Reduce Stress & Become More Heart-Healthy
Stress is an inevitable part of our every day lives – from trying to manage work, to trying to find time for family and yourself. It’s important to recognize and manage it because stress can significantly raise the risk of heart disease and stroke. It could lead to the detriment of your mental health such as depression and anxiety if stress is overlooked over an extended period of time.
Stress first develops in the mind but has huge repercussions on your body. Stress can take a toll on your physical well being, damage your heart health, and over time can increase the risk of coronary artery disease.
Sometimes it’s not as simple as changing a job you dislike, change your work schedule, or avoid difficult people and situations. Here is our advice on how to better manage stress:
Get enough sleep
Getting adequate sleep is vital for mental and physical health. Fall short on rest can take a serious toll on your energy levels throughout the day, productivity, emotional balance, and your weight.
Avoid sleeping in on weekends. The more your sleep schedule alternates, the more likely you will experience jetlag-like symptoms. To make up for those late nights, opt for a nap during the day rather than sleep in to prevent your natural sleep-wake rhythm from being thrown off.
Get off your phone! Plenty of us are guilty of mindless browsing on our phones before bed. Melatonin, a naturally occurring hormone is needed to help regulate sleep and wake cycles. The light emitted from all the screens of electronics suppresses melatonin production. Try listening to music or read a book instead.
Follow smart eating habits
Cut down on the alcohol, caffeine and nicotine. These disrupt your ability to get good rest and interferes with your sleep cycle when you are out of it, especially if you have any of them closer to your bedtime.
Avoid eating large meals late at night. Try scheduling your dinners earlier if you’re planning on having a large meal. Your digestive system requires a time and energy to digest food which may be pulling you back from your body on concentrating to sleep.
Exercise during the day for optimal results. Regular exercise allows you to sleep better at night and energizes you throughout the day. Exercise speeds up your metabolism and stimulates hormones like cortisol. Morning or afternoon does not make a big difference but working out too close to bed can make sleep afterwards difficult.
It can take several months of consistent physical activity before you can get the full sleep-promoting benefits. Just walking at least 10 minutes a day is enough to improve sleep quality. If you’re not a fan of intense exercise, yoga and stretching are great alternatives to help regulate your sleep.
Have any advice on how to get the best sleep you’d like to share? Please comment down below!