Stress and Sleep

Jason Yule
November 26, 2021
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If nutrition is the most important foundational habit, then stress and sleep are 2a and 2b.

They are equally as important and I like to think of them as being different sides of the same coin.

When it comes to stress, the most important thing to understand is that when we experience stress, either physical or emotional, our body reacts. This reaction causes a flood of hormonal changes - ultimately to help us overcome the stressful situation. This inherently is not a bad thing - this hormonal response is designed for us to get out of danger and into safety, and when the danger has past, stress goes down and our bodies return to normal.

However, our modern world has created an environment where we are constantly under stress: our responsibilities are never ending, we have people to please, we never want to miss out, we have hundreds of notifications to respond to on our phones. The long term effect of this is that our body's are always in a stress reaction, which means our hormones are always in a heightened state.

The problem with this is that when our hormones are not in their normal state, the body doesn't react as it normally would. You can do everything right - you can eat perfectly and have the perfect workout, but if you are too stressed, it doesn't matter. The body might not respond as it should.

So for most busy, overworked parents and professionals, it is vitally important to address their stress and start to reduce it. There are a few ways to go about reducing your stress:

Sleep isn't quite as complicated as stress. It basically just comes down to the following: everything is harder when you don't get enough sleep. You are tired. Your motivation is diminished. It's harder to stick to the choices you intend to make. It's easier to fold to pressure. Conversely, when you get enough sleep (at a minimum, 7 hours of sleep time, meaning 8 hours of in bed time) you feel great, you have energy, you are motivated to make the right choices.

It's really a no brainer. There is no good reason not to get enough sleep. And if you say that you are too busy, I'd argue that you are a poor planner or lack the discipline to be effective. You have the hours in the day, we all do. It's just a matter if you will prioritize them appropriately. And sleep should be prioritized near the top.

Here are some tips on improving your sleep quality:

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