External Sleep Factors - Stress
"Stress affects sleep very negatively."
Brain cells "talk to each other" by means of chemical messengers. When a person is exposed to too much stress, chemical communication in the brain begins to fail. When these messengers fail, a person suffers from sleep disturbance, aches and pains, depression and anxiety.
When we're under stress, we have trouble initiating sleep. After a stressful day it's not only hard to unwind mentally, but we may be tense and it may be hard to unwind physically enough to initiate sleep.
In addition to the problems getting to sleep, when we're under stress we may not be able to sleep continuously through the night. Particularly, early morning awakenings at 3:00 in the morning or between 2 to 5 in the morning may occur during periods of stress.
Beyond impaired motor skills, people who get too little sleep may have higher levels of stress, anxiety and depression, and may take unnecessary risks.