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5 steps to combat stress

Indeed, stress versus sleep relationship can be a vicious cycle. The more stressed you are - the harder it is to sleep. Lack of sleep, in turn, intensifies the stress you feel because your sleep-deprived body generates more stress hormones.

Prescription drugs like anti-depressants and sleeping pills should be a last resort and best avoided if at all possible. They can be harmful and highly addictive when taken over time. Instead, we recommend the following natural techniques to reduce stress, encourage sleep and get your life back in balance.

Techniques to quickly reduce stress

1. Move the body

Exercise has been proven to lower anxiety and gear the body for sleep. Morning or afternoon is the best time to exercise. Just before bedtime, try movement that ends in quiet meditation, like a yoga stretch, to relax the body and mind.

2. Set the scene

Environmental factors such as light, sound and temperature all affect the body’s ability to unwind and rest. A dark, quiet and cool (but not cold) bedroom setting is best. Clean, fresh linen also helps. And taking a shower or bath just before bed can relax and moderate the body’s temperature, which brings about sleep more readily.

3. Avoid stimulants

Too much caffeine or alcohol can increase anxiety, raise the heart rate and inhibit sleep. It would also help to avoid screens at least an hour before bed. TVs, tablets, smartphones emit a short-wavelength. This artificial blue light keeps the brain awake and suppresses the release of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin. Try listening to music or reading a book instead.

4. Relax the mind

Mindfulness meditation, yoga and breathing exercises offer easy and effective tools to reach a non-stressed, relaxed state. Calm can also be achieved by taking a walk. When you practice techniques for soothing the mind during the day, it’s easier to unwind and trigger the relaxation response at night.

5. Don’t forget your essentials

As well as aiding natural sleeping rhythms, certain essential plant oils can also effectively, and naturally, help towards reducing anxiety and stress. They integrate seamlessly with the body’s innate control systems and act organically the same way as the body’s own hormones to influence the areas of physiology that are linked to mood and sleep. We love Absolute Essentials in Organic Lavender True, Organic Dream Time and Organic Stress Less.

This article has been provided by Absolute Essentials.

Founded in 1988 by Natural Health Practitioner, Dr Bo Hendgen D.O. N.D. A.M., Absolute Essential is a company built on sustainability principles to promote health and wellbeing for our global future.

A doctor of Osteopathy and Naturopathy with qualifications in Aromatic Medicine from France, Bo came to New Zealand 35 years ago with two young children (a 3 year old and a 3 month old), a backpack and $50 in her pocket. Early on, while setting up her holistic healthcare practice here, Bo struggled to find the level of quality, pure-state essential oils that she needed (and that she’d been used to dealing with in France) in order to operate her clinic professionally. So she decided to source her own – and Absolute Essential was born.

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