How does poor sleep and stress affect your overall health?
Sleep and stress are interconnected. Stress could lead to poor sleep quality, while not getting enough sleep could cause stress.
The state of Sleep in American Adults
According to Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, more than a third of American adults do not get enough sleep regularly. According to American Sleep Apnea Association, nearly 70% of adults reported obtaining insufficient sleep at least one night in a month, while 11% reported facing it every night.
The state of Stress in American Adults
According to American Psychological Association, 2019, more than three-quarters of adults have reported symptoms of stress, including sleeping problems. Another report by the American Institute of Stress suggests that nearly eighty percent of US people experience stress in their jobs.
How are sleep and stress-related?
Most of the stressful situations that we face in day-to-day life can trigger a fight or flight response. Longer exposure to such stress without any relaxation may cause poor quality sleep and lead to insomnia. When you are stressed, your body undergoes a hormonal imbalance in the form of cortisol. Such activity triggers you to either fight or flee from the real or perceived dangerous situation.
Such circumstances impact your sleep quality by reducing its duration, deteriorating REM sleep, leading to poor quality sleep, impaired memory, bad mood regulation, and poor recognition.
What are the reasons behind poor sleep and stress?
What does stress do to your body?
Stress is a mental or emotional strain that results from certain circumstances. A normal level of stress can be good for your body as it can motivate you to work harder and improve performance to reach your goals. But this is the only case when stress is useful.
Too much stress could cause severe chronic health issues. Whenever you are exposed to a tension-rising situation, your nervous system releases specific hormones – cortisol, adrenaline, noradrenaline. But when you are over-stressed, your nervous system may get adversely affected, cause insomnia, and can have a devastating effect on your overall health.
According to a report by CDC, sleeping for less than 7 hours every night, you are at high risk of developing the below health conditions:
- Cardiovascular Issues
- Stroke Risk
- Kidney Failure
- Endocrine System: Stress causes your nervous system to release hormones like epinephrine into the body, making your heart beat faster, and your blood vessels may constrict. Such changes in hormones in the body could lead to more production of glucose in the liver and strains the body's ability to reabsorb sugar, leading to diabetes.
- Respiratory System: Stress increases your heart rate and can lead to an imbalance of oxygen levels in the body. Such ups and downs in your respiration could cause dizziness, lack of concentration, make you lose consciousness temporarily.
- Circulatory System: Stress causes your heart to beat faster and pumps the blood more quickly throughout the body to make it ready to take action. Thus, blood pressure is raised, and if it is not controlled at the earliest, it may cause severe health illness.
- Digestive System: While you are stressed, your body starts producing more acid and controls the absorption of the nutrients. You may feel heartburn, acid reflux, or ulcers during times of high stress.
- Musculoskeletal System: Being in a stressful situation, your muscles get tightened and lead to pain, injury, or even chronic issues like a migraine.
What are the signs and symptoms of being stressed and poor sleep?
The most dangerous thing about stress and poor sleep habit is that they can take a toll on your health without letting you know. So, before it digs into your life, you should know its symptoms which are mentioned below:
What can you do to prevent stress and improve your sleep?
To reduce your stress levels and improve your sleep, you should follow the below tips:
- Increase your exposure to sunlight
- Workout regularly
- Watch your diet
- Practice relaxation technique
- Consume CBD
Increase your exposure to sunlight: Our working environments are mostly closed and do not get enough sunlight. Sitting in one posture and working as a machine puts a strain on the mind and eyes, affecting your sleep. Studies have shown that exposure to sunlight during the morning hours can help boost motivation, happy hormones in the body.
Workout regularly: Working out is said to be one of the best stress busters. It boosts your mood and energy. It helps in boosting happy hormones like serotonin, endorphins. By exercising, you can divert your mind and take away your attention from the stressful situation. Engaging in just 30 minutes of exercise daily could help reduce stress levels and improve sleep quality.
Watch your diet: You should watch your diet closely. A healthy diet can build a solid and more enduring foundation for the body by reducing oxidation and inflammation. Nutrients like Omega-3, Vitamin E is good for keeping the mind calm. You can consume food items like salmon, tuna, sunflower seeds, almonds, spinach, avocados, green leafy vegetables, beans, cereals, and yogurt. You should avoid eating close to bedtime and also late-night snacking.
Practice relaxation technique: Practicing relaxation techniques every day helps to manage stress and keep its effects at bay from the body. A variety of relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, mindfulness meditation, and yoga can help manage stress. Take some time out of your busy day; even just 10 minutes of meditation can give you positive results.
Consume CBD: CBD stands for cannabidiol which is one of the main cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. To understand how CBD works, you must understand the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is a crucial molecular system that helps maintain internal systemic balance. This system helps moderate sleep, appetite, mood, immune system working, leisure, reproduction and fertility, memory, and heat moderation. CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system and, with the help of its receptors, makes the body calm, relax, and become balanced. Extracted from the Cannabis Sativa plant, CBD is available in various forms - edibles, tinctures, oil, vapors and water-soluble CBD.
The Bottom Line
It would be best if you took charge of your wellness. Understand how stress might be affecting your sleep and overall wellbeing. Knowing what is happening to your physical and mental health can modify your lifestyle and make necessary amendments to improve your overall health.