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Tips to reduce stress and sleep better

Problems sleeping are a common sign of stress.

If someone has stress, they'll feel they are under too much mental or emotional pressure.

Managing stress during the day can help with a good night's sleep.

Tips for managing stress for better sleep

These tips can help you ease stress and hopefully get a better night's sleep:

  • Assess what is stressful: The first step in getting a handle on stress is to work out what is causing it. Take a good look at your daily activities and see what is causing stress in your life. Once you identify your stressors, you can take steps to reduce them.
  • Seek social support: Spending time with family and friends is an important buffer against stress. It can be helpful to share your problems with people who care about you.
  • Practise thought management: What we think, how we think, what we expect, and what we tell ourselves often determine how we feel and how well we manage rising stress levels. You can learn to change thought patterns that produce stress. Thoughts to watch out for include those concerning how things should be and those that over-generalise sets of circumstances (for example, "I'm a complete failure in my job because I missed one deadline.") Many commercial CDs and books can help you learn thought management exercises.
  • Exercise: Exercise can help you blow off steam thereby reducing stress. In addition, flexible, loose muscles are less likely to become tight and painful in response to stress.
  • Eat a healthy diet: Junk food and refined sugars low in nutritional value and high in calories can leave us feeling out of energy and sluggish. A healthy diet, low in sugar, caffeine, and alcohol consumption, can promote health and reduce stress.
  • Get adequate sleep: A good night's sleep allows you to tackle the day's stress more easily. When you are tired, you are less patient and easily agitated which can increase stress. Most adults need 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night. Practising good sleep hygiene along with stress-lowering tactics can help improve your quality of sleep.
  • Delegate responsibility: Often, having too many responsibilities can lead to stress. Free up time and decrease stress by delegating responsibilities.
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WebMD Medical Reference

Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks on June 21, 2017

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