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Stress and sleep

16-08-2013

We have all been there at some point, stressed out and unable to sleep. Trying to get to sleep when you are stressed can be incredibly difficult, going to sleep requires a relaxed mindset and when you are stressed you are anything but relaxed. Similarly, if you struggle to sleep then you will get stressed about it, insomnia can be self-fulfilling sometimes, the more you worry about not being able to get to sleep the more you struggle to get to sleep.

Sleep and stress are connected in many ways. We could all do with lessening stress and improving the quality and quantity of our sleep. Managing your stress levels and amount of sleep are vital to your general happiness and health. Unfortunately, both sleep levels and stress levels have become problematic for many people across the developed world.

Many new studies have found there are many links between sleep and stress with a number discussing the potential for a the creation and maintenance of a vicious cycle where lack of sleep creates stress and stress limits sleep.

This situation can be disastrous as many people get caught up in an ongoing cycle of stress and exhaustion, unable to escape the Catch 22 of needing sleep to decrease stress and needing to limit stress to get to sleep.

The connection between the two does hold some hop, it illustrates the possibility of managing stress by managing sleep, and vice versa.  What the connection means is that you need to target both stress and sleep together, you need to analyse the problem and find a solution that is best adapted to your current situation.

If you are unable to reduce the stress of your life, say you have a massive deadline looming at work or are going through some troubles, then you can work on getting a better quality of sleep so you can limit the effects of stress on your general well being. There are many things you can do to help with sleep, from adopting regular sleep habits through to creating a sleep environment that helps you get to sleep and stay asleep. You can also use exercise and diet to help make you more tired at nights and power naps during the day to recharge your batteries when you have had a bad night.

If you struggle with sleep then you need to work on reducing the other stresses in your life, or at least learn how to compartmentalise them. If reducing the stress is not an option, you need to find ways to limit its impact on your sleep. You could try meditation, yoga or any other form of mental relaxation that can help you to forget your concerns, or you could simply read a book, listen to soothing music or take a nightly bath, all of which are great ways of limiting the impact of stress on your sleep.

Whatever you do, look at the situation as a whole, work out why you are stressed and why you are struggling to sleep, discover the connections and use them to your advantage.
 


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