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Elizabeth Scott, M.S.

Happy Sleep Awareness Week 2014

By March 3, 2014

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According to the National Sleep Foundation, this year, National Sleep Awareness Week is March 2nd-8th.

Have you ever found yourself turning over in the night, then being jolted awake between dreams by thoughts of a crisis in your life? Or unable to fall asleep in the first place because as soon as your head hits the pillow, your stomach is in knots and your mind is racing, thinking of the difficulties of the day or the stress that lies ahead when you awaken again? If your answer is yes--and most of us have experienced this at least once in our lives--you already know that stress can impact your sleep.

Sometimes we go through our days stressed, but occupied, and then when we close our eyes, all of the stressors of the day come to the fore. We're no longer distracted from ruminating about the rude thing our office rival said and what they might be planning. Or speculating about what our odd symptoms (possibly stress-related) could be, and how a major illness might affect our lives. Or thinking about how we can get enough money to make ends meet.

When we're in the throes of a crisis, it's difficult to stay asleep as we move from one sleep stage to the next. Normally, we awaken slightly and go back to sleep a few times during the night. When we have a lot that's troubling our minds, we can get jolted awake, and find the rush of adrenaline that woke us up is making it difficult to go back to sleep. And while we're awake, the thoughts just keep coming--and so does the stress!

Maybe you power down the caffeine to get through a busy day, and find that it's keeping you awake at night when you're finally able to get some shut-eye. Perhaps you are so spent at night that you find it difficult to unwind at night--you're both exhausted and pumped-up at the same time! Whatever issues you may be dealing with, that stress might be affecting your sleep already.

The following resources can help you to relax, manage stress, and get a good night's sleep in the process. Tonight, and every might!

Sleep Resources from Elizabeth Scott:

Do you get enough sleep? And what happens to you if you don't? Share your thoughts on sleep in the comments section, or start a thread in the Stress Management Forum.

Image from iStockPhoto.com

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