Without a doubt, stress affects sleep. Indeed the two together are not good bed partners! What's more, stress and lack of sleep feed each other and so you end up in a vicious cycle. Your life starts to feel like you're on a not so fun merry-go-round that you just can't get off. Stress affects sleep in such a way that you can start to feel physically and mentally ill. The problem is that you find yourself getting even more stressed because of the lack of sleep that you're getting. You lie awake at night cursing your brain for being too busy at night. Conversely, by day you're cursing your lack of sleep for feeling so exhausted that you could easily get an audition for the latest zombie movie.
Stress affects sleep in such a way that your life can start to feel unmanageable. However, there can be light at the end of the tunnel, or should we say slumber at the end of the night! Here we will try to break down how stress affects sleep and how you can overcome it.
Stress causes cortisol, the stress hormone to rise. This pesky hormone can put you on edge and make you feel overly anxious. You lay in bed worrying about anything and everything. In fact the longer this vicious cycle continues the more cortisol pumps through your body and the less likely you are to get a restful night slumber.
This then begins to affect the body in a number of other ways. Without restful sleep your body is unable repair itself fully. Indeed, there are lots are illnesses that can be caused or made worse by lack of kip. From high blood pressure, to depression to teeth grinding and lots of other ailments in between. Yep, its safe to say that stress and lack of sleep are a serious health hazards that should not be ignored. The NHS even highlight the affects of stress on sleep here
Unfortunately, this is the difficult part. It's easy to get into this viscous cycle but getting out of it can seem insurmountable. There are endless books on the subject. This proves just how difficult this problem is. However, some strategies that you might want to try are as follows:-
This can feel like catch 22. You're too tired to exercise so you skip the gym and head for the couch. You think this will make you feel more rested. However, study after study has proven that exercise can be as powerful for the mind as medication can.
Journal Your Thoughts
Getting your thoughts out of your head and on to paper can be a powerful tool. You may feel like journaling is for teenagers but if you haven't tried it before give it a whirl. You might be surprised!
Use Essentials Oils
Different smells can evoke different feelings. Lavender, for example, is well known for its relaxing properties.
Turn Away From Technology
Googling why can't I sleep at night is a recipe for disaster!Try keeping away from all technology for at least an hour before you go to bed.
Soak Your Troubles Away
You may think a shower is a more economical use of time and water but a long indulging soak can be highly therapeutic.
You may think that alcohol helps with both stress and sleep but we're sorry to say it just adds fuel to fire.
Get A New Mattress
An uncomfortable mattress is not conducive to a good night sleep. If you need more advice on mattresses then click here
Sometimes stress affects sleep in such a way that you need outside help. If you've tried everything above and more, then don't be ashamed to go to your Doctor or another medical professional.