Gen Z is all too familiar with the burden of daily stress and anxiety. An issue that’s driven in part by social media, this generation faces new challenges at a younger age than generations before - even millennials. And more stress doesn’t make for better sleep. According to New Hope Network’s NEXT Data and Insights consumer research, Gen Z respondents reported stress and sleep as key concerns and the top reasons why they take supplements. In fact, 18% of Gen Z participants noted stress as a main driver for taking supplements and 19% of Gen Z respondents chose sleep as the primary reason.
When you take into account the relationship between stress and sleep, this data makes perfect sense. What factors may be accounting for this loss in sleep? Research suggests that various influences might be contributors, such as circadian rhythms, early school start times, technology or stressors like overcommitting and peer and academic pressures.
No matter what the cause, stress and anxiety doesn’t make for quality sleep and lack of sleep means more susceptibility to stressors. The key to breaking this cycle is to start examining your sleep habits and make some changes. Stress can be better managed when well-rested.
Here are some sleep tips for Gen Z:
- Stick to a consistent bedtime. The ideal number of hours of sleep per night is 8-9 hours for adolescents. While this may be tough some nights, consistency is important. It lets your body know when it’s time to start powering down. Count back eight hours from your wake up time to find the ideal bedtime and make it a goal each day.
- Reconfigure your schedule to stop overscheduling. We’re all guilty of it sometimes, but we don’t have to say yes to every activity or task. Overcommitting can lead to elevated stress and anxiety. Start being a little more protective of your precious time to ensure you can get to bed on time.
- Give electronic devices a rest an hour before bedtime. Blue light from phones, tablets or TV screens (yes, even TV) simulates sunlight and sends the wrong message to your brain. This can throw off our sleep-wake cycles in our circadian rhythms. Dedicate the hour before bedtime to be “screen-free”.
- Take a bath or shower before bedtime. Jump into the shower or bath to relax before hitting the hay. Not only does it take you away from the screens, it can calm your mind and body to set you up for better rest.
- Try a bedtime meditation or sound bath. Headspace, Insight Timer or Calm apps all have great meditations available to help calm the mind for sleep. Sound baths are gaining popularity as a different form of meditation that uses various sounds for healing and calm.
- Consider a non-habiting forming, natural supplement. NB Pure’s Power Down sleep supplement is melatonin-free and contains several adaptogens that are proven to help with sleep like L-theanine, rhodiola and chamomile.
Better sleep can help ease stress, tension and anxiety. When we feel rested, we are more capable of managing daily tasks and stressors. For Gen Zers, focus on improving your sleep quality first and the rest will follow.