Sleep, Anxiety and Stress

A good night’s sleep is the key to reducing anxiety and having the energy we need to conquer the day, and yet, more than 30 percent of us don’t get the seven hours of shut-eye we need per night just to stay healthy, according to the CDC.

No Rest? You Won’t Be Your Best.

“People believe that, ‘Well if I don’t sleep I’m kind of a mess, but I can go for days on end and I’m fine,’”  Not true:  Your body slowly starts to breakdown and it taxes your adrenal glands which affects all of your hormones, and they become unbalanced.  Imbalances in the Endocrine (hormonal) system can make you choose  stimulants like coffee and sugar to keep going all of which then leads to decreased immune function and anxiety.  All of that then can eventually that can lead to fatigue, brain fog, low motivation and burnout.

Sleep plays the all-important role of restoring your immune and endocrine systems — the latter is responsible for creating and spreading key performance hormones like testosterone and human growth hormone throughout your body — as well as regulating brain function. And according to one scholarly literature review, the dreamless non-REM sleep phase in particular increases protein synthesis and the mobilization of free fatty acids to provide you with energy, which helps the body repair .

What to Do After a Bad Night’s Sleep

First, dial back your exercise intensity and duration.  Pushing your body when it is already tired is not the answer.  After all, sleep restriction acts as additional stress on your body, so why stress yourself even more with an intense workout session? Choose a lighter workout. (think: walking, jogging, swimming, yoga).

More Tips to Less Anxiety and a Better Night’s Sleep

  1. Limit or eliminate coffee and all stimulants
  2. Reduce screen time especially at night. This will help decrease the input to the brain and evoke a calmer state.
  3. Have a regular sleep schedule. Turn off Netflix and the temptation to binge watch your favorite TV episodes.
  4. Reduce Toxins in your home. Toxins are endocrine disruptors
  5. Choose to spend some time in nature and get some fresh air to balance the hectic technological world we live in
  6. Get some blackout curtains or wear a sleep mask to block out light
  7. Cut back on alcohol.  It might help reduce the feelings of anxiety for a short period, however come 3.00-400am you are jolted awake, having to pee and then staring at the ceiling unable to get back to a restful sleep
  8. Studies have shown that we humans sleep better when the room temp is 64 degrees.
  9. Consider adaptogenic herbal formulas to help decrease anxiety and support your a more normal cortisol rhythm. We have a formula that we have recommended that has worked very well for our patients.
  10. Magnesium taken at night can also help provide relaxation.

Last but not least consider some of the many apps that available to help monitor and  promote a restful nights sleep

Happy ZZZ’s this week

Dr Pia