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Why stress might be causing you to lose sleep!

Why stress might be causing you to lose sleep!

Category: Sleep Issues
Posted: Jun 13, 2016 11:09
Comments: 0 [Post]
Synopsis: If you’re struggling to sleep at night – which isn’t surprising – stress might well be the cause. As soon as you hit the pillow, all you can think about is the above, and so, you spend the night tossing and turning, and this is dangerous.

Why stress might be causing you to lose sleep!

Stress is tiring, but definitely manageable

Sure, we all know stress and university go together like butter and bread. Humongous reading lists, a never-ending batch of essays to write, hours upon hours of lectures and that all-important dissertation, looming over you from afar. Honestly, university is stressful – but it’s not unmanageable.

If you’re struggling to sleep at night – which isn’t surprising – stress might well be the cause. As soon as you hit the pillow, all you can think about is the above, and so, you spend the night tossing and turning, and this is dangerous. A lack of sleep can make you grouchy, affect your health and most importantly, damage your grades.

Nobody wants to turn their 2:1 into a third now, do they?

What does stress actually do to you?

While there’s no magic number of hours to get in one night – although experts would suggest that we should get 7 to 9 hours kip – research suggests that we’d all be happier with more sleep. The sad thing is that we can’t stop thinking about our anxieties, so the only way to really solve these is by putting them to one side at bed time, or dealing with them through the day.

The real question is though, how does stress wreck your sleep?

Stress stops you logging enough hours at night

You ever spent the night tossing and turning, but can’t quite work out why? It’s probably stress. Those restless hours at night build up you know, like a savings account of misery. Apparently, around 43% of adults (including students) say that stress keeps them up at night, and 50% say they feel sluggish after a limited amount of sleep.

The quality of your sleep decreases

Not only is stress ruining the amount of sleep you have, it’s ruining the quality of your sleep. So, not only are you getting a reduced amount of hours – there’s a good chance that the sleep you are getting is poor.

Your brain will fire into overdrive

Everybody has two nervous systems – the sympathetic and the parasympathetic. At night, you switch from one to the other. However, this change is disturbed by stress, and results in you becoming over-worried and anxious. This, as you would guess, keeps you awake at night!

It turns into a viscous cycle

Stress not only affects you during the night, it can also turn into a cycle of misery. You end up in a self-repeating loop and this can really get you down.

You go to bed and can’t get to sleep, this makes you tired. You wake up in the morning and feel stressed because you couldn’t get to sleep the night before. After a pretty bad day at university (through lack of sleep) you go to bed and well, you’re so stressed about the horrible day you’ve had, sleeping is again, impossible.

A few things you can do to relieve stress!

If you’re reading this and suffering from stress, we’ve come up with a range of stress-busting tactics:

  • Take a whiff of lavender: floral scent has the knack of relaxing the body, and is well known as a cure for insomnia.
  • Yoga is the way to a better life: whether you’re a yoga pro, into progressive relaxation or you meditate, engaging in a few relaxing exercises before bed can work wonders.
  • Discard your thoughts: grab yourself a pen and paper and jot down all your bad thoughts. It’s shown that simply getting them out of your head can help.
  • Take a deep breath: if you’re not one for yoga, just lie on top of your bed and breathe in and out. This breathing system is able to trigger the calming parasympathetic nervous system.
  • If all is bad, maybe see a therapist: if you think you’ve tried a thousand things before, maybe getting professional help is the right way forward.

Of course, there’s plenty more which we’ve covered in this article here. It might be best to exhaust all other options before seeing a therapist. So, there you have it. It just goes to show how much impact stress can have on your life.


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