Work stress affects everyone at one time or another. Deadlines, endless meetings, physically demanding work, shift work, all of these will creep into our sleep time. There is no doubt of that at all. Balancing a busy and stressful professional life with rest and relaxation is not always as easy as one thinks.
Insomnia Due to Stress
Tossing and turning, watching the clock and listening to a racing mind are signs we are suffering from insomnia. When endless deadlines, chronic pain from demanding physical work, high-pressure customer service jobs start to wear us down, sleep is usually the first to suffer.
The less we sleep because our mind is racing or our body is sore, the worse we feel. The worse we feel, the worse we perform and then the worse we sleep again. Finding balance and stepping away from the rat race is required on a regular basis to restore some quality sleep time.
Out-Of-Sync Sleep Rhythm
The circadian rhythm is basically a 24-hour internal clock which signals the body to sleep or to be aware. It is often called the sleep/wake cycle. When we work in shifts, that is, during the night while everyone sleeps, and then you switch it up again after a few weeks, our sleep/wake cycle suffers.
Our bodies take a few days to adjust to these changes and can cause sleepiness, irritability, digestive issues and more. It is essential that we keep the same sleep hygiene or habits that promote relaxation and restorative sleep during day sleep as in night sleep.
High Blood Pressure, Diabetes and Depression
These are not often considered to be sleep disorders, however, working in loud factories, or highly stressful work environments can cause excess stress and disrupt our restorative sleep. This can potentially cause these types of disorders over time.
Our physical well-being is so strongly connected to our sleep quality that once we make that awareness, it is possible to develop sleep habits that can curb some of the stress and lack-of-sleep induced imbalances.
This is perhaps the most prevalent of causes of insomnia, and other sleep disorders. Whether we are a manager of a large corporation or work in a coffee shop, if we are not happy in our job, our sleep will be the first to suffer. The stress of job dissatisfaction breaks down our self-esteem and confidence, and we ultimately feel trapped in a thankless job.
Nightmares, sleepwalking or sleep talking can be the result of this type of job stress, and we may feel that we are living in an endless cycle. Ignored, these symptoms can worsen and cause our body and mind further harm. We need to address the issue without delay, and consider retraining to work in another area or industry. Your sleep depends on it!
We all wish for a dream job that checks off all of our must-have in order to be happy. When it is not always possible, we must always remember to shut off the company “noise” when we are at home and get balanced with things and activities that bring us joy!
Gerry, Your Sleep Expert