When you think about improving your health, it’s easy to get waylaid with healthy eating and losing weight. But have you given your mental health a thought? Mental health is something we should all be aware of. Conditions like stress, depression and anxiety are increasingly common, and they can contribute to all kinds of physical and psychological symptoms. One of the main side-effects of stress is sleepless nights. But what causes stress, and how can we overcome i
The most common causes of stress-related sleepless nights
It’s normal to have the odd night when you simply can’t get to or stay asleep. However, many people experience insomnia on a regular basis. Often, this is linked to stress. Here are some of the most common causes of stress.
Are you coming up to a deadline? Are you worried about your performance at work? Are there rumours of redundancies circulating? Have you been fiercely preparing for an interview or an important meeting? If so, you may have trouble switching off. Even if you feel exhausted, your mind may still be racing when you get into bed. Even if work is going really well, it can still be difficult to relax and unwind at home. You may have ideas whirring around in your mind, or you may be thinking about what’s to come in the days ahead. If you are finding it difficult to sleep because you can’t switch off, or you’re under pressure at work, try and find ways to relax in the evenings. Turn your laptop and tablet off, and do something that distracts you. Chat to friends, watch a film or read a book. Don’t get into bed and start checking emails. It’s important that you have a clear divide between work and leisure.
Have you got bills mounting up? Are you getting phone calls or letters demanding money? Are you struggling to cobble together this month’s rent? Debt is one of the most common causes of anxiety. The problem is that interest and late payment penalties can make it incredibly difficult to keep on top of payments once you fall behind. You may be able to cover the mortgage, but the added fees are beyond your reach. If you have multiple debts, and you’re struggling to juggle payments, it may be worth considering debt consolidation loans. This is a loan, which effectively pays off all your outstanding debts. Once you’ve done this, you pay back the loan via a single payment. Debt is one of those things that gets worse the longer you leave it, so try and tackle money problems as a priority. If you are in trouble, there are people who can help. Seek advice from a financial adviser or call a charity that offers debt counselling. It’s important that you take the right path to prevent you from incurring even more debts.
Have you had an argument with your partner? Is there tension between you and your siblings or your partner and their family? Our relationships have a major bearing on the way we feel. If things are going well, they can make us feel on top of the world. When you hit bumps in the road, you may feel like the world’s going to end. It sounds cliche, but it’s best to follow the advice that you shouldn’t go to bed on an argument. Try and reach a resolution, and be prepared to forgive and forget. Life’s too short to spend time falling out. If you’re in the middle of a family row, try and act as a mediator. Get everybody together, and have an honest, frank discussion. Often, airing problems is all that’s needed to find solutions. If you’ve tried, don’t beat yourself up. Sometimes, you can only do so much.
Coping with stress
Stress affects most people. Often, it’s nothing to worry about, but sometimes, it can become severe. If stress is getting on top of you, don’t hesitate to ask for help. Speak to your boss if you’re worried about work. Chat to a friend or family member if you’re struggling with relationship problems, and ask for advice if you’re trying to deal with debt. If you can’t sleep, and it’s affecting your health, see your doctor. You may also find that self-help strategies such as exercise and meditation can be beneficial.
We all need sleep. It’s not just important for our physical health. It’s also essential to our wellbeing. If you’re stressed out, try and identify the causes, and find solutions. You don’t have to do this alone. If you ask, you’ll often find that people are ready and willing to help you out.