10 Tips for Sound Sleep Despite Interpersonal Conflicts

Interpersonal Conflict Insomnia

One of the most common causes of insomnia in the workplace or in the family is interpersonal conflict. Interpersonal conflict is defined as an expressed struggle between at least two interdependent parties who perceive incompatible goals, scarce resources, and interference from the other party in achieving their goals. There are several causes of conflict. The most common ones are differences between people, needs, power, perceptions, principles and values, emotions and feelings, and internal problems and conflicts within a person.

Interpersonal conflict is everywhere today: conflicts between workers and supervisors, manufacturers and suppliers, two different departments, yourself and the CEO, mother and daughter, husband and wife, and so forth. The cost of all this interpersonal conflict, while difficult to measure, is nevertheless incredibly high. Interpersonal conflict is at the heart of war, for example. It is at the heart of domestic violence, road rage, and hate crimes.

In the business world, interpersonal conflict has a tremendous negative impact on productivity, morale, employee turnover, and workplace violence. In schools, interpersonal conflict often erupts into violence and even death. Medical researchers have found direct links between interpersonal conflict and disease; psychologists have found similar links between interpersonal conflict and mental health.

Insomnia is a common symptom of interpersonal conflict. So what can we do? Given the fact that the world in which we live is literally filled with interpersonal conflict, it’s obvious we can’t always avoid it. How then do we manage it? When it comes to interpersonal conflict, here are some options you may want to consider: flight, fight, or unite. The choice is yours.

Flight means you can walk away. Interpersonal conflict can’t occur if only one person is involved. It always takes two. To walk away is to ignore the conflict, even if someone is being physically threatening to you. Walking away sends a strong message that you simply want to avoid the conflict, at least for the present. The other individual may interpret your action in a variety of ways, however, and this may actually escalate the conflict.

Choosing to fight is rarely the wisest choice. Even the simplest interpersonal conflict will escalate if you choose to psychologically or physically back your opponent into a corner and act threatening. And violence always escalates into more violence.

The best way to deal with interpersonal conflict is by uniting with those who want to engage in conflict in order to solve differences cooperatively. Talking through differences using respectful language and unthreatening body language can resolve most any conflict.

While major conflicts may require professional third-party intervention, the parties involved can resolve most interpersonal conflicts. Make it a point to resolve them. You’ll feel better, and you’ll sleep better.

Workplace stress is one of the commonest causes of insomnia. The following are a few tips on managing stress successfully:

  1. Learn how to manage your time. Many people are stressed because they have trouble completing tasks on time. Look at your schedule and set your priorities.
  2. Learn how to deal with conflicts. When handling a difficult situation, keep your cool. When tensions are elevated, stress results.
  3. Learn to fit exercise into your daily routine. Exercise is a great way to relieve stress, so make sure you find time to get moving.
  4. Learn to eat healthy. Stop eating junk food for meals and snacks, and start eating healthy foods. Your body will cope with stress a lot easier. Reach for a piece of fruit instead of that bag of chips.
  5. Learn how to express your emotions. Talking to a friend or co-worker about your feelings is a great way to combat stress. Don’t keep your feelings bottled up.
  6. Before retiring to bed, write down how you are going to deal with the conflict, then close the notebook and stop thinking about that person. I have found this immensely helpful.
  7. Read a religious book. Pray before putting your head on the pillow.
  8. Learn and practice mindfulness meditation. I found this instructional video by Jim Malloy immensely helpful.


  9. Learn progressive muscle relaxation. Try this 10 minute video by CoolKarma.
  10. Count your blessings and go to bed.
Sleep Well, Lead Well


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