July 26, 2021 Posted in Coping with Relocation By Blake Shaw

What is Adjustment Insomnia and How to Deal With It When Moving Cross Country?

Lack of sleep can impact a person’s life, but there is more to this condition than people realize. Approximately 70 million Americans have some kind of sleeping disorder, and almost 30% of adults experience short-termed or adjustment insomnia during their lifetime.

Short termed sleeplessness can be caused by many different factors

As the name says, adjusting to a new environment can cause sleep deprivation. This usually happens when people move cross country, but not all people suffer from it. However, if you happen to be preparing for the relocation, it is advisable to get to know the causes, symptoms, and all the ways to treat this unpleasant sleep disruption.

What Is Adjustment Insomnia?

Adjustment or acute insomnia is a difficulty in falling asleep and maintaining it. It can last up to a few weeks. This medical condition can occur at any age. However, it is more common in older adults, especially women. People suffering from it are usually dealing with a stressful period in life. The stressor can be anything from financial and health problems to relocation.

This type of disorder usually disappears, and a person returns to their normal sleeping patterns when the problem is resolved. However, there is a chance that it can evolve into chronic sleep deprivation. This happens due to poor stress management, anxiety, and lack of sleep hygiene.

Most of the time, the disorder doesn’t require treatment because it is short-lived. However, if the disturbed sleeping pattern is causing distress in your day-to-day activities, the doctor can prescribe you some kind of sleeping medication. The important thing is to pay attention to symptoms, and if they last longer than a few weeks, know that you should seek professional help.

Is There More Than One Type Of Sleep Disorder?

When it comes to disturbed sleeping patterns, people can suffer from different kinds, and they can affect anybody. Depending on how long it can last, how it affects your sleeping pattern, and what the causes are, sleeplessness is classified into different categories. Besides adjustment insomnia, people suffer from:

  • Chronic insomnia means that you have trouble sleeping at least three days a week for a month. This type of disorder can be primary or secondary. The first one doesn’t have to have medical conditions attached to it, while the second one comes with additional problems.
  • Onset insomnia happens when you have trouble initiating sleep. It also can be a short or chronic disorder, and it can happen when you are moving. You might feel relocation stress or even deal with moving anxiety from all the things you have to do, which will disturb your sleeping pattern. Onset disorder is also followed by restless leg syndrome and periodic limb movement.
  • Maintenance insomnia manifests by waking up early and by difficulty staying asleep. It is a vicious circle of waking up and thinking about falling asleep without actually being able to. Furthermore, it can be caused by relocation depression because the thoughts of telling your parents you are moving or even telling your friends keep you tossing and turning without actually falling asleep.

If you want to learn more about different types of this condition, check the video below.

What Are Adjustment Insomnia Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment?

When there is something big changing in your life, you might forget to take good care of yourself. Suppose you are relocating from one place to another. You’ll have so much on the plate, so resting and sleeping less than usual might not seem like a big deal. However, even when you are moving to a new state and when you are figuring out who to notify about your move, your well-being should always be a top priority.

Knowing how to recognize symptoms of the sleeping disturbance is the first step in treating it. Besides lack of night rest, you might suffer from this condition if:

  • You are more irritable than usual,
  • You lack energy,
  • You have poor concentration, memory problems, and you are unfocused,
  • You are uncoordinated (more than you usually are,)
  • You have frequent headaches and acid reflux.

When you figure out how to recognize the symptoms, knowing acute insomnia causes will help you prevent this short-term disorder from becoming a chronic one. Besides changing the environment, this condition can be caused by extreme temperatures, noises, or light. Also, it can be caused by an uncomfortable bed, and that’s why one of the moving essentials should be a new, comfortable mattress. On top of that, moving cross country without a job, or even figuring out how to get one before the move, can cause sleeplessness.

Even though this condition is short-term deprivation, it sometimes can become a serious problem if not treated. Nevertheless, how should you know when sleeplessness is starting to become a real problem? Basically, if the lack of sleep starts interfering with day-to-day activities, you should see a doctor who will recommend the best treatment depending on your case.

Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy the Best Way to Treat Adjustment Insomnia?

Checking in with a doctor is the best thing you can do when a lack of good night’s rest becomes a problem. Depending on your case, professionals can recommend a few ways of treating the condition.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy or CBT

It has a long-lasting effect that goes beyond the end of treatment. This approach mixes different training and therapies that help people relax and fall asleep faster. It uses cognitive therapy, relaxation and sleep hygiene training, as well as stimulus control and restrictions.

Over-the-counter products

This means that doctors will recommend using antihistamines that can help you sleep better. However, they might cause daytime sleepiness as well. Some other products you might get to use are herbal supplements.

Prescription pills

Professionals might prescribe you some hypnotics that can improve your sleeping schedule, but a physician must supervise their intake. These drugs are typically prescribed for short-term usage.

How Can Moving Cross Country Affect Your Sleep and Mental Health?

Relocation statistics show that around 10% of all Americans move each year. Nevertheless, no matter what anybody’s reason to move is, people don’t deal with the change in the same way. Some feel excited, and some are overwhelmed by the amount of stuff that needs to be done.

Since relocation is one of the biggest events in people’s lives, it can cause insomnia like any other big change. The whole process of organizing the move and later adjusting to a new location can cause sleepless nights, which can lead to many emotional and health issues if not treated right away.

To avoid putting yourself through the wringer, learn what can cause you high levels of stress before, during, and after the move. That way, it will be easy to find a way to avoid emotionally draining situations, allowing you to have a good night’s slumber during the relocation.

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What Can Stress You Out Before the Move?

When you figure out where you should move, the real relocation process starts. With it come different responsibilities and a variety of moving-related tasks. Most of them are not activities you do on a daily basis, and not knowing how to perform them can cause adjustment insomnia. That’s why if you want to avoid spending sleepless nights before the move, prepare by learning what some of to most common causes of insomnia are:

  • Lack of time – relocation is a long process. You have to pack the furniture, as well as your clothes and the rest of the stuff in your home, which is a really time-consuming task. That’s why many stay up late and disturb their sleeping schedule.
  • Lack of packing supplies – you are packing fragile items, but at the same time, you are boxing up electronics. Both of these require different packing materials. If you run out of some or you are left without the best-sized boxes, it can lead you to worry about the safety of the belongings.
  • Unreliable long-distance moving company – falling victim to a moving scam or having unsatisfying, overcharged long-distance moving services can cause stress. You’ll spend a lot of your time worrying about the moving budget, and you’ll probably lose a lot of sleep.

What Things Can Cause Sleeping Disorders Once You Have Relocated?

When things arrive at the desired destination, and you are finally in the new house, you might think you are “safe” from adjustment insomnia, but you are not. There are many post-relocation situations that can cause sleepless nights, and they are:

  • Feeling jet-lagged – when changing a time zone, you might experience short-term, acute insomnia that will disappear just like a jet-lagged feeling.
  • Adjusting to a new environment – this doesn’t only mean getting to know a new city, but it also means you have to get used to a new house. For example, if you moved to a big city, adapting to noise can take some time and can cause short-term sleeplessness.
  • Missing itemsunpacking after the move can take up to a few weeks. However, while having things in boxes, you might be missing some objects that you haven’t even noticed in the old house. This can cause sleeping disturbance for a short time period.
Cross-country relocation, if filled with stress, can affect your sleeping patterns

What Are the Best Solutions Related to Relocation-Related Sleeplessness?

Before contacting doctors, you might want to try some simple solutions for your sleeping problems caused by the move. Some moving hacks can help lower stress levels and have a good night’s slumber during the whole relocation process.

Firstly, if you are not moving at the last minute, you’ll have enough time to make a checklist of all the things that need to be done. Planning the relocation will keep stress and anxiety at bay, making you feel secure and ready for a peaceful slumber.

Secondly, hire professional cross-country movers to lend you a helping hand. With the right cross-country moving company by your side, you won’t have to worry about packing up the kitchen, bedroom, or any other space in the house. Furthermore, with top-notch cross-country moving services that cover everything from professional packing to long-distance auto shipping, a huge chunk of relocation tasks will be taken care of. You’ll feel much safer and relaxed, which will lead to full night slumber.

Thirdly, when it comes to sleeping time, prepare your environment the best you can. Ensure that your room is as comfortable and relaxing as possible. Have a scheduled bedtime, and when you lie down, try to think about all the good things the move will bring. Also, play the sounds of nature like waves and rain – they will suffocate the loud noises from the outside.

Finally, prepare for sleeplessness. Sometimes, no matter how organized you are, your mind might play games and create scenarios that can keep you up all night long. To avoid getting frustrated about sleeplessness, write down your worries about both moving and insomnia. Don’t hesitate to ask for help, and the disorder won’t last long enough to disturb you in the relocation process.

Include movers in your relocation because they can handle many stressful tasks

Is Relocation Worth All the Trouble?

Anxiety, depression, and different sleeping disorders don’t seem like a fun way to start a new adventure, right? However, don’t let these medical conditions deter you from relocation. They might be uncomfortable and not easy to overcome, but when you finally do, all will be worth the trouble. As soon as you start adjusting to a new place, as well as the house and a bed, peaceful slumber is almost guaranteed.

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