Whether you routinely struggle with the right quantity or quality of sleep or you’re sleep schedule is frequently interrupted by stress, each of us can make simple adjustments to improve the sleep we do get. Sleep and stress can create an unhealthy cycle—too much stress often leads to too little sleep, which leads to too much stress. Until we break the cycle, it’s impossible to use our sleep patterns to combat stress. FitClub has easy adjustments you can make tonight to sleep away your stress.
- Build your resilience. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) found that up to thirty-three percent of American adults struggle with getting enough sleep on a regular basis. The percentage was so high, the CDC has deemed it an epidemic! The National Sleep Foundation recommends building your resilience to stress in order to sleep better. To boost your resilience, you may need to confront your individual stressors. Can you forgive a person that may be causing you stress? Can you teach yourself to meditate during the workday when stress threatens? Becoming more resilient to stress as it occurs can prevent the stress from building all day and interfering with your sleep at night. While becoming more resilient to day to day stress is a challenge, each day that you take a step forward and manage your stress as it occurs is a building block.
- Exercise. We already know that exercise has a profound effect on the release of endorphins and management of stress, but its role in combating insomnia is critical. Exercise helps you build that resilience to sleep, tires you out, and allows you to combat your stress in almost real time. Try it for yourself! The next time you feel family or work stress start to build in your body, try out the FitClub app and dive into a workout. Within fifteen minutes, you might begin to feel the tension in your body begin to subside and the endorphins take over.
- Prioritize. Too often, busy adults skimp on sleep in order to catch up on other work or household obligations. If this is happening to you, you may be caught in a cycle that is causing you stress and limiting your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. Prioritizing seven to nine hours of sleep each day is a must for better overall physical and mental health. If sleep doesn’t come naturally to you, you may need to start your bedtime rituals earlier in the evening, allowing you to begin to fall asleep more quickly when you lay down. This may mean taking a warm bath, avoiding electronics or stressful triggers (i.e. the news or social media), or allowing a few moments for meditation to clear your mind. Sleep is its own sort of obligation and with high quality and sufficient quantity of sleep, every other obligation becomes easier to manage.
What works for you when you’re experiencing stress and having difficult falling asleep? Share your advice with your fellow FitClub members and get some rest!