Why does stress mean less sleep?

When the body and mind are stressed, cortisol levels are increased. Cortisol is the hormone responsible for stimulating alertness, which in turn raises heart rate and blood pressure. When the body is not subject to high amounts of stress, cortisol levels usually drop off in the evening as your body prepares for sleep. The reduction in cortisol leads to the release of melatonin, the hormone responsible for your sleep-wake cycle. But if cortisol levels remain high, this interferes with the production of melatonin and makes it harder for the body to go to sleep.

How does sleep reduce stress?

Studies have shown that sleep is a powerful tool in combating the symptoms of stress. Not only does a regular sleep-wake cycle help to calm the mind and body, but it also regulates mood, improves concentration and sharpens decision making. This all means that when the body is well-rested, its capacity for dealing with stress is much higher.

If you are not getting enough sleep because you are stressed, then you are likely to be more stressed the next day. So, how can you ensure that you get enough sleep when you are experiencing symptoms of stress?

Stick to a routine

The body needs a routine in order to set its natural circadian rhythm. Make sure that you go to bed and get up at the same time every day, even at the weekends.

Set aside time to wind down

Anyone suffering from sleep deprivation needs to allocate a couple of hours of winding down time before getting into bed. This allows the brain to decrease its activity so that the body’s sleep system can kick in. Reading, listening to a guided meditation, or gentle yoga poses are a great way to relax the mind and body and prepare it for rest.

Exercise and eat well

A regular exercise regime and good nutrition can work wonders for the body when it is stressed. Fill up on fresh fruits and vegetables and commit to exercising at least three times a week for optimum results. Treating your body properly will have an impact on your mindset which will, in turn, help you to achieve a better night’s sleep.

If you would like to find out more about how a REM-Fit Mattress, REM-Fit Sleep Monitoring technology or Zeeq Smart Pillows can help you to get a better night’s rest, please get in touch with our experienced, knowledgeable staff by calling 020 8731 0020 or email us via sales@rem-fit.co.uk.

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