Can stress cause sleep disorders?

This question was asked in Fountain Valley, California on 08/15/2013.
Can stress give you sleep disorders or are they developed some other way? I get stressed at my job, is that enough for me to develop insomnia or something? I haven't been sleeping well lately, only about 5 hours per night which isn't my usual. I'm wondering if this will turn into a sleep disorder.

Doctors Answers (4)

J. Douglas Hudson, MD, DABSM
Answered on: 8/26/2013

Yes, stress can result in a state of insomnia. Temporary insomnia, lasting for just a few days, is almost universal in that most everyone has experienced the problem. Stress is a common cause for brief bouts of insomnia. However, Once the insomnia lasts for a month or more it becomes "chronic" and is more difficult to treat. Treatment often requires a sleeping pill but investigating and addressing the underlying cause is very important. This method of treatment, called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) requires the expertise of a person trained in the technique. Early treatment of any form of insomnia is important.

SomnoDiagnostics, Inc.
Answered on: 8/22/2013

Stress is our response to daily life. It affects us emotionally, physically, and behaviorally. Too much stress can make us tense, anxious, and can cause sleep problems. When you sleep, your body rests and restores its energy levels. However, sleep is an active state that affects both your physical and mental well-being. A good night's sleep is often the best way to help you cope with stress, solve problems, or recover from illness. Common signs of stress include depression, sleep problems, tension, anxiety, work mistakes, poor concentration, and apathy, among many others. If high levels of unwanted stress are not properly managed, your health and sense of well-being can suffer. Therefore, it is important to learn how to manage stress.

Vector Sleep Diagnostics Center
Answered on: 8/20/2013

Stress may play a significant role in converting temporary or transient insomnia into a chronic one. Relaxation techniques are frequently used as part of cognitive behavioral therapy (or CBT) in the treatment of insomnia and they frequently work better than insomnia medications in the long run. Early intervention is always helpful before chronic problems develop. Psychologists and psychiatrists may help in this process of evaluating and treating stress related disorder too.

Jeannine Louise Gingras, MD
Answered on: 8/16/2013

Insomnia is the inability to fall asleep, stay asleep or wake early. Stress is definitely one cause of insomnia. You should talk to your primary care doctor or seek evaluation by a sleep physician. Stress related insomnia can be well managed.