Sleep Better: Reduce Stress, Calm Your Mind & Heal Your Brain

Sleep is an essential part of the healing process following a concussion. Sleep is also an essential part of life, even without a concussion. Cellular restoration, memory and learning, healing, building new pathways, and body restoration all occur while we sleep. Poor sleep patterns can lead to feelings of confusion, difficulty with memory, feelings of being "off balance", irritation, difficulty concentrating, or a general feeling of tiredness or feeling not like yourself. 80% of people that suffer from a concussion will report some element of sleep disturbance. How, when, and to what degrees those sleep disturbances appear can differ greatly between people.

Many things can interfere with sleep, but (bad) stress is one of the most common factors that can contribute to poor sleep quality. Although "stress" often is considered negative, not all stress is bad. Good stress can help motivate, prepare for a big task or event, and provide energy. Bad stress can occur when the quantity of good stress isn't managed or contained, eventually leading to feelings of being overwhelmed or burned out. Other "bad" stress scenerios can occur with strained relationships, making a big life change, or suffering a loss. Stress is present in everyone’s life. How we deal with good stress and bad stress can have a direct impact on how well we sleep.

Strategies to Reduce Bad Stress Include:

Positive Thinking

  • Determining what you can do to solve the problem by focusing on the resources you have to meet the challenge.

  • Seeing the potential benefits of a situation.

  • Reminding yourself of your strengths.

  • Seeing the positive side of thing.

Talk Therapy

  • Journaling

  • Talking with a trusted friend/family/partner

  • Concussion Support Groups

  • Seeking out a counselor

Online counseling services: BetterHelp

Get Out And Exercise

  • Reduces stress hormones (cortisol)

  • Improves mood

  • Acts as a painkiller when endorphins are released

  • Helps regulate blood glucose levels, improve heart health, improves body awareness/balance

Couch to 5k Run/Walk Plan: RunnersWorld

Breathing Exercises

  • Diaphragmatic Breathing

  • Box Breathing

  • 4-7-8 Breathing

Read more about breathing exercises here

Yoga Stretches: Hold for 60-90 seconds and incorporate deep breathing

  • Happy Baby

  • Supine Twist

  • Childs Pose

  • Reclined Butterfly

  • Legs Up the Wall

  • Supported Pigeon

Learn more about yoga for stress relief here

Stress management is important for everyone. Good stress can help us function, retrain the brain, and heal. But too much stress can interfere with the healing process and can have negative impacts on sleep.

Stress management should be a daily task. Finding strategies that help reduce your stress can help you sleep better.

Questions, or need help getting into a stress relieving routine? Email me:

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