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Sleep and Stress: A Delicate Balancing Act

Improving your sleep habits will help reduce your stress. Learning to manage your stress will help you get a better night’s sleep. Here are some tips for doing both.

When you are stressed, you are almost guaranteed to sleep poorly.

When you are overly tired, stress affects you more.

It’s a vicious cycle! So how do you break it?

You have to approach the problems together in order to create a more positive cycle in which you stress less and sleep well.

woman can't sleep because she feels stressed

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Stressful Days and Sleepless Nights: Tips to improve them both

Going to bed stressed won’t help you fall asleep.

If anything, feeling stressed out at bedtime can lead to insomnia and a horrible night’s sleep.

Doing what you can to reduce the stress you are feeling can make a big difference, both in getting to sleep and sleeping soundly throughout the night.

Activities like journaling and having a bedtime routine can help.


There are other ways to reduce stress throughout the day that will impact your sleep, too.

read about physical self-care for women over 50

Tips for Reducing Stressful Days

Stress comes from every angle in life. From work woes to family issues to the general ups and downs we all experience, there is no realistic way to completely eliminate stress from our lives.

But we can learn to manage our stress better.

Tip: Take Action on the things that cause your stress

A lot of stress comes from failure to act on important issues. How often at night do you focus on all of the things you didn’t accomplish during the day, instead of congratulating yourself for all that you achieved?

Failure to act can be due to procrastination, avoidance, being downright lazy, or just simple distraction as other activities intervened.

Take some time to understand the reasons behind your failure to act and the resulting stressful experience.

Once you understand your “why”, push yourself to take action and mark just one thing off your to-do list.

Give yourself recognition for your accomplishment, and let the completion of one task motivate you to move on the another.

Taking action on your responsibilities and recognizing your achievements will go a long way to reducing stress. Work to make action a habit.

post it note reading "take action now" as a reminder to stress less and sleep well

Tip: Learn to Let Go of what you can’t control

Disney hit a nerve with the hit song Let it Go a few years back.

If you’re feeling stressed over something you really can’t control, you need to change your response to that thing.

Learn to accept that there is much in life beyond your influence, and remind yourself that all you can change is your thoughts about that thing.

Give up trying to control the things that are beyond your power to control.

Let it go.

Tip: Take Life One Day at a Time

There’s only so much you can do in a day.

When the day comes to an end, be proud of all of your accomplishments, however small. Small things always add up. Realize that you’ve done what you could, and that tomorrow you can do more.

If it helps, make a checklist of the things you want to complete tomorrow, then set them aside. You’ve done enough for today.

Learning to compartmentalize your responsibilities and achievements day by day can help you face each day as it comes and rest each night when the day is through.

woman relaxing outside barefoot with cup of tea, stress less and sleep well

Tips for Improving Sleepless Nights

Doing what you can to reduce your stress will help you go to bed prepared to sleep. But it’s hard to reduce your stress when you’re already bone-tired!

Consider these tips that can help you sleep better each and every night.

Tip: Create a Bedroom Sanctuary

Your bedroom should feel like a getaway from the world. Set it up as an environment in which you feel calm and relaxed.

  • Your bed and bedding should be comfortable.
  • The room should be slightly cool and very dark.
  • Avoid screens such as from the tv or computer at bedtime.
  • Block out traffic noise if it’s an issue.

Create a peaceful environment and you’ll fall asleep and stay asleep with ease.

Tip: Listen to Peaceful Sounds

Some people prefer absolute quiet while they sleep. Others enjoy relaxing music or white noise. Experiment to find what works best to help you drift off peacefully.

White noise can help you achieve deeper sleep, especially if you tend to be a light sleeper or live in an urban area where there is a lot of outside noise.

Investing in a small fan or white noise machine can be an effective solution.


There are also apps that can provide sleep-inducing music, or ambient noises like rainfall or a trickling creek, to help lull you and keep you asleep.  My personal favorite is Headspace, and you can get a free 14-day trial here.

Tip: Try a Weighted Blanket

Weighted blankets have become incredibly popular in the last few years.

People who suffer from anxiety and stress often find a remarkable amount of relief when they add a weighted blanket to their bed.

These blankets offer an in-home version of deep pressure therapy as a means to promote deep, restorative sleep.

woman sound asleep in bed, stress less and sleep well

Read More:

Final Thoughts on Can’t Sleep? Feeling Stressed? Find Balance For a Healthier, Happier Life

Getting a great night’s rest is so much easier when you learn to manage stress.

And, stress is much easier to manage when you are well-rested.

Learn to work on both issues together by utilizing these tips to improve both your stress management and your sleep quality:

  • Take Action
  • Learn to Let It Go
  • Take Life One Day at a Time
  • Create a Bedroom Sanctuary
  • Listen to Peaceful Sounds
  • Try a Weighted Blanket

What are some of the ways you manage stress?

Got any great tips for getting a good night’s sleep?

Please share them in the comments for all readers to benefit from!

relieve your stress by getting a better night's sleep, and sleep better by relieving your stress.  It's a vicious circle, but these 6 tips will help with both concerns!

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