Stress – An individual’s complete response to environmental pressures and demands.
If you’re old enough to read this blog then you’ve undoubtedly had a night or two of restless sleep due to stress. Every student on the planet has experienced final exam stress and can certainly testify on the affects that stress had on their sleep the night before. New parents can speak on the affects the stresses of a newborn has on sleep patterns. No matter what stressful situation we find ourselves in throughout our lifetimes, we’ve all had the displeasure of a few long nights of restless tossing and sleep-depriving turning.
In the simplest terms, stress is what happens when we respond to everyday life. All of the trials, tribulations, and tragedies that can, and often does, occur in our lives has a profound affect on us; physically, emotionally, and behaviorally. While we can often see how our stresses affect us during the waking hours, those affects do not disappear when the sun goes down.
A few of the more common signs of excessive stress on us includes, but is not limited to, depression, anxiety, hyper-tension, general apathy, poor concentration, and sleep depravation. For most of us, our sleep habits are in lock-step with our circumstances. When life is good, so is our sleep and visa versa. Generally speaking, most stressful circumstances we encounter have a short shelf life. However, there are those times where the stresses seem to have no expiration date and the nights can become endless exercises in somnolent futility.
Thankfully there are exercises designed to help people who have found themselves in a position of sleep depriving stress that can actually help put an end to the tossing and turning. As with all advice of this nature, these tips are not designed to be a substitute for medical treatment in the event of prolonged periods of stress. But for those of us who find ourselves with more than a few sleepless nights, Mattresses For Less proudly offers these helpful tips for stress management to help us get the most out of sleep:
Assess The Stress
As with most things in life, the first step in correcting a problem is identifying it. Whether it be ongoing physical pain, work related issues, relationship issues, or any combination of these common sources of stress, once we pinpoint the specific source of our stress, we can take the necessary steps to reduce them.
Misery Loves Company
During times of stress, nothing can help quite as effectively as a healthy support structure. Family and/or friends can be a source of immeasurable help in times of intense stress. While the temptation may be to isolate yourself when the going is rough, there really is no substitute for leaning on the people in our lives that mean the most to us.
Think Happy Thoughts
This may sound like it was lifted from a love-in from the 1960s, but there are plenty of psychological studies that prove the power of positive thinking. How we feel about any given situation is largely dictated by our thought processes. Whatever we focus on definitely affects our overall outlook on life. Pessimism and negativity are as helpful to stress levels as gasoline is to putting out a fire. But positive thought has the ability to reduce the affects of stress on our lives. There is a wealth of information on this subject. If you or a loved one is suffering from sleep depraving stress, you would do well to check out more information on positive thought management.
Work It Out
One of the best pieces of advice you’ll receive on the subject of stress management is relatively simple. Nothing can help you blow off steam faster or more effectively than exercising. Obviously if you have any physical conditions that may be exacerbated by physical exertion you’ll need to consult your doctor first, but if your physical health is not an issue, you’ll probably be surprised at how helpful a good workout is for stress relief.
When we’re in a stressful situation, the last thing we want is the added pressure of watching what we eat. Most of us will grab the nearest/fastest thing we can find or try to drink ourselves to a stress-free reality. Obviously a diet that consists of junk food, fast food, and alcohol will only speed up the negative physical affects of stress; to say nothing of affecting our normal healthy sleep patterns. A low sugar, low caffeine, low alcohol diet can actually help reduce our stress.
One of the leading contributors to high stress in our lives is overwork. Many of us have a difficult time delegating responsibilities to others. It doesn’t take too many consecutive weeks of trying to be Superman or Wonder Woman before you realize we are neither. As much as is possible, pass the work load onto others to alleviate the stress levels in your life.
With just a few changes in schedule, diet, and a significant reduction of things on your plate, you can easily reduce your stress levels and return to a healthy lifestyle; including a healthy sleeping schedule. By following these simple steps, you may be surprised to find yourself sleeping soundly through the night again…