Beat Stress. Get Your Best Sleep.
Author: Dial•a•Bed | February 2020
We live in testing times. Your health is your most precious asset. When daily lives and routines are severely interrupted, some degree of stress and anxiety will follow. You can find ways to adapt and accommodate the challenges. What you must not compromise, however, is your sleep. Sleep is a vital factor that helps you cope with stress.
Dial•a•Bed has teamed with UCT sleep scientist Dr Dale Rae to offer practical pointers in managing stress levels. Being overly irritable and apprehensive during the day may indicate poor sleep. For improved mental well-being, you want sweeter dreams, instead of nightmares. With Dial•a•Bed’s Sleep For Life approach, let’s assess some of the ways you can beat stress.
Stick to your sleep cycle
To manage stress more effectively, paying attention to your sleep cycle is crucial. In technical sleep terms, this is called your circadian rhythm. Your sleep cycle is the 24-hour clock in your body, controlled by the brain, reacting to light and dark, daylight and nighttime, regulating wakefulness and tiredness. Throughout the day, your body performs routine functions:
- At the end of the day, before bedtime, your blood pressure and body temperature will be at its highest.
- After sundown, you will naturally secrete melatonin. This tells your body you’re ready to sleep.
- Your body temperature will be at its lowest in the last few hours of sleep.
- Your blood pressure will rise when you wake up.
- In the first hours of your day, you will release testosterone and become more alert.
- Early and mid-afternoon is your optimal co-ordination and reaction time.
- Cardiovascular efficiency peaks in the late afternoon.
This is a typical daily cycle. But what happens if your sleep is erratic? Can your sleep be out of sync with your body? Can this affect your stress levels? Yes, it can.
Manage stress by listening to your body
Everyone has a chronotype. Dr Rae uses a simple analogy. “You might identify with being a late-night owl, or an early bird lark.” Many of us are somewhere in between. What is important is to pay attention to your natural rhythm and preference and plan your sleep accordingly. Younger kids are usually larks. That means not much sleeping in for mom and dad. Kids become teenage owls, impossible to wake up for school. In adulthood, you will settle into your body’s natural sleep cycle. Your body chooses this instinctively. Pay attention to it.
Sleep for life
Stress compounds when you habitually sleep out of sync with your natural sleep cycle. Says Dr Rae, “It’s like your body and your brain are in different time zones.” Your sleep can become light and interrupted. You could develop insomnia. You might have what is called free-running sleep. You sleep haphazardly, with little extended recuperation. You accumulate sleep debt. Eventually, you pay for it through stress and anxiety, or you can settle it by taking back control of your natural, circadian rhythm.
Flop into bed
Take control of your stress with the perfect bed. Dial•a•Bed has the widest range of quality brands and mattresses. And we’ve designed the store for easy, stress-free shopping. Finding the perfect bed will be the least of your worries. Dial•a•Bed will match your specific needs with the best night’s kip. You know yourself best. We’ll do the rest. No stress.
Shop responsibly. Sleep For Life.
Your health comes first. Under current national health directives, Dial•a•Bed has undertaken strict environmental controls to ensure safe store visits. Of course, you may prefer to shop online at www.dialabed.co.za. All product handling and deliveries are also carefully monitored to provide a responsibly sanitized service.