The Role of “Stress”, Worry, Anxiety and Depression in Insomnia
Good sleep is critical to a healthy life. This blog is intended for those of you who have trouble getting to sleep due to not being able to “turn your mind off” at night. Insomnia has multiple causes. This addresses a common one.
Usually articles like this are written with the reasons for a method or technique at the beginning of the article, and the technique itself afterwards. I am writing this is reverse order to get right to the point.
For Three Weeks, avoid as many media sources of upset and antagonism as possible. That means:
- News - Politics - Violent or Disturbing Movies, TV or Novels
- Negative comments/ Negative Facebook / Twitter / Instagram posts, Podcasts, etc.
- Negative Emails - Newspapers - Magazines - Negative or Toxic People
Unless you need a media for your work or critical communication, avoid it!
NO PHONES AT BEDTIME!
Try to avoid as well, any people who evaluate you, invalidate you or suppress you. Often, no one thing these people say is particularly harsh, but they send out a constant stream of little invalidation. Unfortunately, sometimes these people are family and those who we love. Do the best you can.
Before you start this project, write down how and what you are feeling; especially regarding your sleep. Include:
- How long it takes you to get to sleep
- How many times you wake up and for how long and
- How rested are you when you wake.
Put it away until after the three-week test period.
At the end of the three weeks, do the same: write down how and what you are feeling.
Compare the two journals; see how much better you feel!
Then make a decision, as to what and how much media, and who, you will allow back into your life.
The Background and Reasons
The reasons for insomnia are varied: body pains, snoring sleep partners, animals, illnesses, hormonal conditions, nasal congestion, nutritional deficiencies, mental / emotional distress and so on.
This “test” addresses one of the causes of mental / emotional upset – our consumption of media chaos.
From the Dawn of Time, up to this very second, the great observers of the human condition have remarked upon how certain people and situations create upset in those around them. These suppressive people and situations can directly cause disease and ill health in us! Thanks to research over the last 90 years, we also understand the mechanisms of how this happens in our minds and bodies. This gives us the means to handle these people and situations and improve our health; particularly our sleep.
This report is limited to our response to these people and how these responses affect our sleep; and in turn, the basics of how to remedy that. There is much more to know about these people and situations cause distress and other disease in our lives.
Over the last ten years and especially in the last year, patients have been telling me that they are under greater mental and emotional stress and that they are more anxious, worried and depressed than ever - and that it is affecting their physical health to an unprecedented degree. That is the primary reason that I am writing this, to help you be a healthier you.
Stress / Distress and the Mind - Body Connection
Did you realize that your body is still designed to deal with the stress of a prehistoric world? If a wild animal threatened you, your fight-or-flight response kicked in…your heart rate, blood pressure and breathing all sped up. The hormones adrenaline and cortisol spiked. Inflammation increased in cases where there was an injury or infection. Then, when the threat was gone, your body returned to a state of relaxation in 20 to 60 minutes.