Stress is entirely triggered by our mind when we’re faced in a situation that could mean possible pain. In the cave man age stress was very useful at keeping us from harm and alerting us to danger, it helped us survive through very intense conditions.
In today’s society, stress is often a very annoying habit which has major effects on our health and keeps us from achieving the things we really want in life.
Firstly, what happens in your body when you’re “stressed”?
- When we’re stressed, our adrenalin hormone levels instantly increase. This gives our nervous system a huge bolt, our level of alertness and muscle tension instantly increases.
- Our heart rate, blood pressure, respiration, and blood sugar levels increase drastically.
- Our brain waves increase for a higher level of alertness and sensory acuity. Right off the bat you can probably already see how stress can prevent us from experiencing quality sleep, or even falling asleep! One huge drawback of stress is a constant high level of brain waves that keep our minds racing all the time. As you will learn in a later section, this can be very detrimental to your sleep system and can cause insomnia
The other reason why stress prevents us from sleeping deeply is because of all the heightened “stress” hormones. These hormones make our sleep lighter and less restful. In the cave man ages this would actually be very beneficial, in times of stress you would be able to awaken quickly and be ready for battle with predators who are likely out to kill you. However, this isn’t the daily situation for us today.
Stress creates a similar sleep pattern as those of mothers with babies, who also have a higher wakefulness system, allowing them to wake up during the night to the slightest stir of their kids. However, this isn’t always linked to stress.
If we were to go into methods of reducing stress in this book, it would obviously become a very big book – so we won’t explore that much. However, there are a few simple relaxation methods you can employ on a daily basis that will have a huge effect on these hormone levels.
It’s been proven that practicing daily relaxation can have a very beneficial effect on the levels of your stress hormones, consequently improving your sleep and your health.
Powerful Sleep – Secrets of the Inner Sleep Clock
by Kacper M. Postawski