Sleep & Stress Management

Health & Lifestyle

Presented by Rhiannon Lytle, RHN with Organika (source)

How Much Should I Sleep?

  • Adults should get 7-9 hours daily of quality sleep for proper repair
  • It’s important to sleep more, especially during times of stress or illness
  • Don’t hit snooze!
    • Your body re-enters a REM cycle and gets ready to sleep
    • Tip: Set alarm 1.5 hours before you want to wake up; go back to sleep for a 90-minute REM cycle (the average REM cycle for most people) 
man in crew neck t shirt lying on bed

When Should I Sleep?

  • According to the Traditional Chinese Body Clock, our body has certain hours targeted at certain organs
    • E.g., 1 a.m. to 2 a.m. is the time our liver is functioning at its highest;
    • If we’re staying up until 2 a.m., our liver is not getting the support needed to detox the things in our body which can cause inflammation, our immune system to not function at its best, and/or poor bowel movements 
  • In Western culture, we recognize the natural cortisol curve
    • Should be highest first thing in the morning and tapers off mid-day (groggy feeling we experience)
    • Can shift with your body, such as if you work nights
  • Ideally, you should be asleep by 11 p.m. and wake around 7 a.m. (at least 8 hours; can be adjusted depending on your schedule) 
  • Why?
    • Detox support
    • Works with our natural cortisol curve 

How to Practice Good Sleep Hygiene 

  • Nighttime routines are essential to prepare for bed 
    • Putting phone away 1 hour before bed 
    • Turning off notifications while sleeping 
    • Sleep with phone outside room 
      • Quality is just as important as quantity 
    • Have room as dark as possible (e.g., eye mask, blackout curtains) 
    • Try white noise or ear plugs
    • Avoid alcohol close to bed so body can digest it before you sleep
  • Supplement support:
    • Magnesium
    • Herbal teas (chamomile, passionflower, valerian root)
person pouring liquid into brown ceramic cup

Magnesium 

  • An essential mineral for overall health 
  • Involved in hundreds of body functions 
  • Allows body tissues to relax, from the muscles to digestive tract and the nervous system
  • Commonly found types of magnesium supplements:
    • Magnesium Citrate
      • Magnesium bound to a salt, like citrate 
      • 30-40% is absorbed, relaxing muscles and nerves 
      • Used for issues with constipation
        • Helps the digestive system 
    • Magnesium Bisglycinate 
      • Magnesium combined with the amino acid glycine 
      • High absorption, less digestive side-effects
    • Magnesium L-threonate 
      • Another magnesium + amino acid combo 
      • Most effective at reaching the nervous system 

Stress & Immunity

  • Sleep and stress are linked
    • When stressed, increases in cortisol can shut down body functions that aren’t deemed “essential”, such as:
      • Digestion
      • Reproduction
      • Immune function

Short vs. Long-Term Stress

How to make stress your friend (TedTalk)

  • Short-term stress
    • Natural – we’re supposed to experience it 
    • Beneficial to our immune system and can boost inflammation response
      • E.g., Inflammatory response helps to heal wounds faster 
    • Can boost energy (fight-or-flight response)
      • In fight-or-flight mode, your body shuts down functions that aren’t deemed “essential” (digestion, reproduction, immune function)
  • Long-term stress
    • More apparent in society today
    • Can lead to:
      • Chronic inflammation
      • Poor digestion
        • We need a lot of nutrients to ensure our immune system is in shape
        • If we’re not digesting properly, we’re not absorbing properly (supplements can be helpful)
        • Develop stress management techniques before eating 
      • Imbalanced hormones
    • Adaptogens may help support chronic stress
      • Helps us to adapt and find “homeostasis” (balance)
      • Needs to be taken consistently to see the affects 
      • Powders absorb better than capsule 
    • What to look out for:
      • Feeling “wired but tired”
      • Having no energy to do anything
      • Unable to focus
      • Crashing extremely hard
      • Physically fatigued 
depressed black man touching face in frustration near window

Simple Tips to Manage Stress

woman doing cobra pose

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This website is provided only for informational purposes and not intended to be used to replace professional advice, treatment or professional care. Always speak to your physician, healthcare provider or pediatrician if you have concerns about your own health or the health of a child.

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