High levels of stress lead to a poor night’s sleep. Stress activates the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, a system of tissues and organs that helps your body respond to stress by increasing energy and decreasing tiredness.

Signs of stress

Stress can sometimes lead to unexpected symptoms, such as:

  • Tiredness
  • Headaches
  • Stiff or painful muscles and joints
  • Digestive changes like indigestion, diarrhea, or constipation
  • Weight changes
  • Sexual problems
  • Memory problems
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Increased use of drugs or alcohol

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Colleen Ehrnstrom's profile picture
Dr. Colleen Ehrnstrom, PhD

Dr. Colleen Ehrnstrom is a licensed clinical psychologist with a specialty practice in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). Areas of expertise include insomnia and other sleep disorders, anxiety, and depression.

Dr. Ehrnstrom is not a medical provider and is not providing any recommendations regarding medications. Rather, she is sharing and reviewing the research as it relates to education when learning how best to treat insomnia.

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