Stress vs. Sleep: How does your nighttime affect your daytime and vice versa? [Fridays: Mindfulness by Miles]
Miles Everson’s Business Builder Daily speaks to the heart of what great marketers, business leaders, and other professionals need to succeed in advertising, communications, managing their investments, career strategy, and more.
A Note from Miles Everson:
Welcome to “Mindfulness by Miles!”
We’re excited to share with you another tip that I find useful in my everyday life.
Every Friday, we talk about topics related to wealth, health, and our overall well-being. Our hope is that you’ll also find these articles compelling and helpful in both your personal life and career.
Ready to know more about today’s feature?
Keep reading to learn how you can achieve optimum sleep and minimize the stressors in your life.
CEO, MBO Partners
Chairman of the Advisory Board, The I Institute
Mindfulness by Miles
Quality sleep is one of the most important ways to improve our brain function, longevity, and overall performance. This means if we sleep better, we’ll likely see huge gains in different areas of our lives.
On the contrary, poor sleep is one of the fastest ways to sabotage our body systems. Just one night of low-quality sleep negatively impacts the brain—the effect is similar to when we drink alcoholic beverages.
Furthermore, going a full night without sleep leads to mental performance drops. This shows how sleep is crucial and not getting enough of it has major health consequences.
Photo from University of Michigan School of Public Health
As someone who’s been in the workforce for over 3 decades now, Miles Everson, CEO of MBO Partners, says he highly values getting enough sleep daily. He recognizes the importance of sleep in his life because he has observed that when he gets a good night’s sleep, he’s able to function optimally the next day.
However, if he’s not able to rest and sleep properly, the effects are drastic! He can’t focus well, experiences mood swings, and feels too lazy to do anything.
That’s why he makes sure to keep his everyday life as stress-free as possible… or if there are inevitable stressors, he keeps himself calm and handles the situation properly. This is because for him, stress plays a HUGE role in the quality of his sleep.
How Stress Affects Sleep and What to Do About It
Did you know stress is one of the most common causes of low-quality sleep?
According to an article from Medical News Today, stress adversely affects sleep quality and duration, and at the same time, insufficient sleep increases your stress level. This is a frustrating, vicious cycle that can significantly impact your overall health and well-being.
Here’s how stress affects your sleep and vice versa:
When you sleep, you enter into a deep recovery state. Your brain and body partially shut off so they can repair and replenish themselves for the next day.
Sleep is also when you’re least aware of your environment and most vulnerable to threats. So, to relax into deep sleep, your sympathetic nervous system—the part of your body that influences cortisol (the stress hormone)—has to be turned off.
Here’s the thing: When you’re chronically stressed, your sympathetic nervous system goes into overdrive. It’s on almost all the time, producing cortisol to keep you alert and ready to deal with possible threats.
This is why chronic stress is one of the most common predictors of insomnia and overall poor sleep quality.
Thankfully, there’s good news!
You can break that cycle, get rid of stress, and improve your sleep quality with a few simple hacks:
Meditation is a mind and body practice known for treating insomnia. It has several types, such as:
- Mindfulness Meditation – The process of observing thoughts, feelings, and emotions as they occur without judgment. A big part of this practice is focusing on the present moment and not allowing your mind to wander to other thoughts.
- Body Scan Meditation – The technique used to slowly concentrate on different parts of the body and notice any sensations or pains. This can either be systematic scanning (from head to toe) or a random scanning of various body parts. The goal is to let your attention be focused completely on your body.
- Guided Meditation – This is when you’re verbally guided through a meditative experience and encouraged to visualize a calming situation. There are lots of guided meditation apps available online.
Everson believes daytime exercise aids in relieving stress and helping you relax at night.
Specifically, moderate to vigorous exercise is helpful as it decreases sleep onset or the time it takes for adults to fall asleep. Workouts and other physical activities also help alleviate daytime sleepiness and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which is commonly attributed to obesity.
- Nighttime Routine
Everson says having a nighttime routine also helps in stress relief and in turn, better sleep. Below are some practices you might want to take into consideration:
- Creating a good sleep environment. Assess your bedroom for possible stressors. Make sure your mattress is comfortable, and your bedroom environment is dark and quiet as much as possible.
- Limit alcohol and caffeine consumption before bedtime. These substances can affect your ability to have undisturbed sleep. Additionally, excessive alcohol can affect how your body handles stress.
- Take a warm shower or bath. This not only helps you relax and de-stress but also lowers your body temperature, enabling you to fall asleep faster.
- Avoiding blue light exposure at least 30 minutes before bedtime. The light from electronic devices interferes with your body’s circadian rhythm. Sleep experts recommend you set these aside if you want to easily fall asleep at night.
- Practice journaling. Writing down your thoughts at the end of the day can help you relax. Always keep a journal beside your bed so you can note down any anxieties that may come up in the moments before sleeping, or create a to-do list for the following day.
Everson personally believes that to sleep better, you have to control how you respond to various stressors so your “fight or flight” response system relaxes.
Besides, stress doesn’t have to sabotage your sleep and make you weak!
Other than the hacks above, your body also has a built-in way to combat your “fight or flight” response. It’s called the parasympathetic nervous system, or the “rest and digest” part of your body. This is responsible for relaxing your entire system at the physiological level.
We hope you learned a lot from Everson’s mindfulness topic for today!
Take note: While you may not be able to control all the stressors in your life, you have the power to change how your body reacts to them.
Over time, training yourself to handle stress properly will not only help you become better at functioning well but also enable you to get good-quality sleep.
Happy Friday and advance happy weekend!
(This article is from The Business Builder Daily, a newsletter by The I Institute in collaboration with MBO Partners.)
About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Fridays: Mindfulness by Miles”
High-performance businesses are run by people who think and act differently.
In other words, these are people who are high-performing individuals.
Companies and individuals of this kind have found ways to escape the grind of commoditization and competition by focusing on the RIGHT goals.
High-performing businesses and individuals are also “return driven” businesses and “career driven” individuals. They conscientiously develop unique capabilities and resources that allow them to deliver offerings in ways no other firm or individual can.
Every Friday, we’ll publish tips and insights from MBO Partners and The I Institute’s “The Business Builder Daily” newsletter.
These will help you gain knowledge on the things that Miles Everson, the CEO of MBO Partners, often talks about regarding the future of the workforce.
We’ll also highlight other mindfulness advice on how you can be a high-performing individual both in your career and personal life.
Hope you’ve found this week’s insight interesting and helpful.
Stay tuned for next Friday’s “Mindfulness by Miles!”
Head of Marketing
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities
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