Which Came First: Stress or Insomnia
Insomnia is a leading cause of health concern among working adults and often is alleviated with diet, exercise, and a few days of over-the-counter sleeping aids. For some insomniacs, the complications with insomnia are not easily resolved and often develop into a chronic condition that results in other health issues. If you are struggling with sleep disorders, it is important to become familiar with the issues of stress and how chronic insomnia may play a role.
Stress comes in many forms – emotional, physical, and environmental. When faced with any of these stressors in your life, over time, it is not uncommon for physical and mental health complications to develop as your body works to respond to that stress. If you find that you have insomnia, it is important to ask how your stress may cause chronic insomnia to develop or, instead, if the chronic insomnia is creating more stress for you internally.
When seeing a physician about your health issues associated with insomnia, it is expected that your doctor will prescribe medications to alleviate any symptoms of stress you may be experiencing. During this initial evaluation, you will want to be sure that you are familiar with any fatal familial insomnia conditions may be present in your family as this may determine the course of treatment as well. Initially, patients are often further distressed by the need to treat emotional and physical stress and often feel as if they have self-inflicted their own insomniac condition by not controlling it. But, this may not be the case at all.
Chronic insomnia, for many patients, is related to environmental factors coupled with a familial or genetic pre-disposition to miss quality sleep. Overtime, as your body lacks more and more quality sleep, this chronic sleep deprivation may actually cause stress to develop rather than the reverse being true. For this reason, your doctor may treat your stress with medications, diet, and exercise, as the presence of stress works in a cyclical effect – causing insomnia but also developing in response to insomnia.
So, does stress cause chronic insomnia? The answer is ‘yes’, but stress can also be caused by insomnia. Determining which came first is often challenging if you have experienced insomnia for any lengthy period of time. Always consider the stress treatment options when seeking out treatment for your sleep disorder as well.