Sleeping and Stress Management
Insomnia may be present in a patient as an isolated problem but may also be related to stress, anxiety or other psychological issues such as depression. While 10 to 15% of adults complain of chronic insomnia (lasting longer than 3 months), transient insomnia, which remains of shorter duration, affects many patients and is often linked to stress or environmental factors (noise). , inadequate sleep environment …).
Our brain has programmed two radical responses to stress: attack or flight. Although these answers are sometimes very useful, it is obvious that nowadays, we do not face so much the stressful elements of our ancestors. Flight and attack thus become less and less adapted responses in our modern societies. As a result, we are constantly subjected to stressful situations that we cannot really deal with, creating frustration, remorse, regret, guilt and all the other negative thoughts that invade our minds.
The stressful events you may encounter are much more personal. These “stressors” are more chronic and more frequent and they settle in your life without your knowledge. Your brain no longer differentiates between a stressor outside or inside. Indeed, what is remarkable about the brain is that it does not differentiate between an experience lived and imagined. Therefore, an imagined scene can be just as stressful as living it.
How to Manage Stress
There are several steps that you can take to get rid of stress and sleep better:
Do not dwell on your worries before going to sleep: Prefer a pleasant activity that allows you to relax and not too exciting for the brain. Writing down your problems on paper can also be a solution for getting rid of it and not thinking about it at night.
Get out of bed when you cannot sleep to avoid associating the bed with a place of anxiety, it is better to leave if the you cannot sleep after 15 to 20 minutes and come back when you’re tired.
Do not go to bed too early: it is better to go to sleep only when drowsiness comes so you do not spend time in bed waiting for sleep by increasing your anxiety level.
Stress is another factor because it generates a state of hyper-tension. The person goes into a situation where he is constantly alert, a situation of alertness will affect that will affect you sleep and causes sleep breaks down, like animals hunted from in the savannah that will sleep in fractions throughout the 24 hours. Antelopes, for example are a prey to lions that sleep nearby, will never afford to sleep for hours at a time. Because they adapt to a situation of perpetual danger.
Stress is clearly one of the first disruptive factors of our sleep. It is one of the main causes of insomnia. The intensity of stress is correlated with the importance of the associated sleep disorders. Stress will affect the quality of your sleep by decreasing deep sleep and it will fragment your nights by increasing the awakenings. When you’re stressed, your body releases stress hormones during the day. However, these stimulating hormones will also act at night and increase the activity of our waking systems disrupting sleep. Stress also causes negative thoughts especially before bedtime and sometimes even during the night. These thoughts will only further stimulate the disturbing awakening systems still the relaxation necessary for drowsiness. It is for this reason that, very often, insomniacs have faster brain activities during waking and REM sleep (state of the dream).
Use the bed only for sleeping: avoid any activity not associated with sleep (including the use of digital screens)
Practicing relaxation: breathing exercises or cardiac coherence, there are many tools to learn to relax and channel your thoughts to the positive in order to limit the increase of anxiety.
Avoid self-medication and get a medical consultation.