Does stress affect sleep?

Not all kinds of insomnia has its roots in stress but stress could be called a major contributing factor to sleep-loss.

A Survey that was take throughout America to gain insight into sleep habits of adults found that at least 40% of adults report not getting enough sleep.

A majority of adults surveyed that is 3 out of 4 report getting less than 8 hours sleep. 1 in 4 adults sleep for less than 5 hours every night.

Such sleep habits can put them at serious risk of several illnesses, loss of productivity and many mishaps.

But if stress is a contributing factor, reducing the same would bring in much-needed relief.

Stress can trigger insomnia and stress induced insomnia affects our ability to fall asleep and stay that way. This could in turn trigger hyper arousal disturbing sleep patterns and upsetting those.

Discovering the root cause of sleep problems

You may feel that sleeplessness is triggered due to insomnia but there could be other factors at work here.

To understand if stress is the real culprit try to figure out when did your sleep problems begin?

If you always feel let down that could be due to several factors including depression, chronic mood disorder or low serotonin production. This may or may not contribute to sleep-loss and the underlying factors could be something else.

If you began taking a certain kind of medication, some of the understated effects include loss in sleep.

Was it a major assignment at work that kept you awake with many sleepless nights in between? Is the stress from such assignments regularly hampering your sleep?

If stress is the reason for sleep troubles you should try to relax as much as possible.

People tend to worry too much they’re not getting sleep. And that worry fuels further problems— resulting in no sleep at all.

If it’s chronic stress you’re suffering from understanding how it acts on your body and responses the body produces in turn is going to help resolve it.

How does chronic stress act on us?

When our brain perceives a threat it releases a wave of hormones that trigger specific bodily responses.

Release of adrenaline results in the fight or flight response. But since today’s social situations are way different than what we experienced as primitive men where such responses actually helped us survive, today these responses just result in unfulfilled trigger responses.

This causes stress to build up over time. And as the situations that stress us have no end in sight the stress keeps building.

How to solve sleep problems by solving stress?

A healthy bedtime routine can go a long way in stemming sleep problems. I don’t know if you know this- but our body is regulated by a biological clock called circadian rhythm.

  • You won’t be able to lengthen the time you get shut-eye with one night. Slowly working towards a longer sleep time by sleeping early and waking up earlier is the way to go. This gradual increase will lengthen your sleep time.
  • We don’t notice this but most times a really comfortable pillow can help us with our sleep problems. There are people who like sleeping on the side and others want support on the back and such specialized pillows can make sleep a pleasant experience, help you sleep longer.
  • When suffering from insomnia you need to allot a time before you sleep to winding down. During this period it’s better not to read or do anything taxing including watching television. The blue light from digital screens disrupts our sleep cycle and interferes with the night time. We need a space for the alerting mechanisms in our brain to shut down and allow the brain as a whole to hibernate and go to sleep mode. You can listen to some soulful music to accelerate the shutting down, especially ones that seem to have a calming effect on you.
  • When sleeping try to avoid uncomfortable positions that can cause neck pain.
  • There’s little doubt to the fact that insomnia is an experience no one wants in their life. Insomnia itself is a cause for anxiety. We have trouble falling asleep and we raise a lot of trouble worrying if we’d fall asleep.
  • Instead of twisting and turning all night you should take control of your sleep habits and the bedroom. Associate positive emotions and sentiments with the bedroom. So don’t partake in anything that spoils the positivity associated with that room. Consequently move arguments out of that room, don’t eat food in your bedroom, don’t take your job to the bedroom, talking on the phone and other such activities should be avoided.
  • An extremely popular actor who’s known all over the world with tons of ad projects and movies under his belt has a policy that once he enters the house, he won’t take any calls from anyone. The house is for family interactions.

How to Protect Fair Skin from The Sun

If you have fair skin or have children that do, you will know how hard it is to protect your skin from sunburn and just how easy it is to burn. Fair skin is more at risk in the sun than any other skin tone and burns the quickest. This is due to a natural substance found in the body called Melanin. The more Melanin you have in your skin, the darker your skin tone is. Those with fair skin have little Melanin, which helps protect the skin from the sun’s damaging UV rays. Here are a few ways to protect that fair skin next time you are going out in the sun.

Sunscreen

The most important part of protecting our skin is ensuring that we have a reliable sunscreen with a strong factor. For fair skin, factor 50+ is the best way to ensure that our skin is protected from the UV rays and that we reduce the risk of sunburn. The SPF of a sunscreen can be confusing to many people and we shouldn’t assume a factor 50 sunscreen means it can last all day. Understanding what SPF means and how it relates to protecting the skin from sunburn is important in understanding why we still need to reapply it often.

Experts suggest that we should still reapply sunscreen every 1-2 hours. You do not need to lather yourself until you stick to everything in sight. Ensure your skin is covered evenly as layering will not make it any more effective. As we sweat, we will lose the effects of the sunscreen and, therefore, that is why applying every 1-2 hours keeps us safe from UV rays. This is especially important if you are using the pool or sea, as even waterproof sunscreen will eventually come off. Apply sunscreen around 20 minutes before going out into the sun, so that your skin has time to soak it in and reap the benefits. Every person with fair skin may have different skin needs. There are sunscreens for those with oily, dry, or combination skin, which can give you the best skincare whilst protecting your skin from the sun.

Using Hats/Umbrellas

Just because you are wearing sunscreen, it does not mean your fair skin is fully protected from the sun. A prime target for UV rays can be your scalp, as chances are you have not used sunscreen here as your hair provides cover. Unfortunately, your hair doesn’t completely protect you from sunburn and the best way to avoid a dry, sunburnt scalp is a hat. If you are not a fan of wearing a hat, there are many alternatives such as scarves or caps. If you are sunbathing, it is best to stay under an umbrella to avoid the UV rays, especially if you are prone to falling asleep in the sun.

Treating Sun-Damaged Fair Skin

If you have damaged your skin in the past, you may have permanent sun damage or age spots from doing so. The Dermatology Center in Plano offers a variety of treatments for sun damaged skin, including face peels that help your skin to go back to its original healthy self. Dermatologists can advise you on the best products for your fair skin to prevent this happening again. If you have recently damaged your skin and are suffering from sunburn, there are ways to promote the natural healing process and stop the pain that can come with sun damage. Take Paracetamol and Ibuprofen to reduce pain and swelling that sunburn can cause. Check the packets to ensure you know when and how to take pain relief effectively and safely. Cool water can soothe the damaged area if freshly burnt. Do not use freezing cold water as this temperature change can make you feel worse. Aloe Vera gel is a great natural healer, especially when treating sun damage for all skin types, especially fair skin. Applying this in a circular motion will encourage blood flow to the area and soothe the upper layer of the skin. Do not expose your skin to the sun once it is damaged, as this can cause further pain and damage to the area and will prevent healing from the beginning. Once the skin is damaged, it does not have any natural protection from the sun and, therefore, can be damaged even more easily.

Benefits of The Sun

Although the sun can be damaging, especially to fair skin, this shouldn’t stop you from getting those sun rays. The sun is responsible for increasing our vitamin D levels, a vitamin that plays a vital role in helping us to have healthy bones and teeth, it supports the natural defense system in the body, which helps us to fight infections, and it supports lung function. We need sun exposure to prevent illnesses such as scurvy, but we just need to know how to best protect ourselves whilst reaping the benefits. Skin damage can cause many problems, so those with fair skin need to be extra careful. Getting out in the sun can also increase our physical activity and reduce the risk of obesity, and it can improve our mental health.

Just because you have fair skin, you do not need to be worried about missing days out. Sunscreen is there to protect those with even the fairest of skin, and reapplying throughout the day and going into shaded places will help reduce the risk of any sun damage or sunburn. Sunlight exposure increases our serotonin levels, which is involved with our well-being and our general mood. The sun can increase our general happiness and is a great mood booster.

Protecting your skin is important no matter what skin tone you are, but those with fair skin need to take extra precautions as they are the most at risk. Promote this from an early age with your children if they have fair skin, and if you are swimming, apply waterproof sunscreen regularly to avoid skin damage.