Financial Stress and Your Health
When the world suddenly turns upside down, the stress of uncertainty affects us all.
Current stock market results have Americans – and the world – on high alert anticipating future financial stress, and sleep could be one of the first casualties.
While the current stock market results show the seriousness of the situation we’re all facing, for most people, it’s the added stress and the sleep loss that comes with it that has the potential to do the most damage. Lack of sleep has an adverse impact on your health, so now more than ever, it’s time to be proactive. Here are some ways to help reduce your stress levels, stay healthy, sleep well, and weather the storm.
Take Tech Breaks
With so much technology dominating our lives, our sleep cycles are no longer tied to the pattern of sunrise and sunset. Current stock market results and the news these days can be a continuing source of stress, so be sure to take regular tech breaks from to allow yourself to breathe and be present in the moment.
Turn off the TV. Close the laptop. Turn off your phone notifications. Revisit some of your pre-digital world habits by reading a book or playing a board game. Take a walk, grab a nap, journal, paint, draw, exercise, or simply meditate.
Z FACTS: Too much screen time – whether TV, laptop, tablet, or mobile – can disrupt the sleep patterns of people of all ages. The light emitted by digital screens is processed as ‘daytime/waketime’ by our bodies. In turn, this light stimulation suppresses the body’s production of melatonin, the sleep hormone, and resets the body’s internal clock. Dim the lights, and avoid screen time for at least two hours before bedtime for more restful sleep.
Don’t Let Routines Slip
Maintaining a routine is very important, especially during turbulent times. With school and workplace closures increasing daily, we’re all having to adjust our routines to working and learning from home. It’s a big challenge for everyone, but remember, we’re all in this together. Sticking to a routine will help reduce stress for everyone.
Z FACT: Try to maintain a consistent schedule of bedtime and wake times, even on the weekends. Establishing a routine and sticking to it helps regulate your internal body clock, so you can fall asleep and stay asleep. Maintain a strict sleep schedule for kids to be sure they get the sleep they need to develop, learn, and grow.
Eating healthy, regular exercise, and quality sleep are the three pillars of maintaining good health. When one is out of balance, the others are affected, and the body will not function as efficiently. Eat a good balance of fresh fruits and vegetables and lean sources of protein to feed and fuel your metabolism.
Z FACT: Caffeine and sugar are the foundation of too many people’s daily diet, and most of us don’t get enough exercise. These two everyday indulgences combined with sleep loss puts you on a hamster wheel – the more tired you are, the more caffeine you’ll consume. The more caffeine you consume, the harder it is to fall asleep at night. Limit sugar and alcohol intake, and strictly limit or avoid highly processed foods whenever possible.
Take time out to do old-school calisthenics like jumping jacks, situps, toe touches, leg bends, and arm circles. Do a virtual or streaming yoga or exercise workout at home on your TV or laptop. Better yet, get outside for a walk or run in the fresh air and sunshine. Natural sunlight helps naturally boost your vitamin D levels which in turn helps support and strengthen your immune system.
Z FACT: After exercise, you’ll often feel more alert and energized. Exercise also raises the body’s core temperature, boosting the metabolism for several hours post-workout. Cooler body temps are just one of the signals that tell your body that it’s time to rest, so avoid exercise 3 hours before bedtime as it can disrupt your sleep.
Make Sleep a High Priority
Our bodies need good sleep every night to rest, recharge, and heal. In times of high stress, sleep becomes even more important to maintaining good health. If financial stress is keeping you awake, you’re not alone. Many people are feeling too stressed to sleep. The problem? Stress and sleep loss feed on each other. Without intervention, lack of sleep and stress can quickly become a vicious cycle that can harm your overall health in the short-term, as well as long in the future. Need help? We’re here.
Let’s put my sleep issues to bed!
Valley Sleep Center – We Help You Sleep Better!
Don’t let stress rob you of sleep and good health. If you’re stressed and losing sleep regularly, it’s time to consult with a professional sleep coach. We offer a full range of care from consultation to treatment and counseling – in-house or virtually.
[Disclaimer] Consultation appointments are based on the physician’s schedule and availability.