Adjustment Insomnia – How Common It is and How to Overcome It

Posted in Coping With Relocation,How-to on July 20, 2021

By Kate Holland

Leaving one place you got used to without feeling any repercussions is a feat not to be taken lightly. However, many people who are moving across the country may not be able to pull it off and experience different levels of issues, such as adjustment insomnia or some other disorder caused by stress.

Acute sleeplessness is something that affects nearly 20% of adults at least once a year, while over 90% of adults will be affected by it at least on one occasion during their lifetime. It appears when we have to deal with a significant amount of stress and anxiety or when we’re experiencing depression. Since moving is considered one of the most significant stressors out there, it may cause sleep disruption. Whatever our reasons to move are, even if we were the ones that decided when and where to move, it may trigger some form of the disorder. But luckily, there are ways to overcome it.

What Is Adjustment Insomnia?

What is an adjustment disorder? You’ve gone the distance and managed to have a stress-free move. Your organizational skills have been put to the test, yet you’ve organized your move and taken care of every detail, from investing in cross-country moving services to unpacking in an instant. However, now you are in your new bed, tossing and turning, to no avail. Sleep avoids you no matter how tired you are. What is happening? And how do you know you have insomnia? Being deprived of regular sleeping means that the relocation stress has gotten to us. Adjustment or acute insomnia’s definition is that it’s difficult to maintain or even initiate sleep, and it may last from a few days to several weeks. If it goes on for months, it’s considered chronic.

A woman holding a pillow, having trouble sleeping after long-distance moving
Any form of stress may disrupt our sleeping schedule and become a chronic problem

Insomnia Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Insomnia is considered a common sleeping disorder, and it can affect anyone, but it typically occurs more in women and older adults. Acute sleeplessness is a short-term disorder that will lead to sleepiness during the day. Other symptoms include not feeling rested after waking up, difficulty falling asleep, and waking up too early. For those experiencing it after a relocation, it will be hard to focus on the benefits of moving.

Acute Insomnia Causes May Vary

Although it typically happens under some form of tension, there are different causes to it, and here is some information on different forms of triggers:

  • Experiencing a stressful event may be what triggered your troubles with sleeping. Moving to a new home is entwined with other changes in your life, such as getting a job in a new city and leaving friends and family behind. These are all major stressors, right behind the death of a loved one, divorce, or losing a job.
  • Environmental factors also affect our sleeping hygiene. It can be light, noise, temperature, or any other conditions in your environment.
  • Physical discomfort may also disrupt your rest. If you’re feeling pain or simply can not assume a comfortable position, it will mess up your sleeping schedule.
  • Different medications are prescribed for colds, allergies, or asthma and may trigger the deprivation of rest.
  • Mental health issues, such as anxiety about moving out and depression, can also cause this disruption.
  • Consuming caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco can be the reason behind your sleep disruption.

Other causes may also be changes in the work schedule, such as night shifts, other sleep disorders, and issues with your well-being.

A glass mug full of brewed coffee
Consuming large quantities of caffeine may significantly reduce your chances of good nights rest

How Do You Fix Severe Insomnia and Stop It From Deteriorating Your Health?

While seeking medical help is probably the best thing to do if you’re experiencing severe issues with your well-being, some solutions may help you overcome disruption to your sleeping hygiene. Perhaps it can be more difficult to remain disciplined when it comes to some practices after you’ve relocated to another state alone, but keep in mind it’s about your health. Essential tips include sticking to a specific schedule and keeping your sleeping hours consistent. Other things that can help are activity during the day and checking if your medication suits you. Also, try to avoid excessive use of caffeine, alcohol, and cigarettes, and skip large meals before going to bed.

Behavioral Therapy May Be Right for You

You may very well be aware that the reason behind not getting enough rest is your relocation process. Worrying about the moving budget or perhaps how much do movers cost can be the direct cause of a sleeping disruption, and you may not be able to overcome it alone. The next step towards beating this issue is seeking medical attention or therapy. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for sleeplessness (sometimes referred to as CBT-I) is an effective treatment for problems with sleeping. It can help you control and also eliminate any worries that keep you from falling asleep. There are several different techniques that your therapist may recommend based on your needs. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine can help you locate a certified center.

Some Sleep Disorders May Require Medication

Whether figuring out how to live on your own is causing you to worry too much and have trouble sleeping, or you have something else causing it, realizing that you have an issue is the first step toward treating it. If you’ve already tried different approaches to solving it, and none of them worked, you should grasp the problem from a different angle. Doctors will prescribe medications in some cases, and it can be different sleeping pills that will treat the disruption of your rest. It’s usually prescribed for a short period of time, and it’s combined with healthy sleep hygiene and therapy.

Capsule on a palm
In some cases, doctors will prescribe sleeping pills based on the diagnosis

It Can Impact Your Well Being Both Physically and Mentally

We can’t emphasize enough the importance of a good night’s rest. It is as important as eating healthily and getting regular exercise. If you are experiencing disruption in your sleeping schedule, it can cause weight gain but also increase the risk of diseases in both adults and children. If it continues to impact your life, seeking medical attention and getting a diagnosis might be the right decision.

Physical Issues Caused by Sleeping Disruption

You may feel some immediate negative effects on your hormones and brain function, and it may mean you are more likely to experience different physical health problems. Issues with your well-being include risk of diabetes, loss of sexual drive, and various memory issues. You can even be at risk of strokes and other heart-related diseases. The drop in concentration can pose an immediate risk for your life if you drive or do some physical work at your place of employment.

Psychological Problems Brought by Lack of Rest

Lack of a good night’s rest is not to be joked about as it can affect your mental state, too. Feeling less patient to having constant mood changes will directly influence your creativity and decision-making processes. In more severe cases, such as bipolar disorder, lack of regular sleeping can trigger mania. Other psychological risks include having hallucinations, being impulsive, and leading to depression and suicidal thoughts.

An anxious woman
If we ignore it, lack of rest can have a profoundly negative impact on our well-being

Relocations Are Huge Stressors and May Cause Disruption to Sleeping Schedule

Relocating has us running around doing all sorts of things. We are trying to figure out how to get a job before we move and make sure we don’t end up broke in an unfamiliar place and write down all possessions on a household inventory list. By trying to stay on track with all of these tasks, we are bound to get under a lot of stress, leading to severe symptoms such as sleeplessness, anxiety, and depression.

How to Overcome Stress and Adjustment Insomnia Connected to Move

Going through a DIY move may seem like a good idea, but pulling it off is rather tricky. Relocating during coronavirus, driving by yourself, and planning the stops along the way will all add up to stress and cause sleeping disruption in the end. The best way to avoid it is to contact reliable cross-country movers and invest in different solutions for your move. You may choose a packing service, so you’ll avoid stressing out about securing your positions, and you can pay for a car shipping service and have your vehicle transported to your new address. This will all allow you to have some breathing room and take care of other stuff. It will lead to lower tension levels in the end.

Good Organization Is Always the Key to Avoid Unnecessary Tension

There are some stressful events in our life that we can not control, but relocations are not among them. We can keep track and organize many parts of it. If we pack a bag of moving essentials, it will make sure we don’t end up in our new home without the bare necessities, which would only lead to panic. Having a new apartment checklist and keeping it close will help us settle faster and avoid unnecessary tension. There are many ways around stressful situations, but keep in mind that you should visit a doctor if the sleeping disruption gets out of hand.

A to-do list ready for the long-distance movers
Making a to-do list will significantly relieve you of any tension

If You Have Trouble Getting Rest in Your New Home, Try Different Materials for Bedding, or Some Soothing Routines

You’ve gone through the move with less stress than you thought possible because you were smart enough to keep every task written down in your moving binder. Your belongings were stored in the cross-country moving company’s storage units, and you had time to buy some new things. But no matter how tired you are and how good your sleeping conditions are, you can’t seem to get any rest. A good piece of information we can give you is to perhaps try and get some comfortable pajamas or bedding made of natural materials and fabrics, such as cotton or silk. Another good approach is listening to soothing music before getting to bed and practicing a healthy activity during the day. Try to eat healthier, and perhaps attend a yoga class, because it may help you relax better. Relaxing music may also be just what you need. In the following video, you can hear about different types of sleeplessness.

Adjust and Sleep Better at Night

Natural sunlight or bright light we receive during the day can help you keep your circadian rhythm, so one of the things to do after relocating is to spend as much time as possible outdoors. This will improve your nighttime rest quality, as well as your sleeping duration. When you are well-rested and full of energy, your health will be in good condition. You can focus on things like stopping getting mail for previous residents and giving yourself some free time to make friends in a new city.

Kate Holland