Episode 6: The Sleep-Stress Cycle

SHOW NOTES: Episode 6

Do you feel like you’re always in the “go go go” mode?

I truly feel like as a society we are the most stressed out that we have ever been. We almost can feel punished for taking time to slow down and rest. Stress can be a double-edged sword when it pertains to sleep. If we don’t get enough sleep or quality sleep this can lead to mood swings, irritability, and fatigue, which can make physical stress even worse. On the flip side, dealing with stress every day can cause anxiety to creep in at bedtime which can delay sleep and cause you to not sleep well. The sleep stress cycle is real.

So, how does stress affect the body?

The three categories of stress are: acute stress, episodic acute stress, and chronic stress. Typically acute stress (things like missing a deadline or forgetting to pay a bill, etc) has very little effect on the body. Chronic stress (trauma, abuse, finances) can have a major impact on your health in several ways. Fight or flight kicks in during stress (which causes blood pressure and heart rate to spike). With acute stress, the body will stabilize back to normal. With chronic stress, blood pressure and heart rate levels are constantly elevated, which takes a toll on your cardiovascular system. This puts you at risk for heart attack, stroke, hypertension, and a whole host of other things. Your gut health can also be affected by chronic stress. Overeating or loss of appetite can also happen with stress. Muscle tension, migraine headaches, upper and lower back pain, asthma attacks, and potentially even pulmonary disease can also occur due to stress.

So, how do we break this sleep stress cycle?

1. De-stress during the day.

Instead of shoving your stressful moments to the side, take some time to do something you enjoy. Make a cup of coffee, go for a walk, whatever brings you joy. Take that time to calm your mind. Reset your intention and hold the stressful thoughts at bay and away from creeping in at night.

2. Brain dump.

Things often creep in on us when we lay down at night. The anxiety of your to-do list. Try to resist the urge to get up and take care of the things if they can wait until the morning. Also – brain dump or data dump each night before bed. Write things down and get them out of your head and onto a piece of paper. Make a to-do list ofr the next day or week or month. 

3. Practice saying “no”

Your health depends on you making sleep a priority. Say “no” to late nights. Say “no” to plans that keep you out late on a regular basis. Say “no” and set boundaries on how late people can expect to reach you. So many people treat sleep as an option. It’s not a luxury or an option – it’s a necessity.

4. Implement a night time routine

Turn off the TV, put the phone away and unwind. Set boundaries around your time. Bright lights and blue lights from TV can disrupt sleep patterns. Set your phone on “Do not Disturb” and do not pick it up until the morning. Do the brain dump before bed. Clear your mind before going to bed. Keep a prayer journal. It’s so nice to go back and look at them. A lot of times we stress about things that are beyond our control and we’re hesitant to give it to God. I love that saying “Give it to God and go to sleep.”

Implementing these things will show you that you can do this. You do not have to live in that sleep stress cycle forever.

Thank you for tuning in! I hope you enjoyed this episode! If so, please leave me a rating or review and connect with me on Instagram: @rachelmeigsking


  • The sleep stress cycle
  • How stress affects our bodies
  • 4 tips to break the sleep stress cycle


  • Check out last week’s episode here!
  • Connect with me on Instagram: @rachelmeigsking
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Feed Yourself: Healthy Habits for the Mind, Body, & Soul is all about learning the key components of overall health based on Biblical principles. When most people think about getting in shape and becoming “healthy”, they immediately think about their physical health: losing weight, making exercise a priority, possessing flexibility and endurance, and remaining disease free. But Scripture makes it clear that physical wellness is not the only area that impacts health. In order to be TRULY healthy, we have to focus on four areas: spiritual health, emotional health, mental health, and physical health. 

This podcast dives deep into the tools and head knowledge you will need in order to create lasting results, but it also looks at the element that truly ties it all together – the heart knowledge that incorporates faith in God in this area of our lives and how to apply it when things get tough (and they will!).

I wanted to create a space to let you know you are never alone on this journey. Through years of experience in doing everything the WRONG way, I am here to share my journey of getting healthy from the inside out – ditching the restriction and diet culture and truly learning to treat my body as the temple God intended it to be. 

Grab a cup of coffee and join me as I discuss healthy habits to incorporate in your daily life to propel you forward and FEED YOURSELF on your journey to health in all areas: mind, body, and soul!

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