A Vicious Cycle: The Impact of Stress on Sleep

Stress and sleep have much in common; both effect your health, and both effect each other. Just as stress effects the quality of your sleep, lack of sleep effects your ability to handle stress. This leads to even more stress and even less sleep, a vicious cycle that can continue indefinitely.  In fact, this infographic shows the impact that lack of sleep has on American society each year.

When trying to manage your sleep/stress condition, it’s important to understand the impact of stress on sleeping, as well as the impact your improved sleep conditions have on your daily life.

Man sitting awake in bed

Stress can have a keep you up at night and deprive you of much needed sleep.

It’s impossible to remove all stressors from your life; some, like work and family troubles, are unavoidable. If you find yourself in an unavoidable situation, it’s important to look at what you can do. A good sleep will act as a buffer so that you can be alert and calm enough to handle problems. Here are three things that can help reduce stress and improve sleep:


Make sure your bedroom is conductive to sleep and rest. Never bring work or problems into your bedroom; if your room isn’t a restful place to be, you’ll be much less likely to sleep well. Make sure your room stays free of clutter, both physical and emotional.  Other lifestyle changes can help as well.


Not everyone is open to the idea of seeing a counselor or therapist, but this may be a good first step. If you’re experiencing an extremely difficult time in your life, counseling can be very helpful. Sometimes just being able to talk freely about your problems will make you see them in a better light and ease your worries.


If you’re going through a difficult time, there’s a chance you’re taking on more stress you need to. Your brother may be going through a difficult divorce, and you have to be there for him and his kids; however, that doesn’t mean you have to be there for his friends and his ex and his ex’s aunt Delilah who never liked any of you anyway. Be involved and helpful, but don’t try to solve problems that you have no control over.

Bottom line: learn to control stress, and stress won’t control you. Keeping stress levels low and making sure you get the sleep you need, you’ll start an upward spiral out of exhaustion and frazzled nerves.

If you or someone you know is in need of a better night’s sleep, contact us for a no obligation consultation. We are the sleep specialists at Chevy Chase ENT located in the Virginia, Maryland, and Washington D.C. metro area dealing with sleep apnea and sleep-related problems.  We can help diagnose your condition, recommend whether a sleep study would be beneficial, and offer you a variety of treatment options including CPAPRadio Frequency Ablation (RFA) and more.