Stress Mastery: Understanding How Stress Can Affect Your Sleep

by Doc Orman, M.D.

man sleepingThis past Saturday, I held my first local Meetup group (Hunt Valley, Maryland)  under the group name Stress Free Successful People.  Twelve people attended, which was pretty good since the Meetup.com website was down most of the week before.

As people talked about common types of stress in their lives, about half the group mentioned that having trouble getting to sleep when they are stressed is a major problem for them.

This prompted me to revisit a series of blog posts I wrote about two years ago that speak to this common issue.

How Stress Can Affect Your Sleep

I’m sure you already know that being under stress can impact your sleep in a negative way.  When a stressful crisis occurs, your mind can start racing and not shut off at night.  Fears, worries and other concerns can increase at night and your body can become tense, your heart rate and blood pressure may rise and none of this is conducive to peaceful, restful sleep.

But this is only part of the story.  There are many things that people tend to do when they are under stress that can make getting to sleep or staying asleep much more difficult.  Some of these include:

  • Smoking more heavily;
  • Consuming more alcohol;
  • Increasing coffee intake;
  • Overscheduling;
  • Overthinking;
  • Overworrying.

Some People May Sleep More…Not Less

Stress can make some people sleep more rather than less.  This may occur when stress levels are very high all throughout the day, causing you to feel exhausted and drained early in the evening.  Also, some people may become depressed in response to stressful life problems, and depression itself can cause one to sleep much more than usual.

Thus, stress can affect your sleep in many different ways.  In my next post, I’ll talk about how not sleeping well, for any reason, can increase the chances you will experience heightened levels of stress.

NOTE: Click the following link to find about my digital downloadable PDF e-book Sleep Well Again: How To Fall Asleep Fast, Stay Asleep Longer, And Get Better Sleep Like You Did In The Past.   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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