Sleep and Stress

Everybody knows that when you’re stressed you cannot sleep. When you go through a stressful times (school exams, professional changes, personal worries …), sleep is rare and nights are often sleepless!

To sleep well despite the stress, researchers at the University of Tsukuba (Japan) may have found a solution: octacosanol. This molecule (which is already used to reduce cholesterol levels in the blood and preserve cardiovascular health) is particularly present in sugar cane, rice bran, yam and wheat germ oil.

In addition, an Italian study conducted on a group of 6 astronauts also demonstrated that the level of stress that can be experienced during the day has direct effects on sleep. Researchers have found “unprecedented and absolutely unexpected correlations between sleep quality and stress levels, that stress alters the quality and quantity of sleep is a fact known for a long time, but that the Sleep Slow Oscillation (SSO), the main wave of slow-wave sleep (restful sleep), represents a specific target of the stress hormone (cortisol), it is a completely new data “, specify the authors of the research.

This hormone, produced by the adrenal gland, is used to regulate the cardiovascular system, the metabolism and the immune system. If short-term exposure to cortisol prepares the body for the fight or flight response, prolonged exposure increases the risk of health problems such as heart disease, weight gain and depression.

Stress at the work place is an important source of stress and anxiety that inevitably (and strongly) affects sleep: nearly one in three employees report having experienced sleep disturbances in the last 12 months. No wonder, when you know the place it takes in our lives and our minds. But there are solutions to let go physically and mentally before going to bed, which are necessary to allow our nervous system and our body to breathe a little and recover.

You bring back a file to go home at night, which makes you sleep late or obsesses your thoughts, preventing you from falling asleep? You hung out with a colleague in a meeting, and have trouble getting to sleep? An important interview for the next day (customer negotiation, a meeting with management, presentation of a file, etc.) obsesses you and stresses you too much to be able to close your eyes? If these situations are familiar to you, your professional life is definitely disturbing your nights!

Periods of prolonged stress or lack of sleep can seriously harm the body and mind. Developing good strategies to better manage stress is a fundamental health factor.

Right Down Your Worries

Our negative thoughts can ruin our sleep. Instead of ruminating for hours, get a notebook and a pen, and write down everything that goes through your head without fear of being judged. Avoid using a phone or computer, as this may disrupt your internal clock with blue light. Once cleared of these thoughts, you should feel lighter. If this is not the case, try placing the paper where you have written down your negative thoughts in a box. This small symbolic gesture helps to empty, to “lock up” and put aside his worries until the next morning, without spoiling our night.

Get Out Of Bed

Many experts advise insomniacs not to turn in their bed for hours when they cannot fall asleep. By staying under the duvet, the brain may associate the room to a place of anxiety. If you cannot get enough sleep after 20 minutes, get up and do an activity that relaxes you without stimulating you intellectually, such as coloring.


Breathing Mediation for better sleep:

  1. Sit comfortably on a pillow or in a chair with your back upright. Rest one hand on your stomach and the other on your chest. The hand on your stomach should move more than the other hand when breathing. Close your eyes or look down to avoid distractions.
  2. Breathe in deep through your nose and out of your mouth. Continue to do this in a steady, slow rhythm and allow the exhale to last twice as long as the inhale.
  3. Focus on using your diaphragm and stomach. This relieves the stress we put on our upper body when breathing. Continue to steadily breathe.
  4. Take a pause from breathing. Clinch your fist tightly and feel the tension. Relax and focus on the difference between tension and relaxation. Continue to breathe deeply and slowly.
  5. Think about how calm and relaxed you are and continue breathing. Clinch your feet and take a final deep breathe. As you exhale, relax your feet and open your eyes. You should feel more relaxed now.