro trainer, who teaches fitness classes on a weekly basis. Emily practices healthy habits in her own life as well as helps others with their own personal health goals. Emily joined Bel Marra Health as a health writer in 2013.


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