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Mental Health

Stress to insomnia – where to draw the line? - I

By:
Sunny Mishra
Published:
October 19, 2023

Why me? Isn’t that the question we ask ourselves every time we turn and twist in our beds, with bodies that are desperate for rest but are kept up by the mind monkeys jumping from one thought to the next restlessly, keeping us up till the wee hours? This upheaval is something we all have been through or going through, no respite from the web of half-cooked tales that hold little to no roots in reality. That’s the grasp stress can have on us. And, once stress starts to pile up, trust me, insomnia is just around the corner, it’s a reciprocal relationship and is called Stress-Induced Insomnia!

How are stress and insomnia related?

Are you wondering, Let me break this equation down for you. Although stress is not the only cause of insomnia, it often leads people to it, particularly the patients suffering from Anxiety Disorder. Let’s look at the biological side of this connection; the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA) regulates cortisol and adrenaline hormones in our body, which in turn controls the body’s alertness to stressful situations throughout the day. These two hormones are produced naturally by the body; their prolonged trigger or imbalance may drive our stress levels to insomnia.

How can Insomnia affect one’s health?

Remember Dracula? I always thought he was an insomniac which justified his cranky behaviour with his lackey, Percival Renfield, but that was when I was 14 and did not understand the depth of the issue. In the real world, 33% of adults in India suffer from this life hammering disorder that may include symptoms like:

- Difficulty falling sleeping or staying asleep
- Irritability
- Anxiety or depression
- Waking up tired after a night’s sleep

- May lead to health issues like blood pressure and heart failure
- Losing interest in daily activities due to lack of energy
- Daytime sleepiness
- Heightened restlessness
- Clouded sense of judgement, lack of focus and memory

The above symptoms may not add up to much for us, especially when we are so good at ignoring our health under the pretext of other priorities. Remember, we live in a world that requires intense focus to course a life worth living and ignoring a health risk may eventually get to us in the form of deteriorating relationships, career instability, health risks like diabetes, increased risk of heart attack, elevated blood pressure and not to forget high risks of having an accident.    
If you are suffering from stress for a while now, reach out to our health experts and doctors at Elda Health App; to download our app, click the link: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.eldahealth

Apple users can download the app from https://eldahealth.page.link/EHapp


Is stress a real threat to health?

You may disagree with what I am about to state next- 'nature creates everything for a purpose', stress can be positive, how? It keeps us alert against risks, flexible to adjust to new circumstances only its prolonged exposure disrupts the quality of life that may include symptoms like:

- Increased palpitation
- Pain in the chest
- Weak immunity
- Headaches, dizziness
- Exhausted body
- Muscle tension

- High blood pressure
- Anxiety or irritability
- Low sex drive
- Digestive issues
- May lead to panic attacks,
depression
- May trigger eating disorders

Skillful stress management is crucial when it comes to slipping the draining claws of insomnia; we may not be born with those set of skills but, we can definitely learn where to draw the line.

Stress & insomnia can run deeper than we would like to believe. Maybe not acknowledging it is our coping mechanism, but pretending to be an ostrich has its own cost! Read the following blog to know more about the terrible twins.