Want Better Sleep? Tossing & Turning? by Kay Wilson
Do you see every hour on the clock? Do you fall into bed exhausted but unable to fall asleep? Would you like to get a good 8 hours of sleep? Experts say that your body renews and heals itself during the natural sleep process.
Stress is not always the “bad guy”, in fact it is good and helps us compete in life. It is that heart pumping exhilaration we feel to reach a deadline or competing in a sports event when it helps us perform better by pumping potent hormones from the adrenal glands that make our minds race, increases the blood pressure and we get an incredible burst of energy. That’s a good thing, but our bodies cannot tolerate being “switched on” all the time.
Our Western Lifestyle
encourages us to wear stress like a badge of honor to be proud of because we not only work 8-10 hours a day but rush our kids from event to event and cram waaay too much into every waking hour. It is no big surprise that when we finally collapse into bed, our eyes are wide open or after a couple of hours, our brain is still mulling over the late night news, job worries, traffic jams, stock market losses, split families and a million other crises situations.
The L.A. Times published an article on Stress in America study. The reporter says, “Chronic unresolved stress weakens the immune system, increasing our susceptibility to infections, such as colds and other viruses. And when stress increases, so does inflammation, contributing to stroke, arthritis, type 2 diabetes, periodontal disease and frailty.” studies have shown cumulative effects of unresolved psychological stress contributes to heart disease and high blood pressure.
You are in control and with a few lifestyle changes to help you prepare and better cope with some stress you’ll find that restful rejuvenating sleep you need.
Eating at ‘fast food’ restaurants, (most fast food is fat food) too much sugar, vitamin deficient food impairs the digestive system, your body cannot absorb the vitamins of vegetables or other wholesome food you do eat.
Morning exercise releases hormones that lift your mood and reduces stress.
Sleep should be a priority, your bedroom should be a calming place, remove any non-sleep activity and your bed time should be at the same time every night.
Cat naps, meditation or “mini-vacations” of the mind are great to reduce stress, also. To do a mini-vacation, think of your very favorite place to be, maybe a quiet walk in a forest or your special beach, think about the warm sun on your back as you relax on the sand.
Dietary choices will help, avoid caffeine, alcohol and sugar in the evening. Caffeine prevents restful sleep, alcohol stimulates adrenalin that creates nervous tension,irritability and insomnia. Sugar creates worthless short-term energy and stresses the adrenals, so when you come off the “sugar high”, you feel depressed and lethargic. Insomnia causes many of our key hormones, serotonin, leptin, prolactin and thyroid to be out of whack. The hormonal imbalance causes flucuations in the neurotransmitters and produces mood disorders, including life threatening depression. Depression shatters lives. It’s symptoms can cause dfficulty concentrating, fatique, feelings of worthlessness or helplessness, pessimism, loss of appetite, loss of interest in once-beloved activities, irritability, persistent pain, suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts. Serotonin is synthesized in the brain, but also in the digestive tract. This is why how what you eat and how well you digest your food is crucial to how you feel.
Eat more fiber, like veggies, fruit and whole grains to help digestive distress caused by stress. How many people do you know who suffer from digestion problems? Increasing your vegetables increases your brain’s production of serotonin, vital to mood and L-tryptophan vital to sleep. Omega 3, fatty fish oil that contain DHA that is essential to healthy brain function. Researchers think that disorders like depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia may be due in large part to a deficiency of Omega 3 fatty acids.