Beat Stress with Better Sleep Habits
We need sleep to cope with stress. Even if we miss a few hours of sleep one night, our natural stress response is affected, and our cortisol levels are higher than usual the next day. In one study, people deprived of sleep for 32 hours had a 45% increase in cortisol! Sleep has also been shown to help people rebound from stressful experiences.
If you are over 18, aim to get at least 7 hours of sleep per night— 8 or 9 hours, if you don't feel alert and energized when you wake up. If you have trouble sleeping, develop a nightly routine of easing into sleep with soothing activities. Try to stick to a regular bedtime and wake-up time every day.