Stress. The Sleep Robber!
Are You Stressed?
STRESS!!! Yes, I’m sure you are aware that stress is a sleep robber, but outside of all those stressful thoughts running through your mind at night not allowing you to shut down, there are also more physical reasons as to why you cannot get to sleep.
When we have chronic stress (stress over a long period of time, not just for a moment) our body over produces cortisol. Cortisol is a very strong chemical that is released during high-stress periods. Your body can handle a little bit here and there when you are in a ‘flight or fight’ situation, but when it’s constantly released, it will actually break down cell tissues, especially in the brain and digestive tract. Which is probably where the term “losing your mind’ came from, because, you literally are !! So you will naturally have trouble shutting down.
Also, as you have those stressful thoughts while you lay in bed, the heart beats faster, your blood begins to flow more rapidly and your pressure begins to rise… your body is ready to get up and go! Not sleep. Another problem is that stress builds up an area of your brain called the amygdala. This is your brain’s ‘fear center’. This makes you more fearful which causes a vicious cycle of even more fear and stress about things you would not normally be afraid of.
The bottom line, stress causes more damage than even poor eating habits and robs you of the much-needed sleep that helps you to relax, be calm and focused throughout the day.
Try using an essential oil, like lavender, a few drops on a cloth by your pillow to help you relax. Write your thoughts and concerns on paper or in a journal and try physically leaving it there.
Personally, my faith helps me to de-stress as I am reminded of a verse in the Bible that says “all things work for good’, so I’m assured that even the bad things in life… will somehow work out to a benefit… and that helps me sleep really well at night.
Source: Carolyn Nichol, Certified Holistic Nutritionist