Stress & sleep

By Karen Babos, DO, MBA Mar 21, 2022 • 1 min

According to the National Institutes of Health, most adults do best with 7-8 hours of sleep; teens need more – usually 9-10 hours of sleep. How much do we actually get? About 1-2 hours less than we need.

Health benefits of sleep

  • Keeping a healthy weight. When you do not have enough sleep, you do not make good food choices and you skip exercise because you are too tired.
  • Better mental performance and improved memory. Ever try to take a test or learn something new without a good night’s sleep?
  • Improved physical functioning. Good sleep makes for better athletic performance.
  • Stronger immune system. Yes, it is true – you can fight off infections and improve vaccine effectiveness if you get good sleep.
  • Accident avoidance. Driving while sleep-deprived can be as bad as driving drunk.
  • Healthy mental state. Your mood is better after a good night’s sleep and you are less likely to become depressed.

Stress & sleep

  • Acknowledge stressors and change what you can.
  • Repeat successes in your head before bedtime. What went “right” today? What did you accomplish?
  • Practice good sleep habits. Go to bed at the same time and wake up at the same time each day.
  • Eat healthy, with less sugars and fats, smaller frequent meals. Exercise regularly, but not late in the day. Avoid caffeine and alcohol after dinner..
  • Decompress before bedtime – do not do work or emails.
  • Seek help if stress is continually keeping you awake.  You may need to see your health care provider, a counselor or a sleep specialist.