Sleep and Stress: Are They Connected?

If you often wonder why falling off to sleep is so hard for you, despite the fact that you are bone tired, the culprit could be your high stress lifestyle. Yes, stress and sleep have a very deep connection, one that we are going to explore today.

 

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Stress can cause sleep problems

It’s believed that almost 70% of the population today suffers from stress and anxiety on a daily basis. It interferes with their life in many ways – hampering productivity, health and relationships, but it is also the number one cause for increase in the number of patients being treated for insomnia every year. Stress makes it hard for you to turn off your thoughts and calm the mind; it is otherwise called as a state of ‘Hyperarousal’ and it disrupts the delicate balance between wakefulness and sleep.

 

Blame Cortisol for your sleep troubles

When you are under a lot of stress, your body produces more of the stress hormone, called as Cortisol. Now cortisol is actually responsible for handling our body’s natural ‘fight or flight responses’, which means higher levels of cortisol in your body will keep you more alert. This is why, you find it hard to drift off to sleep, and even if you do, you have disrupted sleep patterns and cannot stay asleep for longer periods of time.

 

Over-thinking and Over-Scheduling

When you lead a stressful life, you always have something to do and something to think about. Your mind is always pushing your body to do a little more work, or to plan a few more proposals and the end result in that your brain has little to no time to unwind. In reality, before you sleep, your mind needs a little time to be able to comprehend that it is now time to call it a night, shut off and drift off. But when you are unable to turn off your mind and push bedtime further ahead, you are keeping your mind so busy that it doesn’t comprehend your signals to ‘turn off’ when you want it to. To put it in to simpler words, you disrupt the balance between wakefulness and sleep. As a result, even if you do get some sleep, it will not be restful and you will not wake you feeling refreshed because of poor quality of sleep.

 

Tips to sleep better

– Keep stress as well as anxiety out of the bedroom

– Keep a fixed time slot for sleep; even on weekends

– Develop a relaxing bedtime routine

– Exercise about 4 hours before bedtime; it helps beat stress, relaxes the body and promotes a healthier sleep cycle

– Practice meditation or deep breathing exercises before bedtime to turn off your mind

 

You may also like to read: Workaholic Alert: The Right Mantra To Combat Stress and Increase Productivity

7 Comments Add yours

  1. Dr mona says:

    yes, sleep is directly or indirectly related to stress. Thanks

    1. woodenitbeamazing says:

      Thanks Dr. Mona

      Could you also tell us a little more about what one can do to manage stress in a better way in order to improve sleep quality? Your inputs would be highly appreciated

  2. Very informative post. I try to exercise in the evening to let go of the daily stress and it helps me fall asleep at night.

    1. woodenitbeamazing says:

      Thanks for sharing, Lauren

      Yes, exercising is a great way to manage stress better.

  3. Such a relevant Post! We rate sleep as the number one aspect of any Fitness Program, even above nutrition and training!
    Thanks for the Like on the Blog too, If there are any specific Health or Fitness Posts you’d like to see, let us know!
    Cheers,
    Rich
    http://corehd.com.au

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