We are all feeling stress in different ways these days. For some, the overwhelming stress of the novel Coronavirus, or COVID-19, pandemic may mean compounded stress on top of the typical stressors, like family, finance, and health. We may feel anxious, on edge, or numb. We might feel like we just want to get back into bed, pull the covers up, and go to back sleep.
Turns out it’s not a bad strategy. Research shows that most Americans would be happier, healthier and safer if they were to sleep an extra 60 to 90 minutes per night.
The Connection Between Sleep & Stress
There is a strong connection between sleep and stress, a cycle actually. Stress interferes and impacts sleep, and, in turn, sleep (or lack thereof) contributes to stress, affecting memory, judgment and mood.
How does it happen? Stress sends the “fight or flight” hormones adrenaline and cortisol into action. That prevents sleep, resulting in exhaustion and a range of negative health impacts, from obesity and high blood pressure to insomnia and anxiety.
If you or your bed partner snore, it’s even worse. Sleep interruptions may result in diabetes, weight gain, and other health issues. For snorers, clenching the jaw and grinding the teeth is common.
The effects of this cycle ripple throughout our daily lives. We feel irritable, angry, overwhelmed, and lacking interest, motivation, and energy. We have trouble concentrating. We lose our patience with our children, spouse or partner. We skip exercise.
The good news is that we can make a vicious cycle a peaceful cycle by taking a few simple steps.
3 Steps to Improve Sleep & Reduce Stress
There are steps you can take to improve your sleep and decrease your stress.
- Schedule your sleep. Adults who sleep fewer than eight hours a night report higher stress levels than those who sleep at least eight hours a night. Set a “go to sleep” time and a “wake up” time. And stick to it!
- Create a bedtime routine. Identify how you like to unwind and make it a daily practice. It could be meditation, reading, aromatherapy, a skin care regimen, cuddling with your partner, or sipping a cup of tea. Choose something low-key and relaxing that you will look forward to.
- Tire your body! Exercise alleviates stress and results in physical exhaustion that makes it easier to fall asleep at night. Try an online class, do some yard work, or do safe outdoor activities, like hopping on your bike.
We are here for you.
We understand the stress you are experiencing, and we are glad to offer a way to help. ZQuiet products can improve the quantity and quality of sleep for both bed partners, reducing stress. The ZQuiet mouthpiece opens the airway for healthier sleep, and it also protects against nighttime bruxing and grinding.