Sleep Away Stress

Dissolve stress with sleep

My Grandma always said

"You need your sleep!" But I fought it all my life...just like you!

When I was a child I wanted to read a book or play with a toy or watch for Santa. When I was a teen I had homework to do or went to the movies - we had double features then. As a young adult I had babies - no sleep. And then as an adult entertainment and parties started at 8 p.m.

I certainly experienced my share of illnesses when I was overtired. Yes Grandma was right.

Now I know why.

Circadian Rhythm

We have rhythm to our lives. Physiological and psychological processes occur about once a day. This is circadian rhythm and is regulated by our glands.

The pineal gland (center brain) senses light and dictates this rhythm by producing melatonin when it becomes dark.

Melatonin improves sleep

Melatonin regulates sleep, decreases stress, conducts hormones, helps lower heart rate and blood pressure. It peaks at night and in winter (helps bears hibernate).

Melatonin production peaks at age 5 but we lose 80% of it by age 60. So we need it - but how do we get it?

Serotonin (a compound in serum and blood platelets) regulates daytime activities and mood. It constricts blood vessels and acts as a neurotransmitter. Serotonin is converted to melatonin at night.

Therefore we should build our serotonin levels with exercise and light during the day. Bright light helps regulate circadian rhythms. The sunlight gives us Vitamin D and serotonin and exercise builds levels of serotonin. This puts us in a better mood and gives us the serotonin to produce melatonin. (To increase production of melatonin, meditate before bedtime.)

Tips to Sleep Better

Return to "Stresstonics"