Stress And Lack Of Sleep: Breaking The Vicious Cycle

February 5, 2021


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When you’re stressed, you may find it harder to get to sleep at night. If you haven’t had enough sleep, you could find that you’re more prone to stress during the day. The result can be a vicious cycle. 

Both chronic stress and repeated lack of sleep can be terrible for our health. You could be putting yourself at an increased risk of heart disease, strokes and cancer. This is why it’s so important to break the cycle.

Below are just a few ways in which you can reduce stress and get more sleep.

Don’t burn the candle at both ends

To stay healthy, the average person needs a minimum of about seven hours of sleep per night. If you have to get up at 6am, this means that you should ideally be getting to sleep no later than 11pm. 

If you’re staying up late and getting up early, you won’t be getting a good night’s sleep and your body will respond by pumping your body full of cortisol (the stress hormone) in order to stay alert. While going to bed earlier may not be fun, it could be essential for breaking the cycle.

Consider your sleep quality

Sleep quality also matters. While you may be going to bed early, you may not be getting your minimum of seven hours sleep per night if you’re constantly waking up in the night.

Consider what is interrupting your sleep and how you may be able to solve this. Solutions could involve drinking less water in the evening if you keep going to the toilet or buying a new mattress if you can’t get comfortable. Not all interruptions are easily preventable (e.g. young infants waking you up) but there may still be ways of making them less frequent (e.g. sharing night feeds with a partner). 

Find ways to destress before bed

A lot of people struggle with insomnia - the inability to get to sleep. There are lots of things that can cause this such as looking at too many bright screens at night or consuming too much caffeine, however stress is one of the most common causes of insomnia.

By partaking in stress busting activities before bed, you may be able to more easily get to sleep. This could include having a hot bath, listening to music or meditating. Exercise can be a stressbuster for many people, but should be avoided before bed as it could pump you full of adrenaline, making you more alert.

Many herbal ingredients can have de-stressing properties and could be worth trying. A lot of people find that CBD relieves stress for them - you could consider buying a black vapor pen and inhaling some CBD before bed. Herbal teas such as peppermint, chamomile and valerian can also be used to combat stress. 

Avoid a stressful morning routine

After a good night’s sleep, it’s important that you don’t undo it all by creating a stressful morning routine for yourself. Morning stress can often be the result of not giving yourself enough time - if you’re rushing around and panicking, you’ll get stressed.

Allow yourself the option of a more leisurely morning by giving yourself two hours instead of one hour to get ready. This does mean getting up earlier (and possibly going to sleep earlier to ensure that you’re getting your seven hours sleep), however it could be the cure to stress. 

*contributed post*

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