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How does stress affects sleep and how to manage it


We all face moments of stress in our lives, but did you know that this stress can have a direct impact on how you sleep? Let's delve into how stress affects sleep and, more importantly, how you can manage it.


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How does stress affects sleep

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The accelerated world we live in is full of stressful factors. From work pressures to family worries, stress seems to be a constant companion. But have you ever wondered how this stress affects your sleep?


Stress and Sleep: A Complicated Relationship


Stress is not just an emotion; it is a physiological response to threats or challenges, and can come in many forms, whether due to work problems, relationships or unforeseen life situations. When this stress becomes chronic, it not only affects our mental health, but also our sleep.


It's a fact: stress can trigger insomnia or disrupt the sleep cycle. When we feel stressed, the body releases cortisol, a hormone that puts us in a state of alertness. And, as you can imagine, this is not conducive to sleep. The body's natural "fight or flight" reaction is activated, making falling asleep an uphill task.

Various studies have shown that chronic stress can trigger insomnia (1), nighttime interruptions and, in some cases, nightmares. In addition, lack of sleep can increase levels of stress-related hormones, creating a vicious circle.

Managing Stress for Better Sleep


Fortunately, there are ways to reduce the impact of stress on our sleep. To manage the impact of stress on sleep, consider the following strategies:


Relaxation Techniques and Routines:

Establishing a routine before bed, such as reading a book or taking a warm bath, can send signals to the body that it's time to relax.


Pause those worries. Practicing meditation, yoga, relaxation or deep breathing techniques can be the key to releasing stress before bedtime.


Various studies have shown that practicing meditation can reduce cortisol levels in the body (2), helping to combat stress and improve sleep quality.


Regular Exercise:

Exercise helps release tension and reduce stress levels. However, it's advisable not to exercise just before bed.


Set Clear Boundaries:

Try not to bring work to bed. Dedicate your bedroom exclusively to rest and intimate relationships.

Establishing a regular sleep schedule can also help.


Talk About It:

Did you know that talking about your worries can reduce your stress level? Whether with a friend, family member, or your sleep coach, sharing your concerns can relieve mental burden.


How does Stress Affects Sleep in the Long Term


Not managing stress can lead to chronic sleep problems and other health issues. Therefore, it is crucial to find effective ways to manage stress and ensure adequate rest.


Chronic stress and sleep disturbances over long periods can have lasting effects such as weakened immune system, memory problems, or increased risk of obesity and chronic diseases such as diabetes or heart disease.


In summary, sleep and stress are intrinsically connected. Stress can have a significant impact on the quality of our sleep, but with the right tools and techniques, we can manage it and ensure we get the rest we deserve. Learning to manage stress will not only benefit your mental and emotional health, but also the quality of your nightly rest.


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(1) Kang L. Review of the effects of chronic stress on human insomnia. [Internet]. 2023 Dec 20 [cited year month day]. Available from: https://dx.doi.org/10.54254/2753-8818/23/20231011. doi: 10.54254/2753-8818/23/20231011.

(2) Binu Ishika M. Investigating the impact of selfcare stress reduction strategies on cortisol levels. Glob J Med Clin Case Rep. 2022 Oct 12;9:261. doi: 10.17352/2455-5282.000161. Available from: https://www.peertechzpublications.org/articles/GJMCCR-9-261.pdf

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