Like money, energy is something we all want and need, but sometimes we simply don’t have enough of it. One of the biggest energy zappers in our busy modern lives is stress, and when we have too much of that, on occasion, we can end up stuck in a cycle. You’re stressed out and can’t sleep, you didn’t sleep so you don’t have energy, you don’t have energy so you can’t get everything done, you feel stressed about that but you’re too tired to do something. And so it goes. Read on to learn why stress makes you want to sleep sometimes – and how to manage your energy both day and night. These tips can help you manage occasional stress and optimize your energy.*
The Stress and Sleep Connection
Think of your energy like your body’s bank account. Some days (or weeks), your balance might be higher or lower, depending on what’s been deposited and withdrawn from your account. If you’re making regular deposits, budgeting for your expenses and earning enough money to support your standard of living, you likely have enough to cover everything, with some left over. But what happens when you can’t cover it all, such as when unexpected expenses pop up (or when your wages just aren’t keeping up with inflation, as it often goes these days)? With your bank account, you go into the red and overdraw your account, or you have to choose which bills to pay now and which things have to wait.
When it comes to your energy, it’s somewhat similar. If your to-do list is too long for the amount of time you have or your energetic capacity, you have to make choices. Try to do too much, and you end up in the red energetically – so you end up feeling tired, rundown and fatigued.
Stress is one of those things that can overdraw your energy account. While it is a normal part of everyday life, stress is your body’s way of alerting you to a danger and getting you through it safely. When those (real or perceived) dangers happen too close together or too often, your body doesn’t have enough time to get back to its usual chill state, called the “rest or digest” state or parasympathetic nervous system.
Over time, your body feels like it’s always in “on” mode, with no time to rest and recover. This is why stress can make you feel tired all the time – you’re asking a lot of your mind and body, without giving yourself enough time to bounce back. (Some gentle advice: Go easy on yourself. Often you’re not the one making these demands; it’s the world demanding from you!)
Why Exactly Does Stress Make Me Want to Sleep?
While you likely already know about the fight-or-flight response that your body has hardwired into you as a stress response, there’s another way you can react: With a “freeze” response. Feeling sleepy when you’re dealing with occasional stress is a common reaction – and it’s a way for you to avoid the situation or “danger.”
Stress is, by definition, difficult, so it’s no wonder that your body demands to rest in the face of it! Instead of worrying about why this is your reaction, focus your energy on finding ways to manage what life demands of you – and how to get the help you need so you can rest.
Help doesn’t always have to come in human form, since the people around us are often in the same boat! That’s why the ancient wisdom for adaptogens comes in handy for our 21st century problems. Adaptogens are botanical ingredients that help your mind and body respond to stress in a healthy way, both in the present moment and over the long haul.*
One of the best-known adaptogens is Asian ginseng, which has been used for centuries in Traditional Chinese Medicine. The root of this plant is used in TCM to manage physical stress, support physical stamina, promote concentration and more.* The optimal form is called red ginseng, created by drying and steaming the roots to unlock more of the beneficial compounds inside while also preserving the roots.*
How to Break the Cycle of Stress
Breaking the cycle of stress is possible, but it isn’t always easy. First of all, you have to make sleep a priority, even if it means saying “no” to some things and going to bed with tasks left on your to-do list. In the long run, getting adequate healthy rest is one of the best things you can do for yourself! Losing sleep (even for a short time) can make you more vulnerable to stress and all that comes with it, according to research published in the journal PLOS ONE.
Try a sleep meditation before bed instead of doomscrolling on your phone. Stress impacts your body’s circadian rhythm, which is why sometimes you wake up in the middle of the night, even when you are sleepy and exhausted. The next time this happens to you, try these 7 things to help you fall back asleep.
How to Manage Your Energy, Day and Night*
We combine the ancient herbal wisdom of Traditional Chinese Medicine with the modern convenience of high-tech formulations. The result is our energy management system, with two products to help optimize energy both day and night.*
Good Morning Sunshine™ Coffee + Adaptogens fights fatigue with more than just caffeine.* Experience sustained energy and stress less with each pod of Fair Trade, Certified Organic coffee infused with a precise dose of red ginseng extract.* Hello Dreams™ Sleep Strips combine melatonin with a proprietary Calm Down™ herbal blend (featuring jujube seed, poria mushroom and more).* Each fast-acting strip helps you fall asleep, stay asleep or fall back to sleep — and wake up rejuvenated.* Together, these products are formulated to bookend your day, so you can show up as your best self day after day.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.