This is a 6-minute read
Stress and trouble sleeping often go hand in hand. When you’re stressed, sometimes it’s hard to calm your mind and get a good night’s sleep. And when you don’t get a good night’s sleep, your tired brain may have more trouble coping with occasional stress. However, do not fear — the sleep experts at ZzzQuil have tools to help you lower stress and get some rest.
Keep reading to learn about melatonin sleep dosage and how to use melatonin for adults and kids safely.
WHY STRESS MAKES SLEEP DIFFICULT
Stress, sleep, and your body
When you’re stressed, your body can experience any of the following:
- Raised blood pressure
- Tight, tense, or sore muscles
- Frequent, throbbing headaches
- Unintentional jaw clenching
- Stomach and digestive issues
- Dry mouth
- Cold sweats
- Dizzy or light-headedness
Any of these physical effects can make sleep more difficult, even when your body needs rest.
Stress, sleep, and your mind
You might also experience unpleasant mental and emotional effects from stress. Some common side effects you could be experiencing are:
- You’re irritable and unusually quick to anger
- You feel “down”
- You feel overwhelmed
- You are quicker to panic
- You’re unable to stop thinking about a stressor in your life
Even when you’re exhausted, experiencing these kind of issues can make it difficult to “turn off” your brain and go to sleep. You may keep playing a stressful moment over and over in your head, or focus on one particular stressor in your life that’s causing you fear, anxiety, anger or sadness.
“When you sleep well, it gives both your brain and body a chance to recharge, reset, and prepare you for a healthy and productive day.”
Wellness and sleep
If you’re already under stress and then add a sleepless night (or two, or three), this can make your stress feel exponentially worse. When you sleep well, it gives both your brain and body a chance to recharge, reset, and prepare you for a healthy and productive day. While you sleep, your body:
- Heals itself. Cuts, bruises, and sore muscles (along with other more serious injuries) are repairing while you sleep.
- Activates your immune system. During sleep is when you make the most white blood cells, which are the cells that attack cold and flu viruses and fight infections. You are much more likely to get sick when you haven’t slept well than you are if you’ve had a good night’s sleep.
- Gives your heart a break. Your heart beats more slowly when you’re sleeping, and this slow tempo is thought to give your heart a chance to rest.
While you sleep, your brain:
- Sorts through all the new information you’ve learned. When you don’t get enough sleep, your brain doesn’t have a chance to sort this information into your memory, which can make you forgetful.
- Gives you a mood boost. A good night’s sleep can help you have a more positive outlook and keeps your brain on an even keel.
- Gets creative. When you have a tough decision to make, “sleep on it” is often the go-to advice. This is because your subconscious can sort through the mundanities of everyday life while you’re sleeping to come up with the best (and oftentimes most creative) answer.
What you can do about it
If you’re caught in the stressed-sleepless cycle, the sleep experts at ZzzQuil are here to help! Take a deep breath…you are not alone!
Optimize sleep habits and hygiene: Try out some of these tips to improve your sleeping habits and hygiene:
- Don’t watch TV, eat, or discuss heavy topics in bed
- Keep noise, light, and temperatures low while you sleep
- Don’t drink fluids after 8 p.m.
- Avoid naps or keep them to 25 minutes
- Avoid bright lights if you wake up at night
- Avoid nicotine, caffeine, alcohol, heavy meals, and exercise before bed
- If your pet interferes with your sleep, don’t let your pet sleep in your bed
Try to relax
Try to relax with the help of some useful techniques for managing stress, not just for times when you are having sleep problems:
- Deep, controlled breathing helps relax the body and mind.
- Meditation is a useful technique that can bring stillness to the mind to calm rampant thoughts.
- Progressive muscle relaxation can resolve physical and mental tension gradually.
Talk through what is troubling or stressing you with a friend, loved one, or a professional counselor or doctor if needed. Not only can they help you put overwhelming thoughts and feelings in context, but the support that comes from people closest to you can go a long way to bringing comfort that can ease your mind and release stress, so you can get some rest to start feeling better.
Consult your doctor, pharmacist or healthcare professional if your stress and sleep problems continue (beyond a few weeks) despite a foundation of good sleep habits and trying various relaxation techniques, it may be time to seek professional counseling or help from your doctor or other healthcare professional.
On this site you’ll find tips for good sleep hygiene, how to relieve stress and more. Plus, you can learn all about ZzzQuil’s non-habit-forming sleep aids like ZzzQuil PURE Zzzs De-Stress & Sleep Melatonin Gummies and ZzzQuil PURE Zzzs De-Stress & Sleep Melatonin Tablets.