The presence of stress in our lives has the tendency to be a "you can run but you can't hide" sort of deal. We all go through it, whether it's brought on by our jobs, our personal lives or even just terrible traffic. Stress may be inevitable, but that doesn't mean we should just let it happen. It can take a serious toll on our everyday functions - especially catching those zzz's.
When we're stressed, our minds race with thoughts instead of shutting down at night, inhibiting important functions involved in memory, muscle repair and mood (yikes). When we don't get enough sleep, our immune system falters just as much as when we're stressed. But those aren't the only things put out of whack.
That horrible exhaustion that hits after only a night or two of sleeplessness is enough to derail anyone. It also makes you more susceptible to emotional outbursts and missed deadlines. Eighty-three percent of workers say they’re stressed about their jobs and nearly 50 percent say work-related stress is interfering with their sleep. Sleeping too little is one of the best predictors of burnout.
One of the best ways to drift into dreamland is by implenting a solid sleep ritual and introducing some good sleep hygiene. Aka... Stick to a schedule. Getting to bed at the same time every night is a classic sleep ritual tip, so you've probably heard this one. But if you're someone with anxiety, the "classic" sleep tips are even more important because of your propensity for sleepless nights. The trick here is to also wake up at about the same time every day, which may be particularly painful (but worth it) on the weekends.
Getting into the habit of doing the same few things every night before you go to bed helps clue your body into what's happening. Hopefully, then, it'll get on board the next time you go through the motions. And, as Arianna Huffington says, feel free to make that ritual as indulgent as you'd like - luxurious bath, silk bedding, sleep scents - whatever it takes to help you fall back in love with sleep.
Another sure fire way to stress less? Keep a journal. There are so many reasons a journal can help you get a better night's sleep - it just depends on how you want to use it. For instance, keeping track of how long and how well you sleep each night makes it easier to find patterns in your sleep habits and pinpoint unexpected things that can keep you up (like that extra episode of American Horror Story before bed). Or, using your journal for mindfulness-related practices, including reflecting on gratitude, can reduce your stress levels and leave you feeling extra relaxed.
Stress and sleep deprivation are serious business. The good news is that no matter what ails you - there's always hope. The Goodnight Co. has specially formulated a range of Sleep Kits that can help with whatever stress or anxiety issues are affecting your journey to dream land.