**Stress and Insomnia
-Stress and anxiety often lead to insomnia and sleep problems.
-Lack of proper rest can contribute to stress.
-Since stress and sleep problems share such a reciprocal relationship, addressing one of these issues can often lead to improvements for the other.
**Types of Stress
-Acute Stress: Short-term stress that often accompanies fleeting moments of panic or dread. Examples include realizing you’ve missed a deadline for work or school, or nearly being involved in a car accident.
-Episodic Acute Stress: An accumulation of individual moments of acute stress. People who feel burdened by day-to-day struggles may attempt to alleviate their frustrations through unhealthy behaviours like overeating or binge drinking.
-Chronic Stress: Many factors can contribute to chronic stress, including poverty, abuse, and trauma. People tend to internalize these painful experiences, and over time this can wear down the mind and lead to feelings of hopelessness.
**How Does Stress Affect Sleep?
-Insomnia is a common sleep disorder derived from stress.
-Insomnia is defined as persistent difficulty with sleep onset, maintenance, consolidation, or overall quality.
-It occurs despite adequate time allotted for sleep on a given night and a comfortable place to sleep.
-People with insomnia experience excessive daytime sleepiness, fatigue, irritability and other impairments when they are awake.
-Current estimates suggest 10-30% of adults live with insomnia.
**The Relaxation Response
-The relaxation response is the rest and digest part of the nervous system.
-It basically undoes the work of the stress response after a stressful situation.
-The relaxation response happens when we feel safe, nurtured or taken care of.
-It can block effects from your body’s response to stress.
-This is good for your mental and physical health.
**Effective Relaxation Techniques
-The most effective relaxation technique is one that works for you!
-Different relaxation techniques will help different people at different times.
-What works for you this week, may not work next week.
-But it might work again next month.
-Our needs vary and so it’s important to have a toolbox of relaxation techniques to help you on a regular basis.