Are you finding it hard to get a good night’s sleep? Perhaps stress is affecting your sleep.
We all know it’s important to get a good night’s sleep. And while it’s normal to have the odd night here and there where good sleep is hard to come by, persistent problems with your sleep isn’t normal.
One of the biggest reasons people find it hard to sleep is stress.
What is stress
Stress is a normal reaction which occurs whenever there is a change in your environment. Our body reacts to these changes with physical, mental and emotional responses. Sometimes stress can have a positive impact on us, causing us to be more productive, alert and keeping us safe from danger. But too much stress can have a negative effect on our health.
What causes stress?
Most people suffer some form of stress. It may be caused by relationship problems, work pressures, working long hours, having too much responsibility, being too busy, financial pressures, illness or injury, or a traumatic event.
Everyone experiences stress differently. What might be stressful for one person, may not be stressful to another.
Is stress affecting your sleep?
Stress causes a number of health problems such as headaches, nausea, high blood pressure, chest pain, depression, panic attacks and other forms of anxiety. It can also worsen existing medical conditions, and disrupt your sleep.
One of the ways stress affects sleep is not being able to drop off to sleep. Stress can also cause you to wake during the night, or have nightmares — all of which impacts on the duration and quality of your sleep.
How to reduce stress
Obviously, the best way forward is to reduce your stress levels. These may involve:
- Identifying your stressors — Working out what is stressing you and taking steps to reduce them will go a long way to improving your sleep.
- Asking for support — If you need help, ask for it. This may include practical help, delegating tasks, or speaking to a professional about stress-reduction techniques.
- Relaxation techniques — Practicing meditation and other relaxation techniques can help reduce your stress levels before bed time.
- Exercise — Regular exercise has been shown to reduce stress levels, as well as improve the quality of your sleep.
- Healthy eating — Eating a diet rich in lean protein and fruits and vegetables can increase your energy and reduce stress. Avoid foods high in fat, sugar and salt, and go easy on the alcohol and caffeine.
- Avoiding work after hours — Don’t take work home, and avoid checking work emails and taking work calls after hours.
- Make time for fun — Doing the things you love can also reduce stress. Take time to socialise with family and friends, as this can also help blow off steam, and give you a different perspective on things.
- Prioritise sleep — As difficult as it may seem, good sleep can also reduce stress. Make sure your bedroom is conducive to getting a good night’s sleep. Diffusing relaxing oils such as lavender can help calm you. Ensure your room is the right temperature and that it is quiet and dark. Having a comfortable bed, with a quality mattress and luxurious bed linen can also help you feel more relaxed.
At BedGuard, we can’t take all of your stress away, but we can take the stress out of choosing the right mattress. We have a range of comfortable, supportive, waterproof mattresses made right here in Australia. Come in store and talk to our friendly staff, or browse our online store.