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Stress and Sleep

By: Michelle Hua

Sleep is an extremely important function for humans. It helps to regenerate cells, improves memory, and repair muscles. Adults need at least seven to nine hours of sleep per night, and younger people need even more. However, many people, especially adults and teenagers experience a lot of stress, which greatly affects sleep.

Stress has been shown to affect sleep. Studies have shown that 43% of adults have been kept awake by stress, and 42% of adults have had their quality of sleep affected by stress. When stressed, the human body produces hormones to have a higher level of arousal. This is useful when someone needs to defend themselves against a predator, but detrimental when trying to sleep.

However, having less sleep also causes stress to increase. 21% of adults report being more stressed when sleep deprived. Adults who get the recommended amount of sleep have shown to be in better moods, while adults who get less than 8 hours of sleep are shown to be more irritable and stressed.

Being sleep deprived results in higher amounts of stress, which in turn causes people to get less sleep. In turn, getting more sleep can help people to de-stress, helping to prevent this vicious cycle.


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