The impact of stress on our sleeping pattern is quite prominent. As both stress and sleep are closely interlinked with each other, stress can adversely affect the quality and duration of our sleep. Lack of sufficient sleep or insomnia can further lead to high level of stress in humans, and long lasting mental and physical health predicaments.
Having quality sleep is critical for effective functioning of the body throughout the day. It also enables the body to repair itself and to maintain its optimal immunity level. Therefore, having ample and quality sleep helps our body to keep certain diseases at bay.
In spite of the daunting challenges of stress in our day-to-day life, there are a handful of steps that can promote better sleep during stressful times. Though these efforts do not pay off immediately, do not give up.
Establish Your Routine
It is always recommended by health experts that people should avoid major variations in their daily sleep regime because human mind easily acclimates to a consistent sleep schedule. Establishing a routine can facilitate a sense of normalcy even during stressful times.
Sleep-specific aspect of your daily schedule should include following factors:
- Wake-Up Time: Set your alarm and try to make it a habit to wake up every day at a fixed time. Waking at the same time daily will really help you to have a sound sleep at night even during stressful situations.
- Wind-Down time: This is a time to get relaxed and be ready for the bed. You can do various activities during wind-down time such as meditating, reading, brushing your teeth and putting on night dress. Giving some extra wind-down time during stress will definitely do wonder as far as quality sleep is concerned.
- Bed-time: Having a consistent time to fall asleep ensures good sleep.
During difficult times it is quite oblivious for people to overlook the importance of exercising, but being involved in some kind of physical activities such as going for a brisk walk, joining a gym or a yoga classes has numerous important benefits including sleep. When people do physical activities their bodies release chemical named endorphins in our brain that act as painkillers. It also reduces stress and improves our ability to sleep.
Reserve Your Bed for Sleep
Sleep experts emphasize that sleep and sex should be the only activities that take place in your bed. It is also recommended that people who are working from home should avoid bringing laptop into their bed to do office work, or to watch a movie or series because such activities can cause more stress. Reserving bed only for sleep will create a strong connection between your bed and sleep and even induce sleep during stress.
Effects of Light on Human Body
- Spending some time in sunlight increases the release of serotonin hormone which is associated with boosting our mood. Exposure to sunlight also has a positive impact on our body’s circadian rhythm which is an internal process and regulates our sleep-wake cycle.
- You should be mindful of your exposure to screen time before bed during stressful conditions. The blue light produced by electronic and digital devices, such as mobile phones, tablets and computers has been found responsible to disrupt our natural sleep pattern because it suppresses the production of melatonin by Pineal gland that regulates our sleep-wake cycle. Hence, you are advised to avoid using these devices for an hour before going to bed.
Socialization has a direct impact on our stress level in multiple ways. Being socially active directly increases the level of Oxytocin hormone which induces anti-stress-like effects and stimulates various kind of positive social interaction. It also enhances our cognitive skills to cope with difficult situations easily and reduces physical and social distress. Interaction with other people also temporarily distracts us from anxiety and stress and also ensures sound sleep at night.
Stress management always in favor of adopting a nutritious diet to counterbalance the impact of stress by strengthening the immune system of the body and lowering the blood pressure. A healthy diet contains high amount of antioxidant and nutrients, such as magnesium and melatonin that help you to fall asleep faster even during stressful conditions.
All in all, quality sleep plays a crucial role in maintaining one’s overall health. The steps mentioned above can help you get sound sleep at night. However, if you face difficulty in falling asleep, you are advised to visit your doctor for effective treatment.