There is a link between your lack of sleep and increased stress. And that relationship creates an ugly baby.
Poor sleep patterns and stress are closely related. When you don’t get enough rest, you feel irritable and anxious in the morning. You start stressing out over your day when it’s barely even begun. And this lack of sleep can lead to a really long day filled with anxiety and stress. Can you hear the baby starting to fuss?
This relationship works both ways in that your poor sleep can create stress and your stress can affect your sleep.
Your personal life is super hectic and super busy. Your workload and career responsibilities are equally busy. From the moment you wake up until the second your head hits your pillow at night, stress is your faithful sidekick.
When you go to bed you can’t stop your mind from racing, which leads to a lack of sleep. And then, guess what? You didn’t sleep well, so you wake up stressed out the next day. And now that baby is full-on screaming at the top of its poor lungs.
If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. I don’t know if that fact makes it any better but millions of women suffer from poor sleep patterns that lead to stress, and their daily stress leads to poor sleep patterns. Let’s take a closer look at the unhealthy link between your lack of sleep and stress.
The Connection between your Lack of Sleep and Stress
The National Sleep Foundation is a great place to find information on this subject. They say that stress causes “hyperarousal”. This is due to your body’s release of stress hormones when your mind perceives a threat. The threat doesn’t have to be real, your body just needs to believe that you are under attack.
Your mind believes it has noticed something in your environment which threatens your well-being. This could be a coworker who seems headed for a promotion you thought was yours, the fact that you are running late to pick up your kids from school, or any other situation where you feel out of control or unable to cope.
Your mind simply will not let you fall to sleep, until your mind and body are so exhausted that you crash from your weakened state. This can lead to an incomplete sleep cycle without the REM stage, which is why you feel so tired and exhausted when you wake up in the morning after a night of poor sleep. The REM stage is where the good restorative sleep happens.
As mentioned above, the opposite situation also happens.
You get a great night’s rest. You feel powerful, energetic and ready to go in the morning. Then you have an incredibly stressful day. Even though your previous night’s rest prepared your body properly for the day, experiencing high levels of stress has once again released cortisol and other stress-related hormones.
So when you hit your bed that night, sleep never comes. You begin the following day tired and worn out, not at your best mentally and physically.
Stopping the lack of sleep and stress Cycle
Identify the biggest stressors in your life. In most cases, with most women, the things that cause you stress are identifiable. You can probably name them pretty quickly.
Once you’e identified the culprits, create a proactive plan to weaken their power:
- Avoid that angry coworker
- Stop eating those sugar-filled, nutritionally-bankrupt treats that cause you to crash and burn
- Clean up the messy, cluttered home or office spaces that causes you mental distress
The simple plan is to find out what is causing repetitive stress in your daily routine and try to eliminate it. You should also combine this with eating a healthy diet (healthy means eating foods you can pronounce) and exercising regularly. Keep hydrated, and take time to stay connected with the things that matter to you and control your thoughts.
These are proven stress-relievers that also promote healthy sleep patterns, which can keep you from getting lost in that terrible lack of sleep and stress cycle.