Home HealthTopics Health Centers Reference Library Research
Join us on Facebook Join us on Facebook Share on Facebook

Anxiety and Stress Disorders

Lack of Sleep

06/04/2008

Question:

I am a middle aged female. I just recently moved to an apartment as a separation from my husband. I rarely get to see my son or daughter and I get hardly ANY sleep at night. I also work and wake up at around 6 o`clock. My refrigerator has 3 gallons of ice cream and mostly frozen dinners or already prepared ones. I can`t sleep at night. Is it just stress or can you give me any advice?? Also, is there any advice you have so that I can change my diet to more healthy eating???

Answer:

Sounds like there is some significant stress in your life, and maybe some depression, too.  I'm repeating below a previous answer I gave about some ways to deal with stress:

Certainly, when we are under stress, we suffer both emotionally and physically.  While everyone will experience stress in their lives, some people do seem better equipped to handle it than others  While some people seem to naturally handle stressful situations without letting it "get to them," in reality, it is a combination of both natural and learned skills that help us deal with stressful times.  While we can't change the temperament we were born with, or medical problems we may have, we can all learn better ways to handle stress.

When people feel overwhelmed, they may find it difficult to sleep, they may lose their appetite (or want to eat everything in sight), find it hard to concentrate and even seem to forget things more often.  When these symptoms last for many weeks, and especially if they are associated with sadness, tearfulness and a loss of interest in things, then a person might have depression, and should see a mental health counselor or primary care physician for an evaluation.

Healthy ways of dealing with stress can decrease uncomfortable physical and emotional symptoms.  Of course, actively working to decrease external stressors is helpful, but sometimes you have no control over a situation.  Remembering and following some of the following steps may help you improve your ability to survive stressful times more successfully:

Good Luck.

For more information:

Go to the Anxiety and Stress Disorders health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Nancy   Elder, MD Nancy Elder, MD
Associate Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati