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Sleep, Stress, and Success: The Triple S of Wellness

Updated: Mar 8

Welcome back to Trifecta! Today, let's dive into a crucial aspect of holistic well-being: the Triple S—Sleep, Stress, and Success. These three elements are intricately linked, forming the foundation of our overall health and success in our wellness journey.

woman sleeping

The Sleep-Well Connection

Quality sleep is the unsung hero of a thriving life. It's not just about the quantity but the quality that matters. Adequate, restful sleep supports physical recovery, mental clarity, and emotional resilience. In our fast-paced lives, it's easy to compromise on sleep, but doing so can impact our overall well-being.

Tips for a Good Night's Sleep:

  1. Establish a consistent sleep schedule.

  2. Create a relaxing bedtime routine.

  3. Invest in a comfortable mattress and pillows.

  4. Limit screen time before bedtime.

  5. Ensure your sleep environment is dark and quiet.

Additional Insights on Sleep:

In the Harvard Nurses’ Health Study, women who got five or fewer hours of sleep a night gained about six pounds more over the subsequent 16 years than those getting seven hours a night. Even if that was all due to the difference in sleep, that’s still only six pounds for 10,000+ more hours of sleep. If even a tiny fraction of that time was spent on diet and exercise, more weight could be lost in 16 weeks than in those 16 years.

The biggest reason to lose sleep over losing sleep is the risk of motor vehicle accidents. Driving drowsy increases your risk of killing yourself and others. People might think twice about getting behind the wheel after staying awake for 48 hours straight, but even just two weeks of sleeping six hours a night impairs your cognitive performance as much as pulling two all-nighters in a row.

Best Practices for Better Sleep:

  • Sleeping pills are discouraged due to potential health risks, with non-pharmacological methods found to be as effective or better.

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy is recommended for insomnia, combining conditioning techniques and education surrounding optimal sleep hygiene.

  • Four Rules of Sleep Conditioning: Go to bed only when sleepy, use the bed only for sleep, get up if you can't fall asleep within 15–20 minutes. This helps your mind associate being in bed with falling asleep.

  • Exercise regularly, avoid caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol before bedtime, and maintain a quiet, dark, cool, and comfortable bedroom environment.

stressed woman

Stress Management Strategies

Stress is an inevitable part of life, but how we manage it greatly influences our health. Chronic stress can lead to a range of physical and mental health issues. Developing effective stress management strategies is key to mitigating its impact.

Stress-Busting Techniques:

  1. Practice mindfulness moments.

  2. Engage in regular physical activity.

  3. Maintain a healthy work-life balance.

  4. Learn to say no when needed.

  5. Prioritize tasks and break them into manageable steps.

The Path to Success

Success in our wellness journey is not just about achieving fitness goals; it's about creating a sustainable, balanced lifestyle. Balancing the demands of work, family, and personal growth is crucial. When sleep and stress are managed effectively, success becomes a natural byproduct.

Keys to Success in Wellness:

  1. Set realistic and achievable goals.

  2. Celebrate small victories along the way.

  3. Prioritize self-care and rest days.

  4. Seek support from a community or a mentor.

  5. Embrace the journey rather than focusing solely on the destination.

The Interconnectedness of Sleep, Stress, and Success

Understanding the interconnected nature of these three elements is crucial. Lack of sleep can increase stress levels, and chronic stress can interfere with sleep. Conversely, successful stress management contributes to better sleep, creating a positive feedback loop that supports overall wellness.

Practical Tips for Balancing the Triple S

  1. Create a Sleep Routine: Establish a calming pre-sleep routine to signal to your body that it's time to wind down. This can include activities like reading a book, gentle stretching, or practicing deep-breathing exercises.

  2. Mindfulness for Stress Relief: Incorporate mindfulness practices into your daily routine. Whether it's a few minutes of deep breathing, a short mindfulness moment, or mindful walking, these practices can help alleviate stress and improve focus.

  3. Set Realistic Goals: Success in your wellness journey doesn't mean achieving perfection. Set realistic and achievable goals, and celebrate progress, no matter how small. This approach helps manage stress and fosters a positive mindset.

  4. Prioritize Recovery: Understand that adequate sleep and stress management are integral parts of your fitness journey. Prioritize recovery days and listen to your body's signals for rest.

  5. Build a Support System: Share your wellness goals with friends, family, or a supportive community (like here!). Having a network to lean on during challenging times can significantly reduce stress and enhance your chances of success.

The time to see a doctor

It's one thing to not sleep well at night. It's another to wake up consistently for more than two weeks, have nightmares, or night terrors. The most consistent thing I've noticed with people who struggle with sleep is lack of oxygen at night. I've worked with a few people that wear smart watches that give them a summary of their vitals during sleep. These clients that wear the watches saw their oxygen drop into the 80s and 70s. If your oxygen drops under 90, see a doctor. I know I don't have to explain how important oxygen is, but I'll say it again: see a doctor!

The other clients that didn't have oxygen issues struggled with hormone levels. This can be from medication, surgical procedures, or simply from aging. Your doctor will be able to help you formulate a plan to regulate your hormones.

AN IMPORTANT NOTE TO WOMEN ON OR CONSIDERING BIRTH CONTROL: There's something doctors don't tell you: YOU CAN HAVE COMPLICATIONS FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE IF YOU GO OFF BIRTH CONTROL. Many women report chronic migraines, hair loss and thinning, as well as aggressive PMS symptoms that were exceedingly painful. Many women I know are still on birth control, even though it's not needed, because of the debilitating symptoms while off of the hormones. These are women who never struggled with menstrual symptoms and did not need regulation medication. Be sure to do your homework, this is something you'll likely take for years. It's important you make an informed decision.

The Triple S—Sleep, Stress, and Success—is a dynamic trio that plays a vital role in our journey towards holistic well-being. By understanding their interconnected nature and implementing practical strategies, we can create a foundation for a thriving and balanced life. As you continue your wellness journey with Trifecta, remember that success is not always about a destination.


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