Importance of Sleep in Stress Reduction
- Posted on: Apr 6 2020
During stressful times, our adrenal glands can go into overdrive keeping up with the chronic stressors we are experiencing. Current stressors including staying at home, having kids home from school, unable to see elderly parents, and even a line to get into the grocery store. One important key to improving stress levels is getting a good night’s sleep. Here are some sleep hygiene tips to help you get the best, restorative sleep you can thus keeping your immune system strong.
- First thing in the morning, expose your face and eyes to direct sunshine for 15-20 minutes to allow for a reset of your circadian rhythm. Keep in mind, the older you are the more sunshine you may need.
- Train your body to go to bed and wake up at the same time regardless of plans for the next day especially during times of disrupted schedules.
- Don’t spend too much time awake in bed. If you’re not asleep in 20 minutes, get up and sit quietly on the couch (no TV!) until you feel sleepy.
- Avoiding caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol 4-6 hours before bed.
- Bed is for sleeping and sex. No TV, eating, reading, etc.
- Avoiding naps during the day. If you have to nap, make sure it is less than an hour and before 3 PM.
- Establish a sleep ritual. 30 minutes before bed start winding down with a bath, light stretching, nightly skin care routine.
- No clock watching!
- Keep a journal by your bed to clear your mind if it is racing prior to sleep
- Regular exercise. **Caution doing strenuous exercise 4 hours before bed which can be stimulating.
- Balanced, whole food diet
- A cool, dark room is the best environment for sleep
- Limiting electronics before bed. **One useful tool is blue light blocking glasses 1-2 hours before bed. These block blue light which stimulate the brain to be awake and allow your own natural melatonin levels to rise.
Sleep is vital to our immune system: it gives your body the chance to repair and rejuvenate. Lack of sleep can contribute to hunger, cravings, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. If you or your partner snore or stop breathing during sleep, that is a medical condition that must be evaluated in a sleep lab and should be treated immediately.
There are a few supplements that can be helpful for calming the mind before sleep and contributing to a good night’s sleep which can be taken regularly or on an as needed base:
- Phosphatidyl Serine is a phospholipid nutritional supplement that stops hyperactive production of cortisol in the body, allowing unhealthy, elevated cortisol levels to decrease, and consequently, more restful sleepto occur
- GABA (Gamma-Amino butyric acid) is an amino acid produced naturally in the brain. GABA functions as a neurotransmitter, facilitating communication among brain cells. GABA’s big role in the body is to reduce the activity of neurons in the brain and central nervous system, which in turn has a broad range of effects on the body and mind, including increased relaxation, reduced stress, a more calm, balanced mood, alleviation of pain, and a BOOST to sleep.
- L-theanine is an amino acid which can be found in green tea, black tea, and certain types of mushroom. L-theanine may affect the levels of serotonin and dopamine, which influence mood, sleep, and emotion, and cortisol, which helps the body deal with stress.
- Melatonin in small doses can be helpful is cementing to circadian rhythm.
You can find them easily at https://drshelmd.com or simply call our office to have them shipped or do curb-side pickup. We are currently offering FREE shipping on all orders over $150 or more and have made sure we have ALL the well-researched products for you. While you’re there, check out the immune supplements as well to stay healthy physically in addition to emotionally.
As always, we are here to help please let us know. During this stressful and unprecedented times, we are offering telemedicine visits with our expert providers to ensure you maintain your wellness, immunity, hormonal balance, thyroid, adrenal and nutritional balance so that you can stay in harmony, calm, healthy and happy. To schedule a telemedicine, click this link http://www.drshel.com/free-consultations/ or call 281-313-7435.