When it comes to achieving a healthier mind and body, sleep and stress relief are essential. Having enough shut-eye can help you avoid a wide variety of illnesses. Alas, so many things disturb our sleep. Poor diets, anxiety, stress, and other issues can bring on problems with sleep, which in turn leads to further health problems. Integrative health coaching in LA has taught me that around 30% of my clients suffer from insomnia.
Being sleep deprived can impact a variety of health aspects, including:
Weight: Sleep affects the hormones responsible for making us feel hungry and full. It can also induce insulin release. Changes in sleep can cause us to increase fat storage, put on weight, and put us at higher risk for type 2 diabetes.
Hormone levels: Asleep deficiency affects the production of hormones, including growth hormones and testosterone. Insufficient sleep also makes the body release harmful stress hormones, such as cortisol.
The cardiovascular system: Quality sleep helps to heal and rebuild heart vessels and impacts the processes of blood sugar maintenance, levels of sugar, and the control of inflammation. Not enough sleep may put you at increased risk for cardiovascular disease.
The immune system: Being sleep deprived can make you more prone to respiratory diseases and infections that take extra time to resolve.
The brain: A deficit of sleep impacts the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for reasoning, and the amygdala, which handles emotions. Sleep deprivation may also make it more difficult for you to form new memories, which can impact your ability to learn.
Impact of Stress on the Body
Especially in today’s Covid-filled world, if you tend to get frequently stressed out, your body may continually experience a heightened state of stress. This can lead to serious problems with your health. Nearly every bodily system gets disrupted when you are in a state of chronic stress. Your immune system can be suppressed, your reproductive and digestive systems upset, you’re put at greater risk for stroke and heart attack, and you age more quickly. Stress can rewire your brain and leave you more vulnerable to depression, anxiety, and a host of other mental health issues.
5 natural health supplements that help you to sleep and de-stress
The natural hormone melatonin helps to regulate the body’s biological clock. The pineal gland releases it to support feelings of drowsiness and relaxation – enabling you to fall asleep naturally. During the day, levels of melatonin are hardly measurable – both artificial lighting and sunlight can be bright enough to prevent melatonin release.
Most of us have trouble sleeping occasionally. Liquid melatonin supplements can help you to fall and stay asleep by augmenting your body’s natural melatonin production. Although it comes in different forms, liquid melatonin is particularly helpful because your body quickly absorbs it to support falling asleep faster.
Research has found that melatonin supplementation may support your body’s normal sleep/wake cycle and help you to remain asleep instead of tossing and turning, so you wake up feeling refreshed. In addition, it resets your body’s biological clock, which will help especially if you suffer from jet lag, as it quickly reestablishes your regular sleep pattern. As a Los Angeles health coach, I advise clients to begin with 1 mL of liquid melatonin and increase it to up to 4mL as needed.
Ashwagandha, (an adaptogen), helps to significantly reduce anxiety symptoms. It can decrease cortisol levels by putting adrenal-associated stress back into balance, making you less predisposedoverall to being anxious. Adaptogens are best taken daily to be fully effective.
Ashwagandha can help balance anxiety-causing hormones, induce relaxation, and help you fall and stay asleep. Research supports the herb’s effectiveness as a natural remedy for anxiety. One 2012 study noted that those with an anxiety disorder had anxiety significantly lowered and 28% lower serum cortisol levels when taking ashwagandha in contrast to a placebo.
One or two teaspoons of ashwagandha powder can be added to smoothies or soups. You can take it in capsule form 500-1000 mg twice a day, or as a tincture, 2-4 mL, twice daily. Take it before bedtime to aid with sleep. Most of my clients tolerate ashwagandha quite well.It is in the nightshade family, so if you are sensitive to lectins you may want to seal up intestinal permeability or consider other herbs first. Some clients have reported an increase in anxiety while taking it, so I recommend starting low and going slow with the dosage until you know how your body will respond.
This bright greenish-yellow plant is also called roseroot or golden root. Like ashwagandha, Rhodiola is an adaptogen and in traditional medicine, it is the second-most-consumed. The herb can directly impact your levels of stress and your ability to control and manage it. Rhodiola is known to produce anxiety relief. It promotes relaxation and a sense of calmness, as well as naturally reducing stress. Studies suggest that taking 200 mg twice a day is an effective and safe dose.
An amino acid derived from green tea, L-theanine has the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier. At recommended doses, it reduces anxiety and mental stress, imparts a calm feeling of well-being, and improves cognitive function and memory. Although it is found in coffee and tea, the supplement provides benefits without caffeine – which can make anxiety worse.
Studies show that L-theanine helps to lower blood pressure and curb a rising heart rate. A few small research studies have found that it lessens anxiety. One study showed that anxiety-prone students gained calm and focus while test-taking if they had 200 mg of L-theanine before the test.
You’d have to drink between five and 20 cups of green tea to get 200 mg of L-theanine.
As magnesium is an electrolyte that is especially important to nerve cells and muscles, taking magnesium citrate may enhance relaxation, improve sleep quality, and help with stress relief.
Take 150 – 600 mg of Magnesium citrate daily. Begin with the lowest dose. Increase gradually until you have loose stools and then cut back a little on your magnesium dose.
It is common for people to be magnesium deficient, which contributes to both anxiety and heart palpitations. Consuming adequate Magnesium addresses the root causes of insomnia and lessens or even resolves symptoms. I most commonly recommend it for anxiety.
Wellness Coach Hollywood LA
If you are seeking:
- Integrative health coaching in LA
- Online fitness coaching in LA
- In-person or online integrative health coaching
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- Functional Medicine Los Angeles
Derek Opperman of LifeUp Health Coaching offers competent, compassionate care. Whether you live outside of Los Angeles and are interested in online integrative health coaching or you live in the Hollywood, LA area and have been seeking a “health coach near me,” we invite you to reach out. Derek can help you to meet all of your personal wellness goals.