Insomnia Risk Depends On How We Cope Up Stress
A new study, which is first of its kind, has identified the stress coping techniques through which exposure to stress will result into insomnia.
The study was conducted in the Sleep & Research Center at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. The research was performed under the supervision of Thomas Roth, PhD, and Christopher Drake, PhD.
Vivek Pillai, PhD, is the lead author of this study and he is also a research fellow at the Sleep Disorders & Research Center at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan.
According to the results of the study, behavioral disengagement strategies for coping up with stress such as not dealing with stress or consuming alcohol or using drugs is the main aspect for stress exposure to result in insomnia development.
Even using strategies of self-distraction for coping stress such as watching TV, going for a movie, etc also results into insomnia due to stress exposure.
The significant coping strategy that results in insomnia development due stress exposure is cognitive intrusion such as recurring thoughts about the cause of stress. This aspect accounted for 69% of the total effect of stress exposure on insomnia.
Vivek Pillai Said that according to this study, development of insomnia doesn’t depend on number stressors; instead it depends on person’s reaction towards the stressors. He also said that stressful events can result into bad night of sleep, but, it how the stressful events are dealt makes the difference between few bad nights and chronic insomnia.
For this study 2,892 people who are good sleepers with no lifetime history of insomnia were involved. At the beginning of study, these participants reported of experiencing many stressful life events in the past years like death of spouse or some other loved one, divorce, severe financial crisis, serious health problem, etc. Participants even reported about severity and duration of each stressful life event, for which it was experienced.
Through questionnaires, levels of cognitive intrusion were measured and coping strategies followed by the participants in the seven days following the stressful event were identified.
After following this assessment for one year showed up development of insomnia in these participants. Participants reported of experiencing insomnia symptoms for at least thrice in a week for a month or longer. And it even accompanied with daytime impairment or distress.
Dr. Timothy Morgenthaler, President of American Academy of Sleep Medicine said that this study is an important reminder that insomnia is caused due stressful life events, and also by major changes in our life.
Dr. Timothy also said that when a person is experiencing major stressful life events, then that person consult a doctor for learning how to cope up stress, and thereby improve sleep.
Authors of this study say that potential targets have been identified by the study for which therapy can be taken to improve stress management, and thereby reducing the risk of insomnia.
Researchers have noticed that cognitive intrusion was successfully suppressed and improvement in sleep with mindfulness-based therapies.