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Posted in After the Move, How-to on July 23, 2021
Daisy Wilson

Daisy was born in Salt Lake City and in her free time, she writes about moving and watches Charmed.

Have Trouble Sleeping After Long-Distance Moving? Here’s How to Overcome Adjustment Insomnia

Nearly 70 million Americans have some type of sleep disorder, and 30% of this figure is short-term sleeplessness. There are different types of this disorder, and the way it affects our health depends on how long it lasts. One of these sleep disorders is called adjustment insomnia, and it is the most common side effect of cross-country moving or change of environment.

Even if it is a common problem, people still don’t know much about it and how to deal with it. And if it’s not treated seriously, it can lead to other psychological and physical medical issues. Not to mention that being tired all the time can have life-threatening consequences – about 5% of people report falling asleep while driving. On the other hand, if you learn to recognize the problem and deal with it, your falling asleep will be child’s play. Keep reading and find out how to put an end to sleepless nights.

What Is Sleep Disorder – Symptoms and Types

How do you know you have insomnia? Learning insomnia symptoms, causes, and treatment is the first step you need to take to fight this condition. Trouble falling asleep is a problem for one out of every three adult Americans, and if you ever suffered from any kind of these conditions, you know it can affect your daily life in many aspects. Feeling fatigued and annoyed during the day and having trouble focusing on a task in front of you are just some of the consequences of not having enough sleep. Many factors can lead to sleeplessness – life choices, change of environment, stress, stimulants, alcohol, insufficient exercise, and work hours.

Aside from these exterior factors, some mental health issues like depression, generalized anxiety, and post-traumatic stress can be causes of sleeplessness. There are two general types of sleep disorder, chronic and acute or adjustment insomnia. And the factors that cause it will set a course for treatment. Here are some of the most common manifestations of sleep disorders:

  • Difficulty falling or staying asleep,
  • Fatigue,
  • Urge to take naps during the day,
  • Unusual breathing patterns,
  • Restlessness,
  • Unusual movement or other experiences while asleep,
  • Unintentional changes to your sleeping schedule,
  • Anxiety,
  • Hard focusing on work or school,
  • Lack of concentration,
  • Depression,
  • Weight gain.
Woman sitting on a couch after relocation with the cross-country moving company
Anxious feelings are just one of the manifestations caused by sleeping problems

What Is Adjustment Insomnia?

The simple answer would be that it is trouble falling asleep that lasts less than three months, usually brought by excitement and stress. For example, you may experience this condition while preparing your home for sale or after you relocating to another state. People have more difficulty falling asleep when they are away from home. Can you imagine how a move to another city or state can affect our dreams? This can especially be hard when relocating to another state alone. From the tediousness of finding a job in a new city to meeting new people and making friends, adjusting to a new house will be just as difficult, especially if you come to an empty apartment after a long day. Also, if you relocate from the West Coast to the East Coast, you should know that sleepless nights can occur because of different time zones. Either way, as long this condition is short-term, you can deal with it with some tricks and relaxation methods. But if these symptoms began to appear more and more, you should take further actions and maybe even get help from a medical professional.

What Is an Adjustment Disorder?

Adjustment disorder has different symptoms and definitions than common sleeping irregularity. It is an emotional reaction to a change in a person’s life. It is usually diagnosed in children and adolescents. Unhealthy reactions of your child to stressful events (such as divorce, relocation, the birth of a sibling, or the loss of a pet) that last for more than three months are considered adjustment disorders. And although adults can experience this problem, it is more prevalent among children.

If you are relocating with a newborn, you are in the clear, although you might lose some sleep for night change or feeding. But if you have older children, you might want to get some information about this so you can deal with it if it occurs. Aside from looking for a new pediatrician for your child, you should put finding a therapist or counselor on your moving to-do list if you think your kid will have some difficulties adjusting. Here are some symptoms to look out for:

  • Depressed mood,
  • Tearfulness,
  • Feelings of hopelessness,
  • Nervousness,
  • Worry,
  • Jitteriness,
  • Fear of separation.

What Are the Causes of Acute Insomnia?

As we mentioned earlier, there are two types of sleeping disorders – acute ones that last for a couple of days or a week and chronic ones lasting for a couple of months or even years. Most symptoms usually disappear once the major stressors are eliminated, and there is no need for any medical treatments in most cases. Still, if symptoms persist, your diagnosis will probably be chronic insomnia.

The most common stressors include financial difficulties, marriage problems, career problems, change of environment, and death. And, although we can’t control some stressors, some are easily manageable, like learning to live on your own or adjusting to a new house and city when relocate.

Long-Distance Moving and Sleeping Problems

Sleeplessness can occur as a result of anxiety about moving out even before you start packing dishes for your new home. Relocating to a new home is never easy and can cause a lot of stress but also excitement. In the end, the butterflies we feel in our bellies can lead us to sleepless nights. From hiring cross-country movers for long-distance moving services to making a decision on where to live, relocation demands a lot of time and energy. Even if you have the most efficient move with a professional packing service, you’ll still have many other things to worry about. And it is no wonder you end up staring at your ceiling all night.

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How Does Sleep Deprivation Affect Our Health

From physical to psychological problems, missing out recommended seven hours of bedtime can cause more than just feeling grumpy and fatigued. As you know, a good night’s rest is necessary for proper brain function, but chronic sleep deprivation can prevent normal functioning and information processing of your brain. And not only that – loss of concentration and mood swings will happen more often than you want.

All this can lead to serious mental health issues, even psychosis and hallucinations. A lack of sleeping can trigger mania in people with bipolar illness. But it can lead to other psychological issues as well. Here are some of them:

  • Impulsive behavior,
  • Anxiety,
  • Depression,
  • Paranoia,
  • Suicidal thoughts.

How Lack of Sleeping Affects Our Body?

If you spend a couple of nights tossing around and trying to close your eyes, you will probably start feeling some light manifestations of tiredness and grogginess. But the long-term syndromes may cause serious consequences to our health. Here are some of the illnesses that can be related to this disorder:

  • Memory issues,
  • High blood pressure,
  • Weight gain,
  • Loss of libido,
  • Poor balance,
  • Risk of diabetes,
  • Risk of heart diseases,
  • Stroke.
Man measuring a blood pressure
High blood pressure can be caused by a lack of rest

Learn to Help Yourself

If your sleeplessness is affected by your relocation to another city or state, you can probably deal with this alone with some stress management and meditation. When you plan your move to another city, make sure you think about this problem in advance, especially if you already had this kind of problem while on vacation or in someone else’s bed.

For starters, if you know that your long-distance moving company will not arrive with your items the same day you arrive, adjust your moving essentials to your stress relief therapy. Don’t make the common relocation mistake of not bringing with you your bedding and favorite pillow. Also, when packing bathroom items, make sure to bring a Lavanda-based bathtub bombshell. Lavanda is excellent for relaxation before bedtime.

Should I Consider Behavioral Therapy?

On the other hand, if you want to know how do you fix severe insomnia, a relaxing bath will not be of much help. If you experience sleep deprivation for a longer period and if it starts to impact your daily life, you should see a medical professional. First, they will need to examine your general health shape, review your medical history, and probably study you while sleeping. After a diagnosis is in place, they will recommend cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT-I. With this therapy, you will identify the causes of your problem. Strict behavioral exercises will get you to replace thoughts and patterns that are bothering you with healthy ones. Unlike sleeping pills, CBT-I will help you to overcome the hidden cause of your problem.

Do Medications Help With Sleep Disorders?

Sometimes the doctor will recommend using pills alongside CBT-I when a person is experiencing severe consequences like hallucinations and psychosis. In this case, pills are only used to manage the ramification of this problem and not the actual cause.

It is recommended only to take drugs with the permission and supervision of a therapist, and with CBT-I in place, he will decide when your meds should be canceled.

Check out this video for more info on how will pills and therapy help you.

YouTube video

Buy Materials and Products That Will Make You More Comfortable

When relocating to another state, you might end up without your belongings for a couple of days. Or maybe you decided to put your stuff in a storage facility until you settle in. Either way, when making a new apartment checklist, make sure to include some good quality materials that are only designed to help you have a good night’s rest. These sleeping products can easily fit your box of essentials, so even if you wait for your long-distance movers for days, you will be able to get some rest. And we all know if you prevent deprivation in sleeping in the beginning, you will easily adjust and won’t have any problems letter on.

Also, if you and your family get used to sleeping on your mattresses, you can ship one car with an auto transport service (a part of your long-distance moving services) and drive another and transport mattresses this way. But if this plan seems like a lot for you, make sure to find long-distance movers near me that will coordinate your arrival and your belongings to the detail.

Finger and diffuser
A diffuser and essential oil might do the trick

Arrange Your House to Feel Like Home

Once you are all settled in, it is time to implement some decorating ideas you always dreamed of. But if you wish you and your family to get used to your new house faster, it would be good to fill it out with some of your belongings. So, when deciding what to keep when moving, make sure to include some of the memories and items that will make your new home feel like the one you’re used to. Don’t forget to pack some pots and pans in your essential box so that you can make a nice family diner upon your arrival. There is no better way to bring up the memories and get rid of nostalgia than with the smell of the delicious food.

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