You may have heard that getting good sleep is vital for better health. It has a positive impact on many aspects of our health, including a decreased risk of stroke, heart disease and diabetes. It also has the ability to boost your mood and reduce stress. But, how does high-quality sleep reduce stress? Let’s take a look.
Stress is usually caused by some kind of mental or emotional factor. When we’re stressed, i.e. feeling scared, anxious or overwhelmed, our body releases stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. However, stress can also be impacted by how much sleep you get and the quality of that sleep. So that’s why it’s important to have a good sleep routine.
Sleep decreases the level of cortisol in your body
Lack of sleep causes the body to feel as though it is in distress. To combat this, it releases more cortisol, the stress hormone that’s responsible for the fight or flight reaction. If you have too much cortisol in your body, over time it can lead to weight gain, high blood pressure and issues with your cardiovascular system. Good quality sleep helps your body to regulate your hormone levels and keep your cortisol levels under control. To reduce feelings of stress and anxiety, aim for between seven to nine hours of sleep each night.
Sleep reduces anxiety
When you lose too much sleep, the region in the brain that controls emotional processing and worry can be activated. People who suffer from anxiety will feel this most. Ensuring that you get your full quota of sleep can significantly reduce your feelings of anxiety as it improves your ability to process stress and your reactions to it. High-quality sleep can boost your outlook, your mood and your disposition.
Sleep regulates your immune system
Good quality sleep is vital for regulating and developing a well-balanced immune system. It’s even thought that having a consistently good regular sleep pattern will give your immune system a boost, enabling it to defend against and fight off infections, respond efficiently to vaccines and reduce the severity of allergic reactions. In short, it keeps you healthier, and when you feel healthy, you’re more able to cope with stress.
How to get better sleep
So now that we know how sleep can improve your stress levels, how do you make sure that you’re getting good quality sleep every night?
There are many ways to improve the quality of your sleep from keeping to a set sleep and wake time to creating a restful environment that’s conducive to sleep. There are also steps you can take to reduce stimulation from blue light from our TV and computer screens. Exercise and nutrition also play a role in getting good quality sleep.
However, one way to understand more about your sleep is by undergoing genomic testing with myDNA. A simple cheek swab test can give you a better understanding of your body and how it functions, including fascinating insights into your sleep patterns, sleep quality and immune system.