HOW TO CALM COVID-RELATED STRESS AND SLEEP WELL
Are you feeling wired?
Does the persistent monkey chatter in your mind feel impossible to switch off?
Do you retire to bed only to lay there with your worries buzzing and your head far from sleep? You’re not alone. Stress and sleep problems go hand in hand.
This crazy year has triggered unprecedented challenges...
Financial strain, businesses going bust, insecurities around paying the bills.
Health concerns for ourselves and our loved ones. The questions that keep popping up in the mind: Is anyone I love vulnerable? Will I catch covid, or not? What will happen if I get sick?
Adapting to social distancing, wearing a mask, the kids being home from school, and our increasingly digitized world of Skype, Zoom and internet-based meetings...
And it’s not over yet!
Covid-19 has brought with it a profound bump in psychological stress. The uncertainty and pressures have been difficult and constant. For many, nervousness has set in. An uneasiness undermines each day. The result is an understandable rise in mental illness; anxiety and depression in particular.
Then there are the physical symptoms. Tiredness mixed with a heavy dose of insomnia. An increase in chronic pain. Plus what we’ve unaffectionately dubbed “covid fat”; weight gain born from lock down, stress and poor sleep.
There’s only so much we, humans, can take!
Wonderfully, there are answers; evidence-based steps that calm stress and sleep problems and create a virtuous cycle. Before we look at these (number 4 is exceptionally easy and fast), it helps to understand why we feel tight, troubled and have difficulty sleeping.
The stress response: What it is and what it does?
Our stress or “fight or flight” response is an incredible piece of engineering. When faced with a sudden, threatening scenario it kicks in to protect our survival…
Our heart and breathing rates spike to force oxygenated blood to our limbs.
The pupils dilate and our focus sharpens so that we may seek out perils.
The reproductive and digestive systems halt to ensure sufficient energy for our short-term needs.
Understandably stress and sleep don’t go hand in hand; it makes no sense to dose at a time we might be harmed! The biological “on” switch is flicked so we can battle or bolt and live to see another day.
But when our mainframe is diverted to survival it extracts significant trade-offs. It steamrolls the ability to think deeply. To make decisions calmly. To consider the future with sensible deliberation. Instead, we get stuck in the here and now. Because if we don’t make it through the immediate threat, there’s no sense having saved for a tomorrow that never comes.
The “fight or flight” flip side
As you can imagine the stress response requires oodles of energy to maintain. But because survival is imperative, our energy is directed to this need. Then, when the threat passes the body is designed to calm down; what has been lost can be restored. We have an incredible capacity to recover, so long as the threat is short-lived…
But imagine trying to build Rome in a day, day after day, month after month. That’s an expensive check to cash, one that will eventually result in bankruptcy. So it is with the body and mind.
The strains of covid-stress have compounded over much of 2020. We’ve used up our ready-sources of energy, moved through our reserves, and now find ourselves pushing through the day on less than the fumes of an oily rag. Lock down and fear have restricted access to the rejuvenating effects of exercise, the great outdoors and social interaction. Our biological bank accounts have become depleted.
This is of concern; the frightening results of chronic stress and sleep issues include:
- Anxiousness and anxiety
- Flat mood and depression
- Brain fog and poor memory
- Trouble adapting to change
- Cravings and a predisposition to high-sugar, high-calorie foods
If any of these sound familiar, please understand: This is normal, it is not your fault and there are steps you can take to reverse this trend.
How to calm stress, sleep soundly and feel human again
Stress and sleep are deeply intertwined. This, as we talked about above, is logical in the short-term. But in the longer-term? When under psychological strain, sleep quality and duration often suffers. When we slumber poorly, we feel more stressed.
How do we break the cycle and manage both well?
Here are our four favourite steps…
Physical activity is like balm for the soul. The simple practice of frequent movement calms stress, improves slumber and eases our path through troubled times.
A study published in the journal Frontiers of Physiology found that, “Regular exercise protects against the negative emotional consequences of stress.” In essence, being active enhances our resilience.
Exercise also increases how long we sleep and how well. We nod off more easily, slumber more deeply and remain asleep longer.
Tai chi, Yoga, walking, swimming, and exercise classes are all wonderful options. If you are practicing strict social distancing, digital classes and tutorials are available online; many for free.
The catch 22: Your brain is clever. To conserve energy in the face of great stress, your body will flick the lethargy switch. You innately become less likely to exercise and more likely to opt for sedentary behavior. When your mind whispers, “Stay, rest, you don’t need that walk,” realize this is an innate ancient message not suited to your current needs.
2. Stick to a sleep routine and prepare your bedroom
To sleep well, we need to feel safe. That’s why stress and sleep problems are linked. Sticking to a sleep routine and preparing your bedroom will help.
Ensure your mattress and pillow are as comfy and supportive as possible. Use black out blinds and remove all light sources from your room. Utter darkness is important. Switch off all noise sources. Choose comfortable linen. Ensure the temperature in your bedroom and between your sheets is slightly cool.
Choose a regular wake time and stick to it. This will train a healthy wake-sleep cycle.
3. Snack for serenity and sleep
While little known in the mainstream, nutrients support both relaxation and sound sleep. What should you eat? What should you avoid? These are the right questions!
Eat: The Mediterranean diet includes a perfect combination of foods required to slumber well. With its high intake of vegetables and fish, ample fiber and a lower glycemic index, this is the eating style that will enhance mood, quell stress and support sound sleep.
Avoid: Low-protein, high-saturated fat and poor quality carbohydrates like confectionary and noodles are common in the modern day diet. And, you guessed it, this mix triggers stress and poor sleep.
2 sleep-inducing tips:
Kiwi fruit: Consuming two kiwifruit one hour before bed speeds up the time it takes to fall asleep, helps you stay asleep longer and increases your total sleep time.
Tart cherries: Drinking eight ounces of tart cherry juice morning and night reduces the severity of insomnia and extends sleep duration.
4. Science-backed supplementation
As we’ve learnt more about the links between nutrition, stress and sleep, we’ve discovered how to meld science with supplementation. Technology has enabled us to combine safe, effective ingredients to deliver better health. Many people find the easiest way to calm stress and encourage sound sleep is by taking nutritional support.
What ingredients should you look for?
Melatonin: In interesting research, melatonin-enriched milk was shown to improve sleep quality and duration. However, milk-alone wasn’t effective. It seems melatonin is the crucial key.
B vitamins: The B-vitamin family is well-known to relieve stress; B6, in particular, is essential for healthy mood and mental function. By muffling the monkey chatter, rest becomes simpler.
Glycine: One of the amino acids, a study published in the journal Sleep and Biological Rhythms found that 3000 mg of glycine taken before bedtime improves sleep quality, sleep efficacy and shortens the time it takes to reach the land of nod.
Ashwagandha: This herb is revered in the ancient Indian healing tradition, Ayurveda. Its adaptogenic properties mean it helps us adapt to, and cope with, stress. Maybe unsurprisingly, then, it cuts the time it takes to fall asleep.
Passionflower: Another herbal sedative, passionflower has traditionally been prescribed to relieve problematic sleep issues. Today’s research supports this ancient wisdom.
Other ingredients like gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), 5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP), magnesium (known amongst natural health experts as “the great relaxer”), and Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis L.) are gentle, effective sleep aids.
Why is Thermosleep your best option?
We’ve seen many supplements in the marketplace that purport effectiveness. But when you look closely at the ingredients (which we encourage you to do with every supplement you consider), they are watered down, not informed by research, or contain harsh compounds that leave you with a morning sleep-filled hangover.
Our proprietary sleep blend Thermosleep combines the nine science-backed ingredients we’ve just discussed, and more, in one calming formula that encourages sound sleep, safely...
Free from the side effects associated with pharmaceutical options like dependence, memory impairment, irritability, depression, and residual tiredness.
Does Thermosleep really help stress and sleep?
Yes. The science-backed ingredients have been formulated specifically to calm the stress response and aid sound sleep. As you’ll see from our ingredients panel, we ensure proper dosing to achieve what other companies don’t: effective results, guaranteed.
Is Thermosleep addictive?
No. There are no pharmaceutical, habit-forming ingredients in Thermosleep. We help you achieve sound slumber and stress relief, naturally and safely.
Will I benefit from Thermosleep?
If your sleep suffers because you feel wired, if your incessant monkey mind won’t let you chill, Thermosleep is the product we recommend.