Sleep & Stress Issues

If you’re struggling with sleep during stressful times or still feeling tired after a full night’s sleep, you’re not alone. There are times in our lives where we feel uneasy, whether it is in our work, family, financial situation, or our health. These uneasy situations create stress, frustration and even depression and anxiety. Often these situations have a huge impact on our health.

For me and for a lot of people when any of the issues above becomes uneasy another one seems to follow, and we become overwhelmed. The first signs of stress usually show by feeling reluctant to socialise and hiding our emotions from everyone. Sleep issues, tend to be the next factor that follows.

I have experienced sleep deprivation a few times in my life, and each time it was as a result of  the same issue which was stress related. Going to bed at 9pm waking up at 7am, going to bed at 12am waking up at 5am, different sleeping patterns started to emerge.  I didn’t have a regular sleep schedule. Because I was sleep deprived, I noticed changes to my everyday habits from loss of appetite, to increased appetite, lack of motivation to exercise, to increased motivation to exercise to avoid thinking about the stressful situations I was experiencing. I lost full control of my daily habits due to stress affecting my sleep.

There are many options available, once you realise you need extra support. The first and most important is to speak out about your emotions whether it is to your colleagues, friends or a family member.

Stressful times can fuel anxiety and cause you to feel that getting a good night’s sleep is impossible. Because sleep is closely connected to overall health, it is important to have a healthy sleep routine in our daily habits.

Conversely, lack of sleep can lead to higher levels of stress, frustration, depression, and anxiety. Sleep deprivation can also lower thinking and problem-solving skills, attention span, memory, patience, and the ability to connect with friends and family which can all became visible in daily life.

A healthy diet and exercise encourages better sleep. Mindfulness which includes meditation, calming music, guided relaxation, self-reflection, and deep breathing techniques, boosts mental health. Even just breathing in and out in a slow, controlled way will help calm you down.

Smoking and drinking alcohol might be tempting to help take the edge off, but they disturb sleep and would be more damaging in the long run.

Tips for Getting Good Sleep

To work toward getting better sleep during stressful times, I successfully implemented a couple of changes, that were recommended to me by our Pharmacists.

  • Cut out caffeine by 2:00 pm because eight hours later is approximately 10:00pm when most people tend to go to sleep. If you can stop earlier in the day, even better.
  • Limit alcoholic drinks to two drinks and stop drinking them three hours before bed. 
  • Avoid exercising within 4 hours of bedtime because otherwise it will cause your core body temperature to be high.
  • Wake up at the same time every day, including the weekends, based on your chronotype. Your chronotype is the time of day your body is naturally inclined to sleep.
  • After you wake up, do these three things right away:
    • Take 15 deep breaths (helps kick in the respiratory system).
    • Drink 15 ounces of water (you lose almost a litre of water every night from humidity in your breath).
    • Get 15 minutes of direct sunlight (when sunlight hits a cell in your eye called melanopsin, it turns off the melatonin faucet in your brain and helps relieve brain fog).
  • Find ways to reduce stress, such as meditation, exercise, breathwork, or other self-care practices that work for you.
  • Have a healthy balanced diet.
  • Introduce essential vitamins and supplements that aid with stress reduction and improve sleep.

Our Pharmacist Recommends

Nytol TabletsBach Rescue Night dropperBetter You Magnesium OilKalms NightA.Vogel Sleep dropsMindful Beauty Stress Busting Spray

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