Understanding The Impact Of Stress On Sleep: Know Tips Manage Stress
Stress is harmful to your health in various ways. It can also affect your sleep pattern. Read here to know the impact of stress on your sleep and how to manage stress.
Too much stress can affect both mental and physical health
- Stress can make you eat more and lead to weight gain
- Regular exercise can promote better sleep
- A healthy diet also play a role in promoting sound sleep
Stress can affect a person's life in many ways. Although the right amount of stress can help an individual stay alert and energetic, too much stress can make you tense and anxious which can lead to sleep problems. If high levels of stress are not managed, the overall well-being of an individual can get affected. The process of sleep is of great importance and an essential human function. When an individual goes through stress, it reflects directly on the body and more importantly on their sleep cycles. When one's sleep is affected, their body does not get its benefits like optimum memory and muscle consolidation.
Sleep is so crucial that even a slight deprivation of sleep or poor sleep can affect memory, judgment and one's mood. In addition, chronic sleep deprivation can contribute to health problems, from obesity and high blood pressure to safety risks such as while driving.
Sometimes, individuals feel that they can "catch up" on their sleep but this is not healthy as the necessary benefits are not fully achieved when trying to catch up on sleep during odd hours of the day. Learning to manage stress and to not compromise on sleep is the key to handling a balanced life.
Tips for managing stress for better sleep
Although coping is very subjective, there are a few strategies through which one can alleviate their stress:
Assess what is stressful: The first step in getting a handle on stress is to figure out what is causing it. Are you overloaded at work? Once you identify your stressors, you can take steps to reduce them.
Practice thought management: You can learn to change thought patterns that produce stress to help improve your ability to manage overall stress better. Thoughts to watch out for include those concerning how things should be and those that overgeneralise sets of circumstances.
Exercise: Exercise can help blow off steam, thereby reducing stress. In addition, flexible, loose muscles are less likely to become tight and cause pain, in response to the associated stress.
Eat a healthy diet: Junk food and refined sugars, low in nutritional value and high in calories, can leave us feeling out of energy and sluggish. A healthy diet, low in sugar, with moderations in caffeine and alcohol intakes, can promote health and reduce stress.
Get adequate sleep: A good night's sleep equips one with the ability to tackle daily stress more easily. When you are tired, you are less patient and more easily agitated, leading to increased levels of stress. Most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Practicing good sleep hygiene along with stress-lowering techniques can help improve your quality of sleep.
Seek social support: Spending time with family, friends and reaching out to people is an essential part of coping with stress, and especially so given the current situation with the pandemic.
(Vaishnavi Mohanraj is a Counsellor and Psychotherapist. She is a Mind and Sleep Coach at Medall Mind & Medall blume)
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