Can better sleep help you manage stress?

Photo of the young man waking up on a dirty bed.I can not tell you how often people in treatment tell me that they are fighting with a good night's sleep. They may have trouble falling or staying asleep. I got it. I had moments in my life when the thought of trying to sleep gave me unbelievable anxiety because I was sure it would not be easy.

Struggling with sleep once in a while is not that big for a deal. However, if you do not sleep well after night, insomnia creates excessive stress in your brain and body.

Why is sleep so important?

An article on Johns Hopkins Medicine's website explains that "if we sleep very little, we are unable to process what we learned during the day and we have more trouble remembering it in the future. So, sleep affects how memory is stored If you have difficulty remembering things because you do not sleep enough, it can be hard to stay at work, focus and feel at the top of your life.

Lack of quality sleep can affect your physical health and your immune system. Sleep deprivation can make you more prone to get sick or stay sick longer.

Poor sleep quality can also adversely affect mental health. A good sleep can help you to promote your physical resilience. This is the quality that helps your mind and body bounce back from bad experiences. According to America's Concern and Depression Association, if you rarely have enough sleep, you could develop an anxiety state.

A recent study looked at sleep and anxiety. Compares people who do not receive the recommended eight hours of sleep per night with those who slept eight hours or more at night. The study found that people who slept less were more likely to concentrate and stay on negative thoughts – such as people struggling with stress and depression. Continuous negative thinking can let you feel unhappy, anxious and anxious.

One of the first things I ask people to treat is: "How much sleep do you take every night?" I know that waking sleep patterns on the road can make a tremendous difference in stress management. When your body does not have the chance to relax during a good night's sleep, you start the day you've already highlighted. On the contrary, after a good night's sleep you can start from a good place every day. Sleep gives your brain and your body the rest they need to function properly.

9 Steps to Help You Sleep Better

  1. Go to bed at the same time every night. When you do, you train your body to recognize that it's time to get ready for sleep.
  1. Turn off the computer at least half an hour before bed. Studies show that electronic devices, even television, stimulate your brain. Turn off all your devices before get in bed gives you the opportunity to relax so you can sleep more easily.
  1. Create a simple routine for bedtime. Your routine could include brushing your teeth, washing your face, twisting the covers or meditating. The key is to be consistent. Give your body signals that sleep will come soon.
  1. Lie in a cool, dark room. Coldness and darkness help you fall asleep and stay asleep.
  1. If you can not sleep after 15 minutes, get up. Rising may be the opposite of what you are trying to do. Okay. Lying on the bed and trying to push yourself to sleep can make you feel more stressed. Then it is impossible to sleep. Get out of bed, make yourself a cup of herbal tea or hot milk, read, meditate or listen to relaxing music. Do not look at your phone or TV automatically. When you feel drowsy again, go back to bed and try again.
  1. Use only your bed to sleep. Do not watch TV or work in your bedroom. You want your brain to connect the bedroom to sleep, so she knows that when you are in this room, it's time to fall asleep.
  1. Reduce caffeine intake. Limit how much caffeine you drink or eat every day. Be aware that some foods and drinks have caffeine and you may not know it. If possible, do not drink caffeinated beverages or eat caffeine after 12 noon.
  1. Try not to get sick, even if you have a low night's sleep. Washing for more than 30 minutes mixes your natural sleep cycles. A half hour nap can recharge and revitalize you without confusing your body.
  1. Be consistent. It is important to follow the same routines every night so your body and mind are trained to start preparing for sleep.

It may take time and practice to retrain your brain and body, especially if you did not try it before. Be patient and compassionate when sleep does not come.

If you have tried these strategies and you are still struggling with sleep every night, you may want to talk to your doctor to see if you have an underlying health condition. A trained therapist can also help with anxiety or sleep problems.

Bibliographical references:

  1. People who sleep less than 8 hours at night most likely to suffer from depression, anxiety. (2018, 4 January). ScienceDaily. Retrieved from
  2. The Science of Sleep: Understanding what happens when you sleep. (n.d.) Johns Hopkins Medicine. Retrieved from
  3. Sleep and Mental Health: Sleep deprivation can affect your mental health. (2018, June 19). Harvard Medical School. Retrieved from
  4. Hygiene of sleep. (n.d.) American Sleep Association. Retrieved from
  5. Understanding Events: Sleep Disorders. (n.d.) Union of Anxiety and Depression in America. Retrieved from

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