Turning in early could be what helps you most to regulate your emotions the next day.
Wine, spa visits, chocolate and overdosing on Netflix: there are many cures we turn to when we’re stressed out. The cure your mom might recommend could be the best treatment for you, however: a solid night’s sleep.
Getting enough deep sleep has been found to lower anxiety levels significantly. And in turn, not getting enough rest can make you cranky as heck, and now scientists know the reason why.
A study done at the University of California, Berkeley, found that deep sleep is the type of rest most likely to calm your brain. It’s called non-rapid eye movement (NREM) slow-wave sleep. NREM sleep is the kind of rest that slows your heart rate. It also allows your blood pressure to drop, providing you with maximum relaxation points and a natural dose of anti-anxiety meds.
The study is the first of its kind to pinpoint such a strong link between anxiety and sleep. It’s worth celebrating because anxiety disorders have been diagnosed in about 40 million American adults.
It could be that simply getting a good night’s sleep almost every night could bring these numbers down drastically.
“Our study strongly suggests that insufficient sleep amplifies levels of anxiety and, conversely, that deep sleep helps reduce such stress,” said study lead author Eti Ben Simon, a postdoctoral fellow in the Center for Human Sleep Science at UC Berkeley.
“Without sleep, it’s almost as if the brain is too heavy on the emotional accelerator pedal, without enough brake,” added study senior author professor Matthew Walker.