Decoding the Link Between Stress and Sleep: Strategies for a Restful Night

Are you not able to sleep at night and stay awake for no reason? The reason can be stress because stress can affect sleep quality and duration. And if you experience long-term stress or sleep deprivation then you may develop severe chronic conditions. Learn how stress affects sleep and what ways you can use to reduce your stress and improve sleep quality. Visit the best Mental Health Clinic in Brooklyn at Doral Health & Wellness or log on to www.doralhw.org.

How can stress affect sleep?

Feeling stress occasionally is normal. However, when you experience long-term stress, it affects your nervous system to increase the state of arousal for longer periods. This state can severely impact your physical and mental health in the long term and one of them is sleep deprivation.

This happens because when we feel long-term stress, our body goes into fight-or-flight mode and releases hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol which create a state of alertness. The state of alertness caused by stress can affect your circadian rhythms of sleep and cause rapid, anxious thoughts to happen at night which leads to insufficient sleep.

The National Sleep Foundation survey found 43% of people aged 13 to 64 have reported that in the past month at least once they were not able to sleep due to stress.

Insufficient sleep can cause a negative mood, low energy, foggy mind, difficulty concentrating, and lower your ability to work normally which can be riskier in certain situations such as driving or operating heavy machinery when tired.

While occasional poor sleep is not harmful, persistent sleep deprivation can increase the risk of certain chronic health conditions.

According to a report by the CDC, people who sleep less than 7 hours of sleep per night are at the risk of these conditions

  • Stroke
  • Diabetes
  • Depression
  • Obesity
  • Heart disease
  • Arthritis
  • Kidney disease

Keep in mind that these conditions can be caused by many factors, but sleep deprivation also contributes to their development.

Tips for restful sleep

These tips help you prevent or manage stress and promote good quality sleep:

  1. Mindfulness meditation:

It’s a relaxation technique that makes people aware of the present moment. Its main aim is to acknowledge all the thoughts, feelings, and sensations that happen within and outside the body without reacting to them.

Research found that this technique offers some benefits for mental well-being such as reducing stress and anxiety. A review of 47 trials, including a total of 3,515 participants found that mindfulness meditation can improve their anxiety, depression, and stress.

While more research is necessary to know whether mindfulness works as a clinical treatment, for now, it may be a useful technique that you can use for your sleep. Practicing mindfulness meditation for 10-30 minutes before going to bed is an effective way to reduce stress and improve sleep.

  1. Stay physically active:

Staying physically active is the most effective way to improve mental and physical health. Research found that physical exercise can positively affect your mental health by reducing anxiety and stress-related disorders, which even reduces the need to pursue other treatments.

A review published in 2017 found that physical activity can effectively reduce the symptoms of anxiety and stress. Further evidence also suggests that exercise directly improves the quality of sleep in people over the age of 40 with sleep difficulties.

That’s why you should stay physically active during the day to reduce your stress levels and improve sleep quality. You can start with something as simple as walking most days a week.

  1. Other lifestyle changes:

Here are some other lifestyle changes that help you reduce stress levels and improve life quality which include:

  • Follow a healthy diet by including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, lean meat, fish, etc., and limit the intake of processed foods and sugars.
  • Lower your caffeine and alcohol intake and avoid them in the evening.
  • Make sure you complete your work at the office and college to avoid stress.
  • Follow a sleep-wake schedule.
  • Maintain good social connections with family and friends.
  • Avoid blue light emitting devices at least 1 hour before sleep.
  • Try to relax for half an hour before sleep by meditating, listening to calm music, taking a shower, etc.

Reducing stress can be challenging when you don’t know the source. So, take the help of a therapist and try to find the source of the stress that may come from your work or relationship. These problems may be difficult to solve, but learning to think differently to handle those issues can help you reduce your stress.

Stress and sleep share a close connection. Normal stress doesn’t affect your sleep that much, but long-term stress can affect sleep quality and duration and can increase the risk of sleep deprivation. And having stress or sleep deprivation can lead to chronic physical and mental health problems. So, take action by using the above-mentioned tips in your daily routine to manage your stress and have a good quality sleep for good mental wellness.

If you are experiencing any sleep problems, then visit our mental health clinic in Brooklyn. Our mental health professionals make sure you get the right treatment on time so that you won’t suffer from any mental health problems.

“Your mental health is the key to a good life, don’t let problems affect them.” Call us on +1-347-384-5690 to get a consultation. We have some of the finest experienced psychiatrist doctors who listen to your concerns, examine your symptoms, and create a treatment plan to improve your condition as soon as possible. If you need help learning coping methods, register your information and make direct contact with our doctors and psychiatrists to learn those methods, log on to www.doralhw.org. Visit us at 1797 Pitkin Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11212.