Symptoms of stress and sleep problems

If you are having ongoing sleep problems, consider whether you may be under a lot of stress. Stress is a normal part of everyday life, but an increase in stress can cause physical and emotional problems. Symptoms of stress include:

  • Difficulty sleeping or a change in your sleep pattern.
  • Headache, stiff neck, or nagging backache.
  • Rapid breathing or rapid heart rate.
  • Sweaty palms.
  • Upset stomach.
  • Irritability.
  • Fatigue.
  • Inability to concentrate, to remember, or to make decisions.

Changes in life's expectations or demands may lead to stress. Changes in marriage or other relationships, work, financial difficulties, or family obligations all may increase stress. It is important to evaluate all aspects of your life, because stress can build up over time. If you think that stress is causing your sleep problems, work with your health professional to develop a plan to reduce your stress level and promote sleep.

Last Updated: December 8, 2008

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