The Effects of Stress on Sleep

Sleep. We all need it, we all want it.  Most of us do not get enough of it.  Personally I do not get enough sleep.  Everybody knows, the suggested amount of sleep is eight hours.  What many do not know is that eight hours is an average.  So if you have an off night where you only get four hours of sleep, sleeping the next day for 12 hours is okay. You don’t have to feel like a bum.  You are just doing what is healthy for yourself right?  Where does stress come into play in all this? Well, it is a major reason on why certain people cannot sleep.  I know when I have a big test or presentation the next day, I often spend the night rolling around in bed frustrated that I cannot fall asleep no matter how tired I am.  The stress can be overwhelming and studies prove that stress inhibits sleep.  When someone is chronically stressed, their hormone imbalance is thrown off and so to is the regular sleep cycle.  So a good night’s sleep relieves stress but that same stress can cause problems sleeping; that is somewhat of a dilemma isn’t it?  When you sleep good, you are less stressed out the next day.  When I get a good night’s sleep, my day is much better.  I wake up feeling good and productive; my overall mood is much happier.  What about you all? Does anyone else have trouble sleeping? And don’t you feel better the day after a good night of sleep?


2 Responses to “The Effects of Stress on Sleep”

  1. 1 Cari Malakoff April 4, 2011 at 9:08 pm

    I can relate in which when I have a big presentation or exam the next day, I often feel anxious and stressed which leads me to not be able to fall asleep quickly. I toss and turn in which I continue to feel anxiety that ultimately leads me to feeling very tired and not having a lot of energy in the morning. However, I definitely do feel better the day after a good night of sleep. For me, there is nothing like my own bed at home. I am able to fall asleep quickly and like the comfort of being in my own house in which I can sleep for a lot more hours than in my apartment at school. As a result, with a good amount of hours of sleep, I also feel happier and have more energy as opposed to getting hardly any sleep and feeling drowsy and lethargic.

  2. 2 Laura April 5, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    Recently I have not been getting enough sleep and my headaches are coming back, which is really frustrating because they prevent me from performing well. Yeah as you mentioned I personally need 9 hours sleep or so because 8 hours is still not enough for me. It was interesting learning from today’s lecture that “Pineal Gland releases increased amounts of melatonin in response to darkness (the ‘night hormone’).” So I wonder about the people that work at night and sleep all day if they ever actually feel rested. The WebMD website mentions: “Light affects how much melatonin your body produces. During the shorter days of the winter months, your body may produce melatonin either earlier or later in the day than usual. This change can lead to symptoms of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), or winter depression.” I am personally tired of the cold weather so now that we are in “spring” I am anxiously waiting to see sunnier days that will help me feel better.

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