Can Burnout Cause Insomnia?

It is midnight, and you cannot wait to sleep, but then you notice that you forgot something in your job, and the restlessness of the day continues. Burnout is a state of mind that negatively affects your health. The amount of unresolved stress can accumulate and have long-term implications for your body, heavily affecting your quality of sleep. 

Burnout can cause insomnia. Although other external factors can affect and cause you to have a lower quality of sleep, burnout and insomnia go hand in hand.

There are many ways you can discover whether or not your insomnia is being caused by the effects of burnout. Read on to learn all about how burnout causes insomnia and how to tell if your insomnia is caused by the burnout you may be experiencing in your life.

Can Exhaustion Cause Insomnia? 

Exhaustion, or “burnout,” is one of the most common causes of insomnia in young adults. What many people do not realize is that burnout and insomnia go hand in hand. It is a two-way street, and burnout-induced insomnia cannot be solved without solving the root of it, which is exhaustion. 

Exhaustion can have many negative effects that can affect your quality of sleep at night:

  • People that are sleep deprived are most likely to suffer from mental conditions that can affect them in their day-to-day performance.
  • Burnout can cause a person to feel anxiety and depression. 
  • It can cause someone to develop sleep disorders like insomnia that can be hard to solve the longer they occur. 

A study made by pediatric sleep consultant, Lucy Wolfe, discovered that more than 16 percent of the Irish population suffers from some sort of sleep deprivation syndrome or insomnia, which makes it one of the most sleep-deprived and burnt-out countries in the world for young adults. 

These results explain that a majority of people find it hard to sleep at night due to the stress caused by their jobs. In a culture deeply embedded in working hard, it is sometimes hard to find a balance between what can be good for your health and what can be good for your career. 

The Effects of Exhaustion and Burnout

Burnout can affect anyone at any point in their lives. This often causes individuals to feel anxious about their state of mind, to the point where their day-to-day performance becomes negatively affected by the exhaustion they are feeling. It quickly turns into a vicious cycle. 

There are various signs that can tell a person whether or not they are suffering from exhaustion or burnout. Some of these symptoms include: 

  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Forgetfulness
  • Headaches
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Job dissatisfaction
  • High blood pressure
  • Difficulty focusing on certain tasks
  • Decrease in appetite and changes in diet
  • Decrease in libido 
  • Irritability

Each one of these effects can worsen with time if it is not taken care of. You should contact your doctor if you are having trouble falling asleep. As mentioned, one of the main effects of burnout is insomnia, which can worsen many of these symptoms as the days go by. However, there are multiple solutions that can be adopted to resolve many of these issues. 

How to Alleviate Insomnia Caused by Burnout

On average, an adult human being needs to sleep at least seven hours per day. If there is no consistency in the amount of sleep a person receives, the lack of sleep or sleep deprivation can lead to consequences that can affect their entire body.

It is recommended to take action with the goal of improving the quality of life of your body.

  • Set boundaries
  • Exercise daily
  • Minimize carb intake
  • Set aside time to wind down
  • Find a balance between life and work
  • Seek support
  • Try meditation
  • Make a routine and stick with it

These tips can help you alleviate the symptoms of exhaustion and improve the quality of sleep, which can be beneficial to your body and mind.                               

Set Boundaries

Limiting yourself to how much work you can do in a day can be beneficial to your overall health. Working too hard and too much is one of the main causes of burnout, and overexertion of work activities can have negative repercussions on your body. 

If someone is asking you for help after work, and you feel exhausted, it is important to know when to say “yes” and when to say “no.” after work, commitments that require you to overexert yourself are not recommended. Use this time to relax and take a break from unnecessary commitments. 


After a day of work, you may want to relax, and exercise might seem to break the purpose. But in reality, exercise helps you more than it negatively affects you. Exercising for at least 30 minutes per day can help you sharpen your focus, ease your mind and relax your body.  

It is a good method to relieve the stress of the day while making your body feel good by maintaining it physically healthy. Even a walk or 10 minutes of physical activities can help your body feel better in the long run. 

Minimize Your Carb and Sugar Consumption 

Eating too many carbs and sugar can increase your risk for depression or mood disorders that can chronically affect your health. Make sure to check your diet intake every day, consuming just the right amount of carbohydrates and sugars for your body. 

Everything in excess can have negative effects on your body. It is recommended to eat fruits and vegetables alongside your meal. A diet that is high in fruits and veggies can decrease inflammation in your muscles, helping you relieve stress while preventing you from suffering from changes in sleeping patterns. 

Set Aside Time to Relax 

It is essential to take breaks every so often. After a few hours of pressure, we can get caught up on work to the point in which we forget to take a break and relax. 

Relaxation techniques such as meditation can help you relieve stress. Complete activities that are not job-related such as creative activities, to create an effect opposite of the stress response. 

Find a Balance Between Life and Work

Not everything in life has to be related to work. It is important to find time when to work and set aside time for yourself. If work takes up too much time of your day, and you do not have time to enjoy it with friends and families, then you might easily suffer from burnout. 

Make sure to know when to work and when to take time for yourself. 

Seek Support  

If work is getting too much, and nothing that you do seems to be working out, then it might be a good time to receive the help of an expert that can help you. Whether that is co-workers, family, or friends, your collaboration with them can help you cope with your issue. 

If you have consulting services that can help you in your job, make sure to seek professional advice on how to improve your work-life balance. They are there for that reason. 

If you are noticing that you are having trouble falling asleep, and there the effects of the burnout are affecting you physically and mentally, then seek professional help from a doctor. This way, you will avoid further damage to your body. 

Try Mindful Meditation

Meditation is one of the best methods to relieve your stress and calm your mind. Meditation allows people to better cope with the stress that they are feeling while putting the mind at rest. 

This method allows you to better control your thoughts, behaviors, and emotions during this process. It is a moment of pure relaxation that allows the body to relax and enjoy the moment. Yoga can have a similar effect to this as well. 

This can also promote better sleep by helping your body from the inside, which is where most of the issue happens. 

Make a Routine and Stick with It

Routines, although monotonous, can have a great impact on your health. It allows you to easily set boundaries by knowing when to sleep, eat, and work.  

This makes it easier to find a balance between life and work, which is something you should strive for when it comes to fixing burnouts.


Insomnia is a symptom that commonly occurs when a person gets very burnt out from stress and exhaustion, especially due to work. This kind of insomnia can get worse over time. It is a dangerous cycle because poor sleep quality can lead to poor job performance and even more stress. It is important to find a work-life balance and find time to relax to regain a sense of peace.

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