If you find you are stressed and not getting enough sleep, you’re not alone. Many of the stressors we face in modern life, such as traffic jams, work, relationships, finances, and many more, contribute to stress impacting our sleep.
The good news is that through nutrition, lifestyle changes, and supplementation we can support stress and sleep.
WHAT IS STRESS?
When you experience a perceived threat, your body’s hormonal stress response gets triggered, creating a cascade of physical changes that lead to the release of glucocorticoids like cortisol by the endocrine system. The release of cortisol and other stress hormones creates a burst of energy that allows you to fight or run from real danger.
The problem with today’s world is that we are constantly facing perceived threats. Stress used to be triggered in life or death situations, like coming face to face with a tiger and having to run to save your life, but now it can happen multiple times every day.
HOW TO IDENTIFY IF SOMEONE IS STRESSED?
The common signs of someone who is stressed includes depression, low energy, sleep problems, tension, anxiety, work mistakes and poor concentration.
The harder we push our bodies, the more stress the body is under, the more vitamins and minerals the body uses - B vitamins, vitamin C, zinc and magnesium just to name a few. Nutrition and lifestyle choices are such important aspects of supporting the body through stress and in return, will help you to have a better night’s sleep.
TIPS FOR DEALING WITH STRESS
Create a relaxing evening routine:
A good night’s sleep allows you to tackle stress more easily, however, stress is often the reason we struggle with sleep in the first place. Creating a nighttime routine is a good place to start and sets a consistent sleep schedule so that your circadian rhythm can regulate.
Assess what is stressful:
Getting a handle on stress is the first step to figure out what is causing it. Once you identify your stressors, you can take steps to reduce them.
Be aware of your thoughts:
What we think, how we think, what we expect, and what we tell ourselves often determines how we feel and how well we manage our stress levels. We often automatically speak of stress in the negative, yet we forget to realise that certain stress is healthy.
Nourish your body with healthy foods:
Eat whole foods to nourish your body with vitamins and minerals. Junk food and refined sugars are low in nutritional value leaving us feeling out of energy and sluggish.
One of the simplest ways to relax is to control your breathing. Just 10 deep breaths can have a positive effect on the nervous system reducing stress and tension in the body.