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悩む男
悩む男

眠れない要因となるストレスを解消する5つの身体的アプローチ

悩む男

眠れない夜が続くと本当につらいものです。眠れない原因は様々ですが、ストレスが原因で眠れない夜を過ごす人が増えています。ストレス過多な現代の日本で、睡眠障害に悩む人は4人に1人とも言われています。ストレスで睡眠不足になり、そこから別の病気に発展してしまうこともあります。

最初はささいなストレスでも、長期的に続くストレスが解消できず不眠につながります。眠れないことで疲労回復できず、高血圧や糖尿病といった生活習慣病だけでなく、心臓疾患といった生死にかかわる病気にもなりかねません。眠れない原因がストレスだとわかっていても、心へのアプローチは難しいものです。肉体的にアプローチできるストレスケアで、眠れないという睡眠障害を緩和させましょう。

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眠れない夜にしてしまうストレスの関係とは

ケンカするカップル

ストレスチェックの設問の一つに、「夜眠れないことがよくある」と聞かれることがあります。睡眠の質には精神的な状態ととても大きく影響することがわかっています。strong>ストレスで眠れなくなるのはホルモンが関わっているためだと言われています。

ストレスがあるとコルチゾールやアドレナリンといったホルモンが分泌されます。ストレスによって血圧や血糖値を上げ、血管を縮めて、いつでも戦える準備をするのです。ストレスを感じて反射的に戦う準備のホルモンを分泌しているのに、理性では眠りたいと思う…肉体的な反応と精神的な感情の矛盾こそが眠れない夜を作ってしまうのです。脳での反応がアンバランスであり、眠れない反応ではなく、ウツなどの病気の症状として長時間寝てしまう過眠症が出る場合もあります。

ストレスが睡眠に与える影響があることはわかりました。しかし、一口にストレスといっても、精神的なものばかりではありません。ストレスはもともと物理用語で、外部からかかる圧力によってゆがみが生じた状態のことです。ストレスは誰にでも起こり得るもので、全くなくなることもありません。精神的なものだけでなく、気温や気圧、公害による環境からの影響、頭痛や腹痛といった別の症状から起こるものなど…ストレスは様々なのです。ストレスは常に存在しますが、それが身体へ影響してしまうのは、その刺激に対して適応しようとする身体や心の反応が出ているからです。

眠れない原因のストレスにも種類がある

ストレスが原因で眠れないとなると、多くの人がメンタル的なアプローチに悩みます。どうしたら心の負担が減るだろうか?と考えても、眼に見えることは少なく、何に対して強い不安やストレスを感じているのかさえわからないこともあるでしょう。しかし、ストレスには種類があり、心以外へのアプローチも可能なのです。

例えば、とても寒い夜に眠れないと感じた経験はないでしょうか?これも「寒さ」というストレスの影響によるものでもあります。仕事などで受ける精神的なストレスは少なくても、暑い寒いといった気温差や気圧差によって環境の変化による肉体的なストレスを感じることもあります。パソコンや携帯電話の利用時間が長く、好きなことをしているにもかかわらず、刺激過多となり脳に直接ストレスをかけている場合もあるのです。眠れないと悩むこともストレスにつながるため、考えれば考えるほど深みにはまってしまいます。

実際に人間関係などの精神的なストレスが大きく影響していたとしても、肉体的に受けているストレスを軽減させることで、眠れない夜が改善することがあります。肉体的に受けやすいストレスタイプを確認し、眠れないというストレスを緩和させましょう。

眠れない要因となるストレスを解消する5つの身体的アプローチ

人間関係や職場の事、家庭環境や金銭的なこと、様々な悩み事からストレスが起こり眠れなくなります。しかし、目の前の問題が解決しても、ストレスが消えるわけではありません。長期間のストレス反応が習慣となり、外からの刺激が減っても、反応は起こりやすくなるのです。だからこそ、肉体的にケアできるストレス反応を積極的に解消していきましょう。

眠れなくなる最大の肉体的ストレスは冷え…体を温めよう

冷え症の人も眠れない人が多いのです。体の冷えというのはかなりのストレスになります。また、ストレスがあると余計に血管が収縮し、末端が冷えやすくなるという悪循環になりやすいのです。夏場であっても腹巻をしたり、厚手の靴下を履くなどの工夫をし、温かい飲み物を飲むようにしましょう。また、お風呂にきちんと入ることもお勧めです。ストレスが多い人ほど、ゆっくり湯船に浸かることが苦手と感じる人もいます。その場合は、本を持ち込んだり、音楽をかけながらなど短時間でもお風呂に浸かる工夫をしてみましょう。眠れない夜だけでなく日常から冷やさないことが大切です。

血流が悪いから息苦しい…筋肉をゆるめる

寒さや疲れ、寝不足から血流が悪くなりやすくなります。脳をはじめとして血流が悪くなり余計に気分がめいってしまいます。こうなると、ますます体温維持が出来なくなり、筋肉が固まってしまいます。筋肉をゆるめるためには、適度な運動が必要です。軽いウォーキングを行うことで筋肉を刺激してあげましょう。お風呂でマッサージするだけでもゆるみやすくなります。どうしても面倒に感じる人は、ゆっくり動くことを意識してみましょう。焦れば焦るほど血流が悪くなりますよ。ゆっくりゆっくり動いてみてください。

心は後回し身体をプラス反応に…作り笑いで体操する

気持が落ち込んでいる時に元気になろうと思っても、なかなか難しいですよね。それができればストレスにはならないはずです。眠れないほどの精神的なストレスがあっても、心の前に身体をプラス反応に変えてしまいましょう。脳は作り笑いであっても本気で笑っていても、反応は同じであることが科学的に立証されています。作り笑いをしているうちに、ストレスホルモンでのコルチゾールが抑制され快楽ホルモンのエンドルフィンが出るそうです。落ち込んでいる時は笑えないものですが、ハハハハと声に出すだけでも効果があるそうですよ。また、笑いヨガという体操があります。全国にサークルがあるようですので、一度探してみてはいかがでしょうか?

ストレスで消費された栄養を摂る…食事を見直す

ストレスが続くと眠れなくなりますが、眠るためにも栄養が必要です。眠りを誘うホルモンにメラトニンがあります。メラトニンの材料はタンパク質やビタミンC、鉄分、ビタミンB群などがあります。ストレスに対応するホルモンも同様に栄養から作られるため、ストレスが多いほど栄養もどんどん消費されているのです。またストレスが多いほど、炭水化物に偏りがちになるとも言われています。一度食事バランスを見直してみましょう。

ストレス反応を増やすのは砂糖!甘いものをやめる

甘いものを食べるとリラックスすると感じる人は血糖値が不安定になっているかもしれません。ストレス解消に甘いものを食べていると依存してしまいます。甘いものが好きな人は低血糖になりやすいことがわかっており、そのためにホルモンバランスが崩れることもわかっています。日中のホルモンバランスが狂うと、夜も安定しなくなります。甘いものに依存するより、日常の食事を大切にしましょう。

これでスッキリ!! ストレス解消 ぐちの壷 SAN2112
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まとめ

眠れない原因がストレスであっても、どうしたらいいか困っている人が多いように思います。眠れないと悩むほどに焦ってストレスとなれば悪循環になってしまいますよね。眠れないというストレス反応を緩和させるために、まずは外側からできるアプローチから取り組んでみましょう。

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