“Stress and sleep are intrinsically connected. When we’re feeling stressed, we might find it hard to relax and drift off to sleep. Vice versa, when we haven’t had sufficient high-quality sleep, we are prone to feeling stressed throughout the day.

“It’s easy to fall into a vicious pattern of poor sleep quality and increased stress, and unfortunately, that can have a negative impact on our health. When we experience stress, our internal body clock becomes confused, which disrupts our sleep-wake cycle. In turn, we suffer a reduction in deep and REM sleep, which are vital for both our mental and physical health. Not only that but our dreams can also mirror the stress we’re experiencing in the form of nightmares.

“Stress is the body’s mental and physiological response to a threat, which activates the brain’s fight-or-flight mode. In return, it releases two sets of hormones: adrenalin and cortisol. The first one causes spikes in blood sugar, muscle tension, heart rate, as well as high levels of alternates and slowed digestion. Their mission is to help a person escape a dangerous situation or face a challenge but are also hindering our internal clock from notifying us it’s time to sleep. Cortisol, on the other hand, naturally distracts us from bodily processes that aren’t vital in a challenging situation. Unfortunately, sleep is one of them.

“It is our bodies’ natural mechanism to crave a good night’s sleep. When we’re not getting it, we’re likely to feel more agitated, experience health problems, and become even more stressed. That’s why we need to pay more attention to our sleep hygiene.

“Start by engaging in a pre-sleep wellness routine that involves a short meditation, a DIY aromatherapy session, journaling, and taking a ritualistic bath. It’s important that you sleep in clean bedding that feels soft to the skin, such as linen bedding. Linen is a natural material that has been appraised since ancient times for its breathable, hypoallergic, and moisture-wicking qualities that promote heaven-like sleep. Sleeping in linen feels like being embraced by Mother Nature’s loving hug. All of these small sleep hygiene tricks can help you calm your mind and sleep better. Nevertheless, if you’re suffering from chronic stress or insomnia, it’s best to seek professional help.”