Stressed? Sleep on it!

One of the issues for many women in the workplace who are juggling family and personal responsibilities, community involvement and study commitments while working in a busy role, is the level of stress they sometimes feel.

Sleep is often one of the first symptoms of stress, or the lack of quality sleep to be more specific.

Some timely advice from the Woolcock Institute for Medical Research might be of help to some in this situation.

    1. Discipline yourself to go to sleep at the same time every night and get up at the same time every morning. This sets a sleeping cycle which your body will regulate and sleeping in to catch up plays havoc with setting that cycle.
    2. Start or maintain some form of regular exercise for 20-60 minutes daily but avoid doing this in the last 5-6 hours before bedtime.
    3. Caffeine, smoking and alcohol are often the things we reach for when stressed but each of these are stimulants which interfere with your sleep.
    4. Chill out before bed with a warm bath, some light reading or maybe meditation. Doing this regularly will train you that when you relax you then go to bed.
    5. If you can’t stay asleep get up and do something relaxing like reading, watching tv or listening to music until you get tired again, then go back to bed.
    6. Make sure your room is a comfortable temperature as much as possible.
    7. Tiredness on waking or difficulty falling asleep can be symptoms of a sleeping disorder so if you have no luck, see a doctor to eliminate any physical condition.

Poor sleeping patterns can sometimes cause even more anxiety and contribute to the stress. Assuming there is no physical reason for sleeping problems, focus on establishing sound sleep habits and don’t give yourself a hard time about not being able to sleep. Concentrate on positive outcomes. When you achieve those you’ll have more energy to deal with the stressful situations.