Why Does Stress Make it Hard to Sleep?

Human biology is a part of stress. It allows us to quickly react and act in dangerous or challenging situations. Too much stress can lead to sleep disruptions and poor health. But why does stress make it hard to sleep, exactly?

Why Does Stress Make it Hard to Sleep?

Sleep is an essential resource that helps you stay healthy, mentally sharp, and more able to deal with stress. People who are stressed or busy tend to get less sleep than they need. Below, your sleep doctor in New York City will discuss how stress can impact sleep quality and how poor sleeping habits can lead to increased stress levels. We offer practical advice on how to manage stress, improve sleep habits and provide other useful information.

Understanding Stress

The brain releases hormones such as adrenaline when it is faced with stressful situations. These hormones can cause an increase in blood pressure, blood tension, breathing, heart rate, and blood sugar as well as increased alertness, decreased pain sensitivity, and slower digestion. These hormone changes can help someone face a challenge head-on or escape to safety.

Chronic stress can lead to serious health problems if it is not addressed. It is therefore important to recognize and address stress triggers and other sources in your daily life.

How Does Stress Affect Sleep?

Chronic stress can cause dysregulation of the sleep/wake cycle. This is the internal clock that informs the body when it’s time to go to bed and when it’s time to wake up. People who experience stress throughout the day are more likely not to fall asleep easily and have poor sleep quality. Stress can reduce deep sleep and rapid-eye-movement (REM), which are both important for physical and mental health. Stress can affect the emotional content and patterns of dreams.

Signs of Stress-Related Sleep Deprivation

You may be experiencing a lack of sleep for many reasons. Here are some sure-fire signs that chronic stress is leading to a lack of sleep. If you are experiencing these, you should visit your sleep doctor right away:


Many people bring their work home, metaphorically or physically. It makes sense, given today’s hectic work schedule, it can be difficult to return home after a day of troubleshooting and not think about the trouble.


You can lose sleep if you live a busy, hectic life. You may feel tired all the time if you keep putting off your bedtime to accomplish more or get up earlier to achieve productivity.


Anxiety, like overthinking can make sleeping difficult and keep you awake at night. And anxiety can keep your mind busy, as you think of threatening scenarios and worry about what might happen next. It is possible to become obsessed with solving problems. Your cortisol levels can rise, which can make it harder for you to sleep.

How to Get the Best Sleep

If you’re struggling to sleep, it is time for a big routine change. These are some habits that can improve your sleeping health over time:

  • Be consistent. Try to fall asleep and wake up at the same time every day.
  • Get moving. You will fall asleep easier if you are physically active during the day.
  • Your bedroom should be quiet, dark, comfortable, and relaxing.
  • Take electronic devices such as smartphones and computers out of the bedroom
  • Before bed, avoid large meals, caffeine, or alcohol

Follow these quick tips and get in touch with our sleep doctor if you need additional attention for your sleep-related troubles.

Fall Into the Best Sleep Today!

At Sleep MD NYC, we offer the very best sleep apnea and insomnia treatment in NYC for patients of all ages. If you are worried that undue stress is causing you to forego much-needed sleep, get in touch with us ASAP. We can set up a custom treatment plan to get your health back on the right track.

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