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Janet Sullivan asked...

I have a lot of stress at work at the moment.

Tags: Stress

I have a lot of stress at work at the moment and it seems to be keeping me awake at night. What can I do?

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The answer

This is a very chicken and egg problem. Stress can cause a lack of sleep, and a lack of sleep can lead to stress. The ‘eight-hour’ recommendation has been exposed as a bit of a myth, so don’t worry if you find you need less. Prepare for sleep beforehand by giving yourself a clear 1–2-hour exclusion zone before going to bed, meaning no e-mails, phone calls or other work. Watch comedy TV or cosy dramas, or read a ‘light’ book instead (what you read before sleep can affect your dreams and sleep patterns, so no horror or newspapers). Avoid caffeine from about midday onwards and keep a notebook by the bed. When you find yourself waking and worrying, scribble those worries down rather than letting them circle in your head.

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