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The Impact Of Stress On Sleep

By Anna Peel. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Sleep

Americans are suffering from a lot of stress right now. Whether it’s inflation, the war in Ukraine, or work-related burnout, 2 in 3 Americans acknowledge that they desperately need a vacation. 57% of adults can’t sleep well because they have too much on their minds. Their high stress leads to sleep problems and fatigue, which makes the body more vulnerable to stressful factors in the environment. Over time, sleeplessness and stress build to critical levels.

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The Importance Of Sleep

Sleep is a necessity, not a luxury. Resting well is vital to our health, well-being, and focus. People who sleep less than 6 hours a night have a 13% higher mortality rate than those who get more than 7 hours. Chances of getting into a car accident are twice as high for poor sleepers. Beyond the health consequences, work performance suffers from bad sleep outcomes as well. People who get the recommended amount of sleep each night are 29% more productive than individuals who don’t.

Despite all the important benefits of sleep, 1 in 3 Americans do not get enough. How can you take the stress out of sleep? The first area to tackle is the bed itself. As clinical psychologist Michael Breus said, “what we surround ourselves with during sleep is a big deal.” People looking to improve their sleeping experience should check their sheets’ thread count, fabric, colors, and maintenance. 200 to 800 thread count is the ideal zone to maximize durability and softness. Cotton sheets are better because they let heat escape. Meanwhile, synthetic fabrics trap body heat. Also think about switching between sheet sets to match the seasons. Flannel is better for winter while cotton is ideal in summer.

On the subject of color, look for cream, gray, blue or purple. Neutral or deep tones are more calming to look at than bright colors. If buying all new sheets isn’t viable, even switching pillow cases can make a massive difference. Also make sure you launder new bedding before use to remove stiffening agents. Fresh linens promote sleep best, so wash your sheets frequently.

To address the stress side of poor sleep more directly, self care is an investment that always turns a profit. It doesn’t have to be expensive either. Taking a day off does wonders for your energy levels, yet 55% of Americans who have paid time off don’t use it all. Take advantage of the resources available to you.

Sleep

Infographic source: Pizuna Linens

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