Stress and insomnia go hand in hand and they are a dangerous combination.
I’ve had 3 clients recently, all women, who were struggling to sleep due to stress generated by business and family. They were feeling overwhelmed by the pressures around them but, true to fashion, were carrying on – they had no choice.
But the loss of sleep causes unending damage to our bodies.
During sleep we repair ourselves – here are some benefits of sleep
- Lowered stress: sleep definitely reduces stress which means the person is less susceptible to illnesses such as blood pressure, diabetes and heart attacks.
- Alertness – a study found that being tired accounted for the highest number of fatal road crashes due to the driver’s performance—even more than alcohol and that is because sleepiness seriously impairs reaction time and decision making
- Improved mood – some studies suggest that having a decent amount of sleep helps guard against depression. This is not surprising because one of the major factor in causing depression is low mood – how are you going to feel bright and cheery when you are tired?
- Reduced Inflammation is linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, arthritis, and premature aging. People who sleep six or fewer hours a night have higher blood levels of inflammatory proteins, including C-reactive protein, which is associated with heart attack risk
- Weight management – A recent study found that dieters who were well rested lost more fat—56% of their weight loss—than those who were sleep deprived, who lost more muscle mass. Dieters in the study also felt more hungry when they got less sleep and this is because sleep and metabolism are controlled by the same parts of the brain.
- Improved creativity – if your mind is less foggy, creativity can flow. Researchers at Harvard University found that people seem to strengthen the emotional components of a memory during sleep, which may help spur the creative process.
- Improved performance – A Stanford University study found performance and stamina improved and fatigue was less in athletes when they slept for at least 10 hours a night for seven to eight weeks. Similar problems are seen in attention and learning so grades in school and college will be effected. Clearly it is unreasonable to expect people to sleep this long but a decent 8hrs should suffice.
- Improved longevity – other factors come into this but in a 2010 study conducted using women between ages 50 to 79 they found more deaths occurred in women who got less than five hours
The world isn’t going to be a happy place for you…and then if all the above factors kick in, you are going to feel down…which might lead to depression. The number of my clients who are on anti depressants is unhealthy but simply improving their sleep and teaching them simple techniques to manage their stress makes a huge difference to their quality of life.
Please deal with your insomnia which in turn will help you manage your stress better.
Give me a ring if you need help.