Insomnia and stress

insomnia - the healing power of tears:

Stress Effect and How Crying Can Help


When you are stressed, your body releases stress hormones into the body. This puts us in a fight-or-flight versus a rest-and-digest mode. How can you expect your body and mind to sleep when they think there is still a tiger in the room?


You can’t sleep until these hormones fall to a level where you can rest and digest again.


Sometimes when you’re stressed, you just need to cry and release your emotions, but society has taught us that it’s not acceptable to cry. Holding back tears causes tension and creates more stress. Stress is a major cause of insomnia; it leads to dis-ease that leads to disease (heart problems, high blood pressure, stomach ulcers, and all sorts of other health issues).


Understanding Types of Tears


First, let me describe the three types of tears.


·      Basal tears: These tears lubricate the eyes so they don’t dry out.

·      Reflex tears: These waterier tears remove irritants. When you cut an onion, you cry reflex tears, which remove the irritating chemical that is released with the cutting action.

·      Psychic tears: These tears are due to emotional stressors (both extreme happiness and sadness) and are full of stress hormones.


The Healing Power of Tears


The best way to purge stress hormones from your body is to release your psychic tears.


Emotional (psychic) tears are composed of different compounds than the basal and reflex tears. They consist of protein-based hormones like adrenocorticotropic hormone (a type of stress hormone). I find it astonishing that the body removes excess stress hormones and other toxins by excreting them through the eyes in the form of tears. Crying is simply essential for the body to release stress, relax, and heal.


Not only do we gain physical benefits when we cry, but if we’re in the presence of others, we gain social benefits as well. We are social beings, and when we cry, we communicate our emotional state, helping others determine our needs. Even though the psychological aspect of the healing process is difficult to understand, many people agree that expressing sadness and getting a hug (or some sign of sympathy or empathy) help us feel better.


The complexity and interplay of the body’s systems never cease to amaze me. Medically, we often look at each part of the body in isolation. We fail to see how one part of the body can affect another, let alone consider how something like refusing to cry can affect your ability to sleep.

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565 N Walnut St,
Bloomington, IN 47404
(812) 336 - 2423

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