Stress, Cortisol & Sleep

Is stress keeping you from sleeping well?

I know that sometimes I stay up waaayyyy too late. For me, this is really more just a bad habit than a result of stress. However, it does increase the stress on my body and negatively impacts my immune system.

(Hint, hint … Is staying up late an issue for you too??)


Some people have difficulty falling asleep, because they can’t stop thinking. Stress can certainly make this an even bigger problem than in ‘normal’ times.

Stress increases the amount of Cortisol produced by the body’s endocrine glands (hormone producing glands).

Consistently elevated cortisol levels negatively impact your ability to get restful sleep.


When you get less sleep than your body requires to be optimally healthy, you accumulate Sleep Debt. I know with my unhealthy habit of staying up too late, I have sleep debt.

With social distancing requirements, many people have spent more time at home. Perhaps you’re even getting more sleep than you are accustomed to. Making up for some of your sleep debt.

Perhaps the coronavirus pandemic is actually bringing us a side benefit!


The body does most of its healing while you sleep. The brain shrinks at night, so the surrounding fluids are most able to ‘clean house,’ clearing metabolic waste and toxins while you sleep. (I marvel at realities like this. How miraculous the body is! I’m so grateful!)

Even a single night of insufficient sleep has been shown to negatively impact immune function. (Here is where it might be helpful for me to find references. But I’ve never put in that effort. If you are a subscriber and you would really appreciate if I gathered references, would you please let me know. Thank you, in advance. )

Today’s video blog continues what I’ve been sharing in the Your Health ‘On’ Stress & What You Can Do series. For earlier episodes, see the menu to the right.

Stress, Cortisol & Sleep

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