The Sleep Guru: How stress affects your sleep

Anandi - The Sleep Guru

In this day and age we are all running on cylinders at a very unhealthy pace. We expect everything to arrive instantaneously, and if it doesn’t we get stressed. Stress is the direct response from not getting our needs and desires met.

So what does being stressed mean? In physical terms, our body responds agggresively by pumping stress hormones into our system and  increasing the heart rate. Our breath becomes shallower and with that, the mind starts to race. The digestive system gets disturbed as the body is dealing with, what it perceives to be, more pressing things than digestion. The immune system also decreases as the body has no time for fighting germs during times of stress - this response is known as the ‘fight or flight response’. The body does not seem to know the difference between physical stress and danger, and ego stress. It just responds in exactly the same way and prepares us for running away from danger, or fighting our way out of something, even if the stress relates to a relationship breakdown or a bereavement.

In terms of our mental health and wellbeing, stress plays havoc with our mind. One the most important mechanisms for coping with the day’s activities and challenges is sleep. Sleep is a time when our mind is refreshed and our body is nourished. Hopefully, after a good nights sleep, a new day brings fresh perspective and less stress. However if the stress starts affecting your sleep, which it surely will, your ability to think straight, be rational and cope with the challenges of life will be vastly reduced. In the long term stress will start breaking you down, and the saying that ‘stress is a killer’, is absolutely true.

Taking care of yourself by living a balanced life generally and taking time out to recharge is absolutely vital. 

By our guest blogger The Sleep Guru 

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