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Stressed? Go to sleep

11-11-2011

We have all been stressed at some point or other in our lives. It seems to go with the territory really. Often getting to sleep when you are stressed is quite difficult, you will lie there in bed thinking about what has got you stressed, and struggle to get to sleep.

However, sleep is actually one of the best ways to reduce stress. It may sound like a Catch 22, seeing as sleep is harder to achieve when stressed, but after a good night’s sleep, stress is much reduced.

There are both physical and psychological reasons for this. Physically, stress is associated with increased blood pressure and the best way to reduce blood pressure is to go to sleep. When we are asleep the heart gets to rest and when you wake in the morning, your blood pressure will be down, helping to reduce your stress.

Psychologically, stress is associated with the inability to stop thinking about a problem and the growing concern. It is a sense of mounting anxiety that is increased the longer we are awake. By going to sleep, we reduce our stress. No one knows how it works, but sleep seems to reduce stress levels, wiping away some of the anxiety and concern of the previous day.

 


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