Stress can be a regular occurrence, and many people report feeling stressed on a regular basis. Average stress levels in America rose from 4.9 to 5.1 on a 10-point stress scale, and there’s an increase in the number of adults who experience high stress.
Significant stress contributors include discrimination, money, work, family responsibilities, health concerns, and the economy. Stress can take a toll on your health, with those who reported a higher stress level often also reporting fair or poor health.
Coping with stress is essential to your physical and mental health, and overall well-being. When you’re feeling stressed, you don’t feel right, and chronic stress can interfere with your sleep and health. Experts recommend having a positive outlook and a good emotional support system.
Additionally, getting enough sleep at night and practicing stress relieving exercises can be effective mechanisms for reducing and managing stress.
How Yoga Helps You Reduce Stress
Regular yoga practice can help you reduce feelings of stress. Yoga helps you feel centered and relaxed and can help you clear your mind of anxious or stressful thoughts. When you practice yoga, you can improve circulation, stretch your body, and relieve some of the tension that stress can build up in your muscles.
In a study of nurses, yoga was found to be effective in improving sleep quality and reducing work stress. Nurses who practiced yoga more than two times each week for about an hour after work reported greater sleep quality and less stress after six months of practice.
Managing Stress With Sleep
Getting enough sleep can help you manage your stress, as it gives you the energy and cognitive power you need to face the challenges of each day. When you get enough sleep, your brain is better prepared to deal with anxiety, think clearly, and process stress appropriately. When you’re sleep deprived, you may experience greater frustration, confusion, and overall slower cognition and memory.
As sleep can help significantly with stress, it’s vital that you make sure you get at least seven hours of sleep each night. You should also pay attention to the quality of your sleep so that you’re making the most of your sleep hours. Buying a comfortable mattress that supports your preferred sleep position may help. There are cost-effective mattress options available online.
Tips for Managing Stress With Sleep and Yoga
Prioritize sleep. You may feel too busy and stressed to sleep, but you can’t function well without the rest you need. Make time for the sleep you need each night, scheduling responsibilities and activities around sleep, not the other way around.
Practice yoga regularly. Yoga can help you reduce stress and sleep better, so you should practice yoga at least a couple of times a week. Yoga can be beneficial at any time of day, but it may help you drift off to sleep better if you make it part of your bedtime routine, or even practice yoga in bed.
Alleviate anxiety. Do your best to reduce anxiety with lifestyle changes, so you can better deal with stress. Combat stress by turning your phone off or placing it away from your bed at night. Try nightly gratitude practices, such as journaling or thinking of a positive experience.