Sleep and stress – are you hyper-aroused?
While you’re gearing up for a brand new year and a whole bunch of new challenges, be sure to put some stress management strategies in place. Because your stress may be affecting your sleep – and you need to be at your best to really tackle life by the horns.
Of course, not all insomnia is caused by stress, but if you are under a great deal of it, your sleep will probably be affected. Stress causes insomnia by making it difficult to both fall asleep and stay asleep. Plus, it affects the sleep quality that we get. It does this by causing hyper-arousal – a state of increased psychological and physiological tension that can upset the balance between sleep and wakefulness in your brain.
To figure out whether stress is the cause of your insomnia, note whether it changes when the stress eases. If sleep comes and goes in the same rhythm as your stress, that’s probably the cause. If insomnia persists regardless of your stress levels, then there’s something else going on. Please feel free to get in touch with us at The Resilient Energy Center to discuss this further.
But if you suspect that your insomnia is caused by your stress levels, then clearly you need to manage your stress more effectively. Try delegating, asking for help, exercising regularly, setting boundaries, and learn to say ‘no’ – remember, ‘no’ is a full sentence! Also remember that mindfulness, prayer and meditation before bed can transition you into calm, centred and better state for good quality, restful sleep.
So what, now what? Regardless of the cause of your insomnia, you need to learn to relax so that you can sleep. Here are three easy steps:
1. Challenge yourself to go to bed 15 minutes earlier for a few nights in a row, until you’re getting at least seven hours of sleep.
2. Spend time winding down and preparing yourself for quality sleep at least one hour before bed: no screens, no calls, no emails. This helps your body to produce enough melatonin for deep, restful sleep.
3. Make sure your bedroom is a space of relaxation and peace. Keep work, fights, and even phone calls for other rooms in your home.