Stress and sleep are closely linked. In fact, it is easy to get caught in a negative stress-sleep loop where it is hard to tell which is the leading issue and leaving you both exhausted and more stressed, thinking ‘What the heck is causing what?!?’
Stress often impacts sleep quality and sleep hygiene. While lack of sleep can also increase stress levels and negatively affect cortisol levels (your stress hormone). Additionally, a lack of proper circadian rhythms and sleep can throw other hormone’s out of balance as well further impacting numerous areas of health including thyroid function, reproductive cycles and fertility, liver, gut, brain and more!
High levels of both stress and also poor-quality sleep have hugely negative impacts on physical, mental, emotional and even spiritual health and wellness.
‘Experts recommend that people aim for 7–9 hours of sleep a night, depending on their age and other factors. Adults need 7 or more hours of sleep per night for the best health and wellbeing. Adults who were short sleepers (less than 7 hours of sleep per 24-hour period) were more likely to report being obese, physically inactive, and current smokers compared to people who got enough sleep (7 or more hours per 24-hour period)’ – https://www.cdc.gov/sleep/data_statistics.html
Five tips for increasing balance in the stress-sleep connection:
1. Cut out screen time 90 minutes prior to bed time
2. Practice mindfulness, breathing exercises, guided visualizations, prayer and/or meditation at the end of your day to release pent up stress and negativity from your day
3. Try sleep support through essential oils like lavender and natural sleep supplements (be sure to run this by your doctor to make sure it is right for you)
4. Try to establish and stick to a sleep schedule
5. Avoid eating heavy meals, sugar and processed foods late in the day. As well as try to avoid eating 2 ½-3 ½ hours prior to going to sleep