Health and Wellness

Can't Sleep? Rethink How You Cope With Stress

Can't Sleep? Rethink How You Cope With Stress

Studies show that 15 to 20 percent of adults struggle with short-term insomnia that lasts less than three months. Any deficits in sleep can cause a variety of health problems, and researchers have recently discovered one likely contributor to short-term insomnia: poor coping mechanisms for stress.

It is not unusual to feel stressed by major changes in your life, but depending on how you deal with that stress, you could develop short-term insomnia, according to a new study published in the journal Sleep.

Avoidance and alcohol do not help:

To understand how coping mechanisms for stress can affect sleeping patterns, a research team from the Sleep Disorders & Research Center at Henry Ford Hospital conducted a study that included nearly 2,900 participants, none of whom had a previously documented history of insomnia. All study subjects filled out a questionnaire in which they described any stressful events they experienced in the past year – financial problems, divorce, the death of a loved one and so on – the severity of the stress they felt and the ways in which they coped. A year after this questionnaire was filled out, the researchers followed up with the study participants to assess who experienced sleeping problems at least three nights a week, followed by daytime distress.

Results showed that insomnia was most common in people who coped with stress by drinking alcohol, taking recreational drugs, distracting themselves with television or other activities, or who took no action to deal with stress. Furthermore, researchers found that about 69 percent of the impact that stress has on sleeping problems can be explained by recurrent thoughts about any difficult life changes.

Positive stress management promotes better sleep:

The authors of the new study emphasized that, although people cannot control stressful events in their lives, they can control how they react to them. If you feel overwhelmed by stress, consider creating a personalized health plan that can incorporate techniques for managing stress, including:

  • Focusing on the positive
  • Trying cognitive behavior therapy to change the way you react to stressful events
  • Regularly exercising
  • Engaging in stress-reducing activities, such as listing to music, playing with a pet or taking a vacation
  • Openly discussing your feelings
  • Relaxing

Along the lines of relaxation, one of the most significant and empowering changes that you can make is learning and practicing mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR).

In addition to promoting mindfulness meditation, a holistic approach to sleep problems can include healthy dietary choices as well as an increased level of daily physical activity – both of which may help you feel better able to cope during times of stress. Ultimately, effective stress management can help you sleep more peacefully and enable you to be more prepared for tackling everyday challenges.

Talk to your SunTrust Private Wealth Management advisor about connecting you with PinnacleCare to learn more about holistic approaches to stress management and better sleep. Learn more about SunTrust Private Wealth Management.

This post originally appeared on PinnacleCare is an unaffiliated third party private health advisory firm that provides support for a broad range of healthcare needs and assistance with health risk management and planning.

This content does not constitute legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment advice. You are encouraged to consult with competent legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment professionals based on your specific circumstances. We do not make any warranties as to accuracy or completeness of this information, do not endorse any third-party companies, products, or services described here, and take no liability for your use of this information.


Investment and Insurance Products:

Are Not FDIC or any other Government Agency Insured   Are Not Bank Guaranteed  May Lose Value 

© 2018 SunTrust Banks, Inc

equal housing logoSunTrust Bank is an Equal Housing Lender. Member FDIC

equal housing logoEqual Housing Lender. SunTrust Mortgage, Inc

SunTrust, SunTrust Mortgage, SunTrust PortfolioView, SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, SunTrust Premier Program, AMC Pinnacle, AMC Premier, Access 3, Signature Advantage Brokerage, Custom Choice Loan and SunTrust SummitView are federally registered service marks of SunTrust Banks, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Services provided by the following affiliates of SunTrust Banks, Inc.: Banking products and services are provided by SunTrust Bank, Member FDIC. Trust and investment management services are provided by SunTrust Bank, SunTrust Delaware Trust Company and SunTrust Banks Trust Company (Cayman) Limited. Securities, brokerage accounts and insurance (including annuities) are offered by SunTrust Investment Services, Inc., a SEC registered broker-dealer, member FINRA, SIPC, and a licensed insurance agency. Investment advisory services are offered by SunTrust Advisory Services, Inc., a SEC registered adviser. GFO Advisory Services, LLC is a SEC registered investment adviser that provides investment advisory services to a group of private investment funds and other non-investment advisory services to affiliates. Mortgage products and services are provided by SunTrust Mortgage, Inc.

SunTrust Mortgage, Inc. - NMLS #2915, 901 Semmes Avenue, Richmond, VA 23224, 1-800-634-7928. CA: licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Residential Mortgage Lending Act, IL: Illinois Residential Mortgage Licensee #MB-989, Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, 100 W. Randolph, Suite 900, Chicago, IL 60601, 1-888-473-4858, MA: Mortgage Lender license #-ML-2915, NJ: Mortgage Banker License - New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance, NY: Licensed Mortgage Banker—NYS Department of Financial Services, and RI: Rhode Island Licensed Lender.

"SunTrust Advisors" may be officers and/or associated persons of the following affiliates of SunTrust Banks, Inc.: SunTrust Bank, our commercial bank, which provides banking, trust and asset management services; SunTrust Investment Services, Inc., a registered broker-dealer, which is a member of FINRA and SIPC, and a licensed insurance agency, and which provides securities, annuities and life insurance products; SunTrust Advisory Services, Inc., a SEC registered investment adviser which provides Investment Advisory services.

SunTrust Private Wealth Management, International Wealth Management, Business Owner Specialty Group, Sports and Entertainment Group, and Legal and Medical Specialty Groups and GenSpring are marketing names used by SunTrust Bank, SunTrust Banks Trust Company (Cayman) Limited, SunTrust Delaware Trust Company, SunTrust Investment Services, Inc., and SunTrust Advisory Services, Inc.

SunTrust Bank and its affiliates do not accept fiduciary responsibility for all banking and investment account types offered. Please consult with your SunTrust representative to determine whether SunTrust and its affiliates have agreed to accept fiduciary responsibility for your account(s) and if you have completed the documentation necessary to establish a fiduciary relationship with SunTrust Bank or an affiliate. Additional information regarding account types and important disclosures may be found at

SunTrust Robinson Humphrey is the trade name for the corporate and investment banking services of SunTrust Banks, Inc. and its subsidiaries, including SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, Inc., member FINRA and SIPC.