The Stress and Sleep Spriral and How Home Care Can Help

a post about HealthUncategorized | March 16, 2015

An all too common issue many of our Columbia South Carolina home care clients face is stress. Whatever the underlying cause, stress is a common part of everyday life.  Perhaps because it is so common, many people don’t realize that stress is actually a two-way street.  It is not only the result of your problems, it can also be a contributing cause.

Sleep is often the first casualty of high stress.  According to the American Psychological Association’s 2012 survey, 42% of people report difficulty sleeping due to high stress levels.  People under stress become overly stimulated, and this can change the normal balance between wakefulness and sleep which can lead to varying degrees of insomnia.  Whether you have difficulty in falling asleep, remaining asleep throughout the night or simply sleeping for a sufficiently long time period, your stress can cause you to become sleep deprived.

In turn, sleep deprivation can cascade into additional problems, both physical and psychological.  Most people know that it is hard to concentrate and focus when they have insufficient sleep.  However, you may not realize that sleep loss can also affect your immune, endocrine, cardiovascular and nervous systems.  Multiple epidemiological studies have shown a correlation between lack of sleep and adverse effects on various physical conditions such as obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.  Equally important, it is also associated with depression, anxiety and other emotional disorders.

The stress-sleep spiral is easy to see from afar, but it may not be so obvious when it surrounds you.  When you are stressed, you cannot sleep well.  This lack of sleep can aggravate your physical problems, causing your more stress.  Alternatively, insomnia can directly cause you to become depressed or anxious, again, increasing stress.

Improving your sleep habits can help to break this cycle.  Admittedly, this can be difficult.  Sleep is a highly individualistic activity; things that soothe one person may keep another awake.  Pay attention to your body and your habits, and learn what things relax you.  Certain rules of thumb are common to everyone:  avoid caffeine, avoid stimulation prior to bedtime and keep your bedroom dark and quiet.  Beyond these basics, you need to discover what works for you.

There are several things your home care provider can do to help with stress and sleep relief, some of those include:

  • Monitoring of symptoms: Unchecked symptoms can lead to a variety of health problems Regular physician visits and medication compliance can help ward off problems. A home care agency can help with ensuring medication compliance and compliance with physician instructions. Most home care agencies can provide transportation to and from physician appointments.
  • Exercise: Walking and regular exercise in compliance with those approved by your physician can help with blood pressure, muscle growth and cardiovascular health. Your home care agency can help assist with exercise regimans.
  • Diet: The right diet can help reduce stress and improve sleep. Home care can help with meal preparation and assistance a variety of recipes.

Once you regain your rest, you may also regain much of your composure.  Stopping the cycle is the first step to long-lasting stress relief.  For more information on Already HomeCare’s home care services or to schedule a free in-home assessment, please call us in Columbia at 803-334-3477 or complete our contact form. We can help your loved one manage their medications, making them live longer, happier lives.

 

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