Is It Possible to be Too Stressed to Sleep?

Sleep is a necessary part of our daily lives, allowing the body to naturally repair and heal itself from all that we put it through every day. However, with more and more people overworked, taking less and less vacation days, and facing the numerous challenges that come with day-to-day life, it is no wonder that, according to the Institute of Medicine, an estimated 50 to 70 million Americans suffer from a sleeping disorder of some kind.

In particular, surveys conducted by the American Psychological Association have shown that stress is getting in the way of people getting enough quality hours of sleep each night. The recommended amount of sleep is 7 to 9 hours and the average is around 6 hours per night—two hours less per night of sleep. Further, surveys have found that those adults averaging less than 8 hours of sleep per night have also reported higher levels of stress.

Stress can create a number of symptoms within the body, including both physical and psychological conditions, that can make it difficult to sleep. For those that experience chronic stress, they may also suffer from anxiety, depression, and excessive worrying. These can keep the mind extremely busy with a variety of thoughts and concerns that make it hard to shut off the brain and allow your mind to simply slow down and rest. If you think you may have a chronic sleep disorder, do not hesitate to contact your sleep disorder specialist in New York City to discuss your options.

Tips for Managing Stress and Getting Better Quality Sleep

Simply hoping or wishing that the stress will go away is not realistic. Some stresses are caused by factors outside of your control. While stress is inevitable, there are things that you can do to help manage and deal with your stress, and therefore get better quality sleep at night.

Create a Regular Bedtime Routine

Part of creating healthy sleeping habits is learning to create a new routine around bedtime. This includes working to get to bed at the same time every night, helping your body become accustomed to when your body should naturally begin to wind down and get ready for rest. The goal should be to start from when you normally have to wake up and work back from there, adding 15 to 30 minutes to your average bedtime to increase the amount of sleep you get in each night.


As any sleep disorder specialist in New York City and they’ll agree. In today’s world, you have to be very intentional about disconnecting. With social media and the development of smartphones, people are seemingly forever connected. Find a way to unplug from not only social media, but also your electronics (tablets, TV, eReaders, etc.) a minimum of 30 minutes before you go to sleep.

While fun most of the time, social media can also be a source of a great deal of stress, anxiety and even depression in people as they engage in political debates, constant comparisons and use social media as a means of measuring their level of success (and failure) in life. So, find a way to disconnect and, if warranted, perhaps consider disconnecting from social media for a while all together and see how this impacts your stress level and sleep.

Turn the Lights Down

As you begin to dim the lights, you will begin to prepare your brain for rest. Turn down the lights in the house as part of your bedtime routine and you will naturally begin to feel sleepier, regardless of the stresses of the day.


Meditation is a great way to help manage stress, utilizing a number of techniques to help naturally calm the body, bring awareness to the present, and some clarity during times that otherwise can feel chaotic and overwhelming. Even if you don’t choose to make meditation a part of your end-of-day or bedtime routine, regular meditation sessions will prove beneficial for overall stress management.


Journaling is another way to help manage stress, allowing you the time and space to process the things currently going on in your life, giving you a healthy outlet to reflect and get those things out of your head and onto paper. Like meditation, even if you don’t journal as a part of your bedtime routine, journaling is a great tool for stress management in general and will help you handle the stresses you may have that would otherwise hinder your sleep.

Diet and Exercise

Proper diet and exercise routines are an essential part to your overall health. While you should ideally not eat or exercise right before bed to avoid any digestive issues or an unwelcomed boost of energy, these things can have a tremendous impact on your sleep. When you are eating a balanced diet throughout the day and getting in some exercise throughout the day, you will find that these habits will not only improve your mood, but help to better manage the stresses that come your way and prevent you from getting the necessary sleep your body needs.

Your Sleep Disorder Specialist in New York City

If you are currently suffering from a sleeping disorder or are finding that stress is keeping you from getting the quality sleep that your body needs and deserves, contact the premier sleep disorder specialist in New York City, at Sleep MD today. Currently servicing those throughout the state of New York, including Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, Staten Islands and the surrounding communities, you can contact us online or by phone at 212-661-7077 to schedule a consultation today!

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