Stress is your body's reaction to environmental stimuli, which triggers a physiological response in your body. When you experience a stressful event, your hypothalamus releases hormones that speed up your heart rate, increase your blood pressure and breathing rate and cause your muscles to tense up. Your body then reacts by preparing you to either fight or run away.
While short-term bouts of stress are normal and healthy and may even help you perform under pressure, chronic stress can have negative physical effects over time. Chronic stress can weaken your immune system, cause high blood pressure, and increase the risk of heart attack or stroke. It can even make you more vulnerable to infection and can exacerbate underlying conditions like asthma and diabetes. It can also affect your sleep habits.
If you are stressed and anxious, you may find it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep at night. You may also wake up more during the night and have a more difficult time falling back to sleep again. This is an unfortunate cycle, as poor sleep only adds to your stress and anxiety.
Studies have shown that people who have more stressful jobs are less likely to report getting a good night's sleep. And not getting enough quality shut-eye can lead to a number of health problems. People who don't get enough sleep are more likely to suffer from depression and obesity, and they're more likely to have problems concentrating and memory. They also tend to have lower life satisfaction scores than people who get adequate rest each night.
There are a number of things you can do to manage stress and improve your quality of sleep. Exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet, and getting plenty of physical activity during the day can help you fall asleep more quickly at night. Eating right can also help reduce nighttime hunger pangs.
It's also important to develop healthy sleeping habits. Establish a consistent bedtime routine, and avoid napping throughout the day. Avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed, and try to establish a quiet, dark room as your sleep environment.
Many of the most common symptoms associated with stress can be linked to sleeping disorders or sleep deprivation. For example, consistent headaches, back pains, upset stomach, and anxiety are all common signs that you may be suffering from too much stress in your life. For more severe cases of stress, you may notice confusion, forgetfulness, and fatigue as well. If you notice these symptoms occurring on a regular basis, you may want to talk with your healthcare provider to see if stress is a contributing factor.
At Dr. Stan's Exceptional Dentistry, we offer sleep medicine. Call us at (650) 328-1223 or schedule an appointment online with our Dentist in Palo Alto, CA, for the best dental care and experience.