“Treat yourself as well as you treat your smartphone, making sure to sleep until fully recharged.” –Arianna Huffington
A proper night sleep has essential effects on health and overall well-being. Stress and anxiety also play an important role when it comes to health and well-being. Thus, managing sleep, your stress levels, and anxiety is important in leading a happier, more productive life. Sadly, both sleep and stress levels have become difficult to manage for many people across the globe.
Continuously, research indicates strong links between sleep, stress (especially work stress) and anxiety which spotlights the potential for a vicious cycle. This can be catastrophic as people get caught up in an ongoing cycle of stress, anxiety, and extreme tiredness. On the other hand, it also highlights the possibility of managing stress and anxiety by improving the quality of sleep and vice versa.
Why is Sleep Important?
Sleep is important not only for our minds and bodies, it’s also important for our relationships, careers, and creativity, The majority of healthcare professionals swear by the following guidelines when it comes to the importance of a good night sleep.
The benefits of good night sleep
- Improves memory
- Lowers stress levels
- Lowers inflammation
- Betters immune system
- Improves cognitive function
- Improves weight management
Lack of Sleep and Anxiety – a Vicious Cycle You Can Escape
Raise your hands who have had the experience of lying in bed late at night, wide awake and unable to sleep as anxiety loops take over our thoughts? A growing body of research reports that stress and anxiety can have profound effects on sleep. Compared to those not experiencing insomnia, insomniacs have a greater number of stressful life events in the previous year. More recent research indicates that in particular, it is the appraisal of stress that influences insomnia. Essentially, even if you don’t have a lot of events in your life that others would consider stressful, the degree to which you believe that events are stressful leads to insomnia. And, less obviously, sleep can actually influence how much stress you experience in a daily life.
- Block out seven to nine hours a night that will be used exclusively for relaxing and sleeping. Start a meditation practice; clear your mind with a relaxing workout, like yoga.
- Avoid stimulants in the last hour before bed; say no to alcohol, caffeine, loud noises, and bright sources of light (TV, tablet, etc.)
- Use your bedroom for just sleeping and other intimate activities with your partner. Using your bedroom as an office or storage area will train the brain to associate the room with tasks to be completed. You don’t want that.
- Invest in a sturdy mattress of great quality that is designed to support your unique sleeping position, regardless whether you are a side sleeper, back sleeper, or even a stomach sleeper. To find the best mattress for your preferred position, visit TheSleepJudge.com; where you can find the best mattresses for your needs.
- Keep your bedroom at a consistently cool temperature with a dark or grey atmosphere to avoid unwanted interruptions in sleep.
- Avoid looking at the clock, because the longer it takes you to fall asleep, the more anxious you might feel!
Good sleep hygiene (behavioral patterns that promote good sleep patterns) can help you sleep better. When you sleep better each night, life’s difficulties will seem a bit less stressful than they otherwise would. Thus, you can use sleep as a tool to help you manage stress and anxiety.