Curing your burnout may be a matter of more sleep

Did you know that after just on bad night of sleep there's a 37% right in stress hormones?

Burnout is a rising social issue. Millennials have been labelled "The Burnout Generation", a condition that is symptomatic of feeling unable to complete small tasks like registering to forward your mail or taking a bag of old clothes to the local charity bin.

Every aspect of the modern existence is optimised for excellence and efficiency. Lunch hours become crammed gym sessions, lunches are eaten at your desk or converted to a "lunch meeting" and dentist appointments or haircuts become after-work affairs, so as not to eat into your weekend, when of course you need to snap the right "I'm having fun" Instagram picture and perfectly Kon Mari your apartment.

Unsurprisingly, sleep often doesn't fit into a perfectly optimised existence where you're trying to balance 100 things at once. With all my extracurriculars, I know I personally only manage to squeeze in six and half to seven hours of sleep a night during the week. And I know many people who sleep even less. An ex-editor I know once admitted to me she only slept for five hours a night, heading to bed at midnight and waking at 5am in order to keep on top of her fitness and freelance projects.

Is it any surprise we're so burned out?

What is burnout?

olivia

"Burnout is when we feel we are emotionally and physically exhausted and unable to continue," says sleep specialist Olivia Arezzolo.

With numerous qualification in science and fitness (including a Bachelor in Psychology), Arezzolo is an expert on all things sleep. She works with patients who have difficulty with sleep and offers programs and private consultations.She believes that burnout is often fueled by a hard-working Western culture and a "sleep when you're dead" attitude.

"Our lives are oriented around earning and spending, with the common belief that more equates to greater happiness – so we are always chasing the elusive 'more'," Arezzolo says

"We neglect signals that we need to stop – such as daytime fatigue, sickness or an inability to concentrate. We fuel ourselves through stimulants like caffeine and sugar to get by, but eventually, our adrenal system has nothing left, and we are constantly deflated. This is classic burnout."

Image source: Instagram

What role does sleep play in burnout?

So, what role does a lack of sleep play in all of this. A big one apparently.

Arezzolo explains: "Emotionally, after only one night lack of sleep, there is a 37% rise in stress hormone cortisol, making you feel depressed and anxious (Leproult, 1997). Other researchers found that insufficient sleep increases our feelings of negativity from an unpleasant experience – the degree is relative to the severity and size of sleep debt."

So what does this mean for the average person who's sleeping a lot less than they should?

"In the real world, this is the difference between being a touch upset over something that goes wrong and completely losing your marbles," Arezzolo says.

"And this impacts our physical health too."

"Research found people lacking sleep are more likely to engage in harmful stress coping mechanisms like drinking alcohol, taking drugs and smoking cigarettes. They're also more likely to eat poorly and less likely to exercise; all factors which compound our feelings of burnout."

And it doesn't stop there, scientists have also discovered the main area of the brain to be affected by sleep loss is the frontal cortex, which is one of the most important parts of your brain.

"The frontal cortex governs motivation, emotional stability, judgement and decision making," Arezzolo says.

"It's even more understandable that sleep is a major catalyst to improve or impede burn out."

Best tips for repairing and preventing burnout

woman having coffee

We asked Arezzolo for her top tips to avoiding burnout and the best one she says is "quality sleep!".

"Without it, you're really limiting your capacity to avoid burnout – it becomes almost inevitable simply due to the biological changes that come due to a lack of sleep," she says.

Feeling energised in the mornings is rare for many (especially for me) and Arezzolo suggests this is an indicator we're not getting the quality of sleep we need.

"This says you need to address sleep. My online program, The 6 Week Sleep Solution is designed to improve the mechanisms which improve sleep – which are the sames ones that reduce burnout," Arezzolo says.

Although you're 95% more likely to reach goals when you have a scheduled accountability like using a program, Arezzolo says there are a few more tips you can use to treat and avoid burnout.

  • Avoiding blue light exposure. Steer clear of these devices and room light within two hours of sleep. As published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, if you're exposed to this light, it delays your sleep by 90 minutes.
  • Drinking chamomile tea in the evening and afternoon. Scientific research demonstrates it's a mild sedative which counteracts the effects of stress, which can be felt as your mind running at a million miles an hour or anxiety.
  • Use mind dump. Write your thoughts down in the evening (or whenever you're feeling overwhelmed/exhausted) as a healthy coping mechanism. This allows you to express negativity, frustration or sadness without judgement or fear of hurting others. Often when we're exhausted our thoughts become tangled and writing stops them going around in circles in your head.
  • Meditation. With evidence showing it improves anxiety, feelings of positivity, calmness and decreases blood pressure, it's a simple practice which has phenomenal benefits.
  • Connect with a positive community, like mine on Instagram. Realising there are others on the same aspirations to wellness inspires you to be your best and puts you back on track when you fall off the bandwagon too.

Top sleep aids

The Beauty Chef Sleep Inner Beauty Powder
The Beauty Chef Sleep Inner Beauty Powder

Adore Beauty

Oil Garden Sleep Assist Medicinal Oil
Oil Garden Sleep Assist Medicinal Oil

Chemist Warehouse

Oil Garden Tranquil & Calm Blend
Oil Garden Tranquil & Calm Blend

Chemist Warehouse

Natrol, Melatonin, Sleep, Fast Dissolve, Strawberry
Natrol, Melatonin, Sleep, Fast Dissolve, Strawberry

iHerb

More stories

Image sources: Shutterstock

Health and beauty discounts

Showpo Showpo
Exclusive

10% off orders over $200

Save 10% on your orders when you spend $200 or more at Showpo. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

MyHouse MyHouse
Exclusive

10% off site-wide + FREE shipping

Save 10% on quilt cover sets, cushions, homewares and more. Plus, FREE shipping. Minimum spend of $75. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

1001 Optical 1001 Optical
Exclusive

15% off Ray-Ban, Prada, Oakley, Gucci sunglasses and more

Coupon is valid on all full price optical frames, contact lens and sunglasses from your favourite international and local designer brands including Ray-Ban, Prada, Oakley, Gucci and many more at 1001 Optical. Exclusions, T&Cs may apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

Amazon AU Amazon AU

Up to 60% off Father's Day gifts

Find the perfect gifts to really make your Dad’s day. Including selected items from adidas, Tommy Hilfiger, Puma and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

24S 24S

Extra 20% off sale items

Take an extra 20% off sale items from Chloé, Valentino, Prada, Stella McCartney and many more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

eBay eBay

20% off gifts for Father's Day

Save 20% on Sony, Dell, Zanui and more. No minimum spend. Exclusions, T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

RY.COM.AU RY.COM.AU

15% off site-wide + FREE Christophe Robin gift

Score 15% off beauty products from ghd, Maybelline, Clinique and more. Plus, enjoy a FREE Christophe Robin hydrating shampoo (12ml) when you spend over $110. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

Adore Beauty Adore Beauty
Ends soon!

Choose from three 4-piece gifts with purchase

Choose from Mocha, Cha or Earl Grey gifts when you order over $119 at Adore Beauty. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

NET-A-PORTER NET-A-PORTER

10% off site-wide

Enjoy 10% off shoes, bags, accessories and more at NET-A-PORTER. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

GHD GHD

Get Style Gift Set with Your Order of any Platinum+, Gold or Curve Range Electrical

T&Cs apply

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

Sephora Sephora

Receive a Sephora thermal mask with purchase

Offer is valid for Beauty Pass member only. Receive a Sephora Hydrate & Recharge Thermal Flask when you spend $120 or more on skincare. While stocks last. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

eBay eBay

20% off at Myer store

Get 20% off home, grooming, fashion & more from Myer store at eBay. Maximum discount of $500. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

Tarte Tarte

FREE standard shipping

Enjoy FREE standard shipping when you spend $80 or more at Tarte. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Tarte Tarte

15% off your first online purchase

Sign-up to Tarte's newsletter and score 15% off your first order. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Clearly Contacts Clearly Contacts

Up to 70% off frames + 20% off lens upgrades

Enjoy up to 70% off selected frames from Kam Dhillon, Derek Cardigan and more. Plus, take 20% off lens upgrades. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

Sephora Sephora

Pick 4 hydrating minis when you spend $120 in-app

Offer is valid for Beauty Pass members. Choose up to 4 hydrating minis with any purchase of $120 or more on the Sephora mobile app. While stocks last. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

Catch Catch

Up to 74% off beauty sale

Includes Clinique, Olaplex, Anastasia, Benefit, Revlon and more at Catch. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

Clearly Contacts Clearly Contacts

25% off Ray-Ban, Oakley, Versace and more

Enjoy 25% off these premium brand glasses with code at Clearly Contacts. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

Amazon AU Amazon AU

FREE delivery on millions of items for all customers

Enjoy FREE delivery on eligible orders over $39 at Amazon. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

Tarte Tarte

Rainforest of the sea lip gloss for just $1 with purchase

Get the Rainforest of the sea lip gloss for just $1 when you purchase $90 or more at Tarte. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

Amazon AU Amazon AU

FREE Rimmel London Nothing Neutral 'Bout Me collection

Purchase 3 select beauty products and get a FREE Rimmel London Nothing Neutral 'Bout Me collection. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

David Jones David Jones

FREE Clarins, Philosophy, Jurlique gifts & more with purchase

Discover the current gifts with purchase and beauty offers from some of David Jones top beauty brands including Clarins, Philosophy, Jurlique gifts and more. T&Cs apply

Last verified

Cult Beauty Cult Beauty

FREE shipping on Nars products

Shop Nars concealer, blush, lipsticks and more with FREE shipping. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

Look Fantastic Look Fantastic

25% off Dermalogica products

Enjoy 25% off Dermalogica products at Look Fantastic. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

Look Fantastic Look Fantastic

Up to 30% off Alpha-H skincare

Get up to 30% off Alpha-H skincare at Look Fantastic. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

Look Fantastic Look Fantastic

Up to 40% off Skinstitut + FREE delivery and makeup bag

Get up to 40% off Skinstitut products plus FREE delivery on all Skinstitut orders and FREE makeup bag when you spend $99. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

Look Fantastic Look Fantastic

Up to $50 off Parlux hair dryers

Enjoy up to $50 off Parlux hair dryers at Look Fantastic. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

Look Fantastic Look Fantastic

FREE Clinique gift with your order

Get a FREE Clinique gift with your order at Look Fantastic. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

The Facial Company The Facial Company

Up to $50 off Parlux hair dryers

Enjoy up to $50 off Parlux hair dryers at The Facial Company. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

The Facial Company The Facial Company

FREE Clinique gift with your order

Get a FREE Clinique gift with your order at The Facial Company. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

The Facial Company The Facial Company

15% off select Thalgo products

Enjoy 15% off select Thalgo products at The Facial Company. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

RY.COM.AU RY.COM.AU

25% off Evo haircare

Enjoy 25% off Evo haircare products at RY.COM. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

RY.COM.AU RY.COM.AU

FREE Clinique gift with any order

Get a FREE Clinique gift with any order at RY.COM. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

RY.COM.AU RY.COM.AU

25% off female intimacy essentials

Enjoy 25% off female intimacy essentials by Smile Makers at RY.COM. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

Look Fantastic Look Fantastic

15% off best selling cosmetics, haircare and skincare

Enjoy 15% off best selling cosmetics, haircare and skincare products at Look Fantastic. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

Look Fantastic Look Fantastic

25% off Mama Mio skincare

Enjoy 25% off Mama Mio skincare products at Look Fantastic. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

The Facial Company The Facial Company

20% off Youngblood cosmetics

Enjoy 20% off Youngblood cosmetics at The Facial Company. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

The Facial Company The Facial Company

20% off Jane Iredale

Valid on Jane Iredale natural mineral makeup for a limited time only. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

The Facial Company The Facial Company

10% off Payot products

Valid on Payot skincare products for a limited time only. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

Popular Health & Beauty coupon codes

Last checked Code description Code
2 Aug 2019 10% off orders over $200 FIN****
31 Jul 2019 10% off site-wide + FREE shipping FIN****
9 Jul 2019 15% off Ray-Ban, Prada, Oakley, Gucci sunglasses and more FIN****
23 Aug 2019 Extra 20% off sale items OUT****
23 Aug 2019 20% off gifts for Father's Day PAP****
Was this content helpful to you? No  Yes

Related Posts

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms of Use, Disclaimer & Privacy Policy and Privacy & Cookies Policy.
Ask a question
Go to site