“I just don’t get why you keep suggesting sleep will magically make me stop feeling so anxious and overwhelmed all the time,” a client vents in frustration during a counselling session. At some point, all mental health experts have entertained perplexed expressions from clients when urging sleep as the key to managing swirling thoughts. This is because not many pause to think that quality sleep equips us to skillfully deal with stress. Beyond it being an everyday health hack, the act of sleeping itself replenishes mental muscles, protecting us from buckling under life’s weights. Here is the lowdown on how sleep replenishes mental resources to help you leap over low phases and relish the highs.

Hustle Culture is Hurting Our Rest

As being sleep-deprived became associated with success, alarming collective tiredness creeped upon nations, pushing 24/7 productivity over wellness. Workplace surveys show that a vast percentage of employees struggle with some sleep disorders thanks to anxiety-provoking work environments. Despite realising burnout causes health concerns and emotional meltdowns, we grab coffee instead of sleep due to FOMO.

This culture is unfortunate, as feeling constitutionally incapable of decelerating only causes the hamster wheel of stress to turn faster.

The Balm That Soothes Stress

Daily irritability, weeping over minor mishaps, and catastrophic thinking when tired, all signify coping reserves depleted by skimped sleep. Alternatively, studies found well-rested participants handled stress testing markedly better through solution focus and calm despite equal external pressures.

The reasons? Specific neurobiological processes exclusively occur during sleep to replenish chemicals and pathways dealing with threats, allowing a maintained ability to respond rationally and not reactively to stress. Sleep state nerves also reinforce coping skills and emotional stability, akin to psychological conditioning. Simply put, sufficient sleep constructs psychological armour, protecting us from traumatic unraveling when facing life’s expected twists and turns.

The bedroom environment matters too.

Since sleep so distinctly determines daily wellbeing, optimising our sleep space is vital. Try to limit disruptions from phones or thinking about work before bed. Reduce bright lights or loud sounds, and consider using blackout curtains, white noise, or a weighted blanket to help your body relax and get ready for sleep.

Syncing Lifestyle Choices

Making healthy lifestyle choices can have a big impact on your sleep. Our natural sleep-wake cycles work best when we stick to a regular schedule. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends. Having a routine in the evening, including calming activities, can help relax your nervous system. Don’t forget to balance exercise, hydration, and nutrition for overall well-being.


Still wondering whether prioritising sleep is overkill given everything else demanding attention? Consider abundant research evidence revealing consistent quality sleep as the most reliable way to shore up mental toughness in facing external stresses. Mood and resilience capabilities compound not through quick fixes but through regular rest. So, silence societal maxims and inner voices glorifying burning the midnight oil as the cost of success or productivity. Shortchanging sleep risks long-term burnout, not extra output. Treat sleep as the health investment it is—an easy, essential anxiety antidote readily available to all.

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