How Stress Ruins Your Sleep (and What to Do About It)


Quality sleep is one of the most important ways to improve your brain function, longevity, and overall performance. If you can sleep better, you’ll see huge gains in almost every area of your life. 

Poor sleep, on the other hand, is one of the fastest ways to sabotage your biology. One night of low-quality sleep impairs your brain function as if you had a few drinks –– and if you go a full night without sleep, your mental performance drops as if you had a blood alcohol content of 0.10, which is well over the legal limit for driving[*]. Poor sleep comes with major costs. 

Stress is one of the most common causes of low-quality sleep. It can create a frustrating feedback loop where the more stressed you are, the worse you sleep –– which then adds to your stress, continuing the cycle. 

The good news is that you can break that cycle, get rid of stress, and improve your sleep with a few simple hacks.

Here’s how stress affects your sleep, and what you can do to master your stress response and sleep better. 

How Stress Affects Your Sleep

When you’re sleeping, you enter a deep recovery state. Your brain and body largely shut off so that they can repair and replenish themselves for the coming day. 

Sleep is also when you’re least aware of your environment and most vulnerable to threats. In order to relax into deep sleep, your sympathetic nervous system –– the “fight or flight” part of your brain that influences cortisol –– has to turn off.

The problem is that when you’re chronically stressed, your sympathetic nervous system goes into overdrive. It’s on almost all the time, pumping out cortisol to keep you alert and ready to deal with potential threats. 

Not surprisingly, chronic stress is one of the best predictors of insomnia[*] and other sleep issues, as well as overall poor sleep quality[*]. 

A Simple Hack to Ease Stress and Sleep Better

If you want to sleep better, you have to rebalance your nervous system so that your fight or flight response turns off. 

The good news is that your brain has a built-in way to counteract fight or flight. It’s called your parasympathetic nervous system (PNS), or the “rest and digest” part of your brain. It counteracts fight or flight, relaxing your body and mind at a physiological level. 

You may not be able to control stressors in your life, but you can change how your body reacts to them. Doing things that activate your PNS can help you stay relaxed in stressful situations. Over time, training your nervous system to handle stress can build your resilience, and you’ll become better and better at functioning well, even when life is stressful. 

There are natural ways to improve your stress response (like meditation) but if you want the fastest way to build resilience to stress, I recommend Apollo Neuro. 

How Apollo Helps You Destress

Apollo Neuro is a wearable device that uses vibration to calm down your nervous system. Apollo gives you control over your body’s reaction to stress — whether that’s at home, in bed, or at work. Worn on the wrist or ankle, Apollo uses touch therapy, delivering silent, soothing vibrations that help you feel safe and in control and actually trains your nervous system to recover from stress better over time.

Your brain reacts strongly to touch –– think about how comforting it is to get a hug or wrap yourself up in a soft blanket, for example. Apollo uses gentle, soothing vibrations to activate those same brain pathways, sending positive signals to your brain to remind you that you’re safe enough to drift to sleep. It can also enhance your focus, put you into a state of deep calm, or give a boost of energy, depending on which setting you use.  

Apollo Neuro is non-invasive and drug free, it has no side effects, and it can be used safely as a complement to other mental health therapeutics.

Stress doesn’t have to sabotage your sleep and make you weak. If you’re stressed out or having trouble sleeping, give Apollo Neuro a try. You’ll feel the difference immediately.




Not Harder

Smarter Not Harder: The Biohacker’s Guide to Getting the Body and Mind You Want is about helping you to become the best version of yourself by embracing laziness while increasing your energy and optimizing your biology.

If you want to lose weight, increase your energy, or sharpen your mind, there are shelves of books offering myriad styles of advice. If you want to build up your strength and cardio fitness, there are plenty of gyms and trainers ready to offer you their guidance. What all of these resources have in common is they offer you a bad deal: a lot of effort for a little payoff. Dave Asprey has found a better way.

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