Stress is a normal human reaction that happens to everyone. But the severity and the way in which you cope with stressful moments in life is what will impact your health over time.
Restful sleep is one of the best avenues for fighting stress due to the special link that sleep and stress share. This article showcases tips on how to manage and reduce stress, poor sleep issues, sleep disorders, hours of sleeping, quality of sleep, sleep deprivation and most importantly how to fall asleep!
Effects of sleep on stress
Good quality sleep provides a chance for our bodies to slow down and recover both physically and mentally. Here are some of the effects of sleep on stress relief.
Sleep and mood
Studies show that lack of sleep can affect an individual’s mood, causing them to be more emotionally sensitive to stressors. If you’re sleep deprived, you might find yourself quick to feel angry, irritable, lonely, or downcast. Lack of sleep leads to stress; The stress hormone activates anxiety that can raise cortisol levels and disrupt the functioning of the nervous system, eventually leading to innumerable health problems (10). When tired, it’s also more difficult to move on from these emotions as the day progresses (1).
In contrast, when you get enough sleep, you not only wake up feeling refreshed, but also have an easier time maintaining a positive mood or bouncing back from emotional stressors when you encounter them (2).
Re-energising for the day
When you have a long day ahead, your first instinct might be to fuel up with a cup of coffee. Coffee provides an external source of energy whereas sleep works naturally to give your body the energy it needs to last throughout the day.
Sleep allows us to recharge, giving our brains the chance to consolidate memories so that you can effectively remember and learn from the day’s events. It also helps us to organise information in a useful manner that could be helpful in performing tasks more efficiently, and to help refuel our decision-making tank. This allows us to meet the day with good judgment and mental clarity at work, school, or even in social settings (8).
Minimising physiological manifestations of stress
Our body exhibits physiological manifestations of stress when it’s tired and in need of stress relief.
Stress, especially chronic stress, can cause musculo-skeletal issues. This is because stress hormones that remain at high levels when our bodies are under chronic stress make our muscles tense up and stiffen for excessive amounts of time. Getting enough sleep allows your body to decompress and your mind to relax.
The association between sleep and stress is also apparent in our digestive system. If you constantly lack sleep, you can become more susceptible to developing digestive imbalances such as when bad gut bacteria overpowers good gut bacteria. And healthy digestion relies on good bacterial balance in the gut.
Stress relief also becomes a goal when your cardiovascular system becomes dysregulated. Frequent exposure to stress and not getting enough sleep might mean that your blood pressure is constantly elevated, a state that makes your heart work double time, increasing your risk of developing cardiovascular diseases (9).
Meditation and breathing techniques as stipulated in yoga, stabilise heart rate and reduce stress (11).
Supplementation for stress relief and sleep
While nutrients are abundantly available through a healthy diet, many might not be receiving them sufficiently through diet alone. Supplements can be taken alongside a well-rounded diet to help improve sleep and support stress management. Here are some of the supplements you can consider for better sleep:
Ashwagandha is a traditional medicine commonly used for stress relief as it supports healthy stress response in the body and enhances body adaptation to stress (3).
Vitable’s Vitamin B Complex supplement supports healthy stress response in the body. It’s composed of all eight essential B vitamins, which, when together, can enhance their benefits for stress relief (4).
Ginkgo and Brahmi
Ginkgo and Brahmi are two of the oldest herbal stress remedies in the world that have gained popularity in the West. Combined as a single supplement, they can relieve symptoms of stress and enhance the body’s adaptation to stress (5).
Chronic stress depletes magnesium levels, and at the same time, a magnesium deficiency can exacerbate the effects of stress (7). As magnesium is not a substance the body produces on its own, you can ensure to consume sufficient amounts of it through a healthy diet or supplementation.
Vitamin B12 maintains energy levels, a benefit that is strengthened when combined with proper sleep or compromised when we’re sleep-deprived. Additionally, this vitamin supports our information processing capabilities and other cognitive functions, both of which are necessary in our day-to-day living and affected when we don’t sleep well or enough.
With this information, you can put into practice active measures to maintain the delicate relationship between sleep and stress. Vitable vitamins offer you safe and effective products formulated for stress relief when paired with a healthy diet. You get to put together custom vitamin packs for a vitamin subscription in Australia that comes with vitamin delivery right to your doorstep.
Find out more about other areas that the above supplements can help you with:
*Always read the label. Follow the directions for use. If symptoms persist, talk to your health professional. Vitamin and/or mineral supplements should not replace a balanced diet.
- Get Sleep. “Sleep and Mood”. Last reviewed on December 2008 on https://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/need-sleep/whats-in-it-for-you/mood. Accessed September 23 2021
- Head To Health. “Sleep”. Last reviewed on July 2019 on https://www.headtohealth.gov.au/meaningful-life/physical-health/sleep. Accessed September 23 2021
- Vitable. “Ashwagandha”. (n.d.). https://research.vitable.com.au/ashwagandha-plus. Accessed September 23 2021
- Vitable. “B Complex”. (n.d.). https://research.vitable.com.au/b-complex. Accessed September 23 2021
- Vitable. “Ginkgo & Brahmi”. (n.d.). https://research.vitable.com.au/ginkgo-brahmi. Accessed September 23 2021
- Vitable. “Calcium Plus”. (n.d.). https://research.vitable.com.au/calcium-plus. Accessed September 23 2021
- Boyle, N., et al. (2017). The Effects of Magnesium Supplementation on Subjective Anxiety and Stress—A Systematic Review. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5452159/ Accessed September 25, 2021
- American Psychological Association. (n.d.). Stress and Sleep. https://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/stress/2013/sleep Accessed September 24, 2021
- Sleep Foundation. June 24, 2021. Stress and Insomnia. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/insomnia/stress-and-insomnia Accessed September 25, 2021.
- https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/stress/art-20046037. Jul 2021.
- https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/relaxation-techniques-breath-control-helps-quell-errant-stress-response. Jul 2020.