Stress Mastery: Does Sleep Affect Your Stress?

by Doc Orman, M.D.

dog sleepingIn my initial post this week, I focused on how being stressed can negatively affect your sleep. 

Today, I want to discuss how not sleeping well—for any reason—can increase your likelihood of experiencing symptoms of stress.

Increased Risk Of Stress

When you are not sleeping well, for any reason, your body and mind become more susceptible to stress. You may have increased feelings of sluggishness and fatigue.  Your concentration  can be diminished and your ability to reason can also be compromised.

If you miss an occasional night of normal sleep, this may not be a big problem.  But if you miss several nights of restful sleep in a row, both your body and your mind will be at increased risk for many types of stress.

You Can Become More Emotionally Sensitive

When your body is sleep deprived, you can become angry more easily. Your anxiety levels may rise, you can become much more irritable, and your ability to think and solve problems can become impaired.

Because of these changes, you may be more likely to snap at other people.  This can further increase your problems and hence your overall stress.

Protect Your Sleep

Because a loss of sleep can lead to increased susceptibility for higher levels of stress, tension, and irritability, it’s important that if you are heading into stressful times, you need to protect your normal sleep pattern.  This is a proactive step that can help you negotiate any upcoming stress more easily.

On the other hand, if you start to notice that your sleep is being negatively affected, you should make correcting this disruption a top priority.

Vicious Circle

You should also realize that since stress can disrupt your sleep, and lack of sleep can increase your stress, which in turn can cause your sleep to become even more disturbed—that this can become a vicious circle

This means that one of the best things you can do to deal with stress in your life is to always make sure you get a good night’s sleep every single day of the week.  The more stress you have in your life, the more critical your need for restful sleep becomes.

Unfortunately, when your sleep becomes disturbed, especially when this persists for several nights in a row, you can easily become desperate to return to your previous healthy sleep patterns.  This desperation can cause you to fall prey to some very bad sleep habits that can further worsen your sleeping problem.  I’ll have more to say about these bad sleep habits in my third and final post of this week.

NOTE: Click the link to find out about my digital PDF e-book Sleep Well Again: How To Fall Asleep Fast, Stay Asleep Longer, And Get Better Sleep Like You Did In The PastThis book will teach you the basics of how to get a good night’s sleep and how to avoid the many pitfalls that can make sleep problems even worse.   

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