How sleep can reduce stress


Stress Awareness Month, held during the month of April aims to raise awareness about the causes and help provide solutions for stress in our lives. While various aspects of life can contribute to stress, this blog is going to concentrate on the role of sleep in helping individuals manage increased stress.

Daily stress factors such as financial commitments, work and relationships, as well as job loss, relocation or illness, can impact our overall wellbeing. What’s more, stress can disrupt sleep patterns, further adding to our levels of stress.

Are you having trouble sleeping?

If stress is causing you to lose sleep, it may stop you from entering a restorative deep sleep during the night. Anxiety can also disrupt your sleep patterns, causing you to wake up frequently throughout the night. Stress can lead to a reduced overall sleep duration and lower sleep efficiency. Physiological changes, such as increased cortisol levels, can be seen in the sleep-stress relationship, resulting in heightened alertness, increased heart rate, and higher blood pressure.

Your cortisol levels naturally decrease in the evenings as part of your body’s sleep preparation. However, high cortisol levels at night can disrupt the production and release of melatonin, an important hormone for regulating sleep-wake cycles. Additionally, inadequate sleep can further impact cortisol levels, causing them to rise during times when they should be low.

Stress can affect your sleep patterns by reducing the time spent in light and deep sleep and increasing time in REM sleep. REM sleep is essential for restoring mental function and processing emotions and memories. These disruptions to your sleep affect the usual brain wave patterns during REM and other stages of sleep. Stress can alter brain waves associated with concentration, creativity, and dreaming. Additionally, excessive time in REM sleep can lead to daytime sleepiness and fatigue, further affecting sleep cycles and mood.

Can stress be reduced by more sleep?

Sleep is a highly effective way to reduce stress. Maintaining a consistent sleep schedule can help relax and rejuvenate the body, enhance focus, stabilise mood, and improve cognitive abilities. By getting enough rest, you become more able to solve problems and deal with stress. On the other hand, insufficient sleep can deplete your energy levels and impair mental clarity.

Lack of sleep can significantly affect your ability to concentrate. Research has shown that too little sleep can make you more emotionally reactive, impulsive, and over sensitive in negative situations. These can then lead to various stress-related issues such as difficulties with relationships and problems with job performance.

How to manage stress

Managing stress is so important for a good night’s sleep. Making relaxation a priority before going to bed can help reduce or even get rid of the stress of the day. So things like taking a warm shower, getting a massage, or doing light stretching can be helpful.

Certain scents and teas have been known to aid relaxation. Discover essential oils, balms, pillows, and teas that have been tested and evaluated by sleep experts. Embracing some of these calming activities can help release tension and help you get a better night’s sleep. If you experience stress and anxiety at night, incorporating the following bedtime routines may help.

  1. When it comes to managing your worries and concerns before going to bed, it’s important to make a deliberate decision. Set aside a time during the day to address the stress you’re facing, so that when bedtime comes, you can have a worry-free mindset. If you find yourself still carrying stress to bed, it can be helpful to keep a notepad near by where you can jot down your thoughts and concerns mentally setting them aside before sleep.
  2. Keep your office, home, and car organised to reduce stress. Clutter can cause anxiety when you’re unable to find important items like documents or car keys.
  3. Meditation can reduce stress and enhance sleep. Consider learning how to meditate.
  4. Practicing gratitude daily can help reduce stress. Take a few moments before going to bed to express gratitude for the positive experiences and things that made you feel good throughout the day.
  5. Practice mind exercises, such as puzzles, to break the cycle of anxious thoughts and improve sleep.
  6. Include breathing exercises in your routine to help you relax. Begin by breathing in deeply for a count of four, holding your breath for the same count, and breathing out slowly over a count of eight.

It’s important to remember that stress is a natural part of all our lives, and in small doses, it can be beneficial. The hormone cortisol, released during periods of stress, helps in identifying potential dangers and reacts accordingly. By being able to recognise the stress factors that may be affecting your sleep and putting in place successful coping strategies, you can keep a healthier life balance.

Adding healthy sleep habits into your daily routine can help you to manage stress more effectively. With mindfulness and consistency, you can interrupt the negative cycle between sleep and stress, helping you to get improved wellbeing and a better quality of sleep.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio.

Metric (cm)
Length x Width
Imperial (inch)
Length x Width
UK Sizes
UK small single
190 x 75 cm
75" x 30"
UK single
190 x 92 cm
75" x 36"
UK Small Double
190 x 122 cm
75" x 48"
UK Double
190 x 137 cm
75" x 54"
UK King
198 x 152 cm
78" x 60"
UK Super King
198 x 183 cm
78" x 72"
EU Sizes
EU single
200 x 90 cm
78.7" x 35.4"
EU Double
200 x 140 cm
78.7" x 55.1"
EU King
200 x 160 cm
78.7" x 63"