Stress and sleep are not too commonly thought about when dealing with topics involving health and well-being. The truth is sleep and stress levels can affect everything from chronic disease risk, mood, and overall energy levels. Today, we’ll discuss how high levels of stress and poor sleep hygiene can greatly impact your overall well-being and give you tips on what you can do to improve.
The CDC reports that about 1 in 3 Americans do not get enough sleep and that correlates to an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and depression. Bad sleep quality can also have certain effects on your mood and cause you to make poor food choices throughout the day. So, what does effective sleep look like and how can you get the biggest snooze for your buck? Although sleep time may vary from person to person, we often recommend adults ages 25-65 years old get about 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night. The American Sleep Association also recommends that you reduce consumption of caffeinated beverages, nicotine, and limit the use of decongestants before bed, as these may cause a ripple in your sleeping patterns.
Ways to maintain good sleeping habits include:
- Turning off all electronics at least 30 minutes before bedtime.
- Sleeping in a dark, quiet environment with a comfortable bedspace.
- Participating in a relaxing activity before bed such as a warm bath or meditation session.
- Maintaining your sleep environment at a comfortable temperature of about 70°F.
Stress can manifest through a variety of methods including environmental triggers, neurological imbalances, unpredictable life circumstances, etc. It’s important to identify which triggers to avoid as well as learn the right tools to help manage stress. Chronic stress can lead to problems with digestion, recurring headaches, irritability, and bring on long-term health issues such as high blood pressure and heart disease.
We recommend implementing exercises that help with mindfulness and stress relief such as:
- Journaling. Doing this for 20 minutes can help you reflect upon the highlights of your day and remind you of your accomplishments.
- Getting regular exercise. Studies have shown that exercising for at least 30 minutes a day can greatly improve symptoms of anxiety and depression.
- Taking a “techno-break”. A study published in the International Journal of Environmental and Occupational Health states that excessive use of the Internet, wireless networks, computers, cellphones, and other devices can result in anxiety, frustration, and low job performance.
Your medical care professionals at Cederquist Medical Wellness Center know how important it is to maintain good sleep hygiene and are committed to helping you achieve improved mental as well as physical health. Along with good habits and mindfulness exercises, we offer supplements that can help enhance your sleep and help lower stress levels. All of these are available in our Cederquist store. Call our office to order.
• GABA- studies have indicated that GABA can help to enhance alpha wave production in the brain to promote relaxation and moderate stress, as well as support IgA levels which may support immune health.
• Metabolic Balance- The main ingredient l-theanine has been shown to promote relaxation without drowsiness and help to moderate stress as l-theanine is an amino acid derivative from tea.
• Cortisol Calm- This supplement has been known to maintain a healthy cortisol response to promote relaxation, restful sleep and positive mood.
Make sure to discuss your options with your Cederquist medical or dietary provider to help you embark on your stress-free, sleep health journey!