Stressful events in the evening release less of the body’s stress hormones than those that happen in the morning, according to new research. This suggests that we are more vulnerable to stress in the evening, as fewer stress hormones are freed to help provide the body with the energy needed for the fight or flight mode.
Our experts are here to help you de-stress from the moment you wake up, to the moment you close your eyes…
1. Spring out of bed
‘If you feel especially down on dark mornings, consider using a special light lamp alarm clock. The lamp gradually turns itself on (and gets brighter and brighter) to mimic natural dawn sunrise, to wake you up slowly before your alarm goes off. Research has shown people feel more positive and find it easier to get out of bed in the darker months after using this kind of device,’ advises Nutritionist, Cassandra Barns.
2. Start your day with a smile on your face
Why not tell your family member a joke over the breakfast table? Having a laugh is one of the best remedies for stress and low mood – ‘laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the natural feel-good chemicals that make us happier and relaxed,’ explains Dr. Marilyn Glenville, the UK’s leading Nutritionist and author of The Natural Health Bible for Women (www.marilynglenville.com).
3. Look out for the signs
‘Typical symptoms of “burning the candle at both ends” that may lead to adrenal fatigue, exhaustion and stress are; feeling chronically tired even after a restful sleep, beginning to accept that a depressed mood has become the norm for you, feeling overwhelmed and struggling to concentrate, noticing a decline in your sex drive and perhaps you’ve forgotten what it’s like to feel normal,’ explains Accredited Nutritionist MSc/BSc at sense* (www.senseproducts.co.uk), Dimitra Sentelidou.
4. Get the job done
Are you checking emails during non-work hours? Research suggests that this is detrimental to the health and wellbeing of not only the employee but their family members as well. If you have a productive day this will help you to switch off when you get home.
Top Tip: Try stirring sense* for Busy Lives superfood supplement powder (£21.99, www.boots.com) into your favourite smoothie to help nourish your body with the nutrients it may be yearning for in order to maximise your day. This supplement contains ‘a blend of B complex vitamins for energy release, mental performance, cognitive function and reduction of fatigue, covering the needs of the most demanding busy lifestyles.’ This supplement has the added bonus of a number of superfoods, including Organic Maca. ‘Organic Maca used in the formula comes from an adaptogenic root that is recognised for its ability to increase energy, reduce stress, and even boost libido,’ explains Dimitra.
5. Try having one coffee a day instead of 5
‘Think about the amount of caffeine you are drinking either in coffee, tea, colas and energy drinks. Caffeine will cause a similar roller coaster effect as sugar can cause the release of the stress hormones, adrenaline and cortisol,’ explains Dr Marilyn Glenville.
6. Avoid the sugary treats that are grabbing your attention
It’s 6pm, you’ve clocked out of work, hangry, and as you’re walking to the train station you come across shops filled with sugary goodies and you struggle to resist stocking up on these treats. Ring any bells? ‘We can be tempted to eat fats, refined carbs and sugary foods when it is cold outside and we are feeling sluggish. This not only creates weight gain, but reaching for these foods will only make us crash after the initial energy rush, creating a vicious cycle,’ says Jacqueline Harvey, Wellness Expert & Author (www.jacquelineharvey.co.uk).
Top Tip: To help avoid giving in to temptations and crashing the moment you get home, the Natures Plus KetoLiving Sugar Control Capsules (£29.95, www.naturesplus.co.uk) are here to help. The capsules support normal glucose levels, helping to eliminate those dreaded sugar cravings.
7. Swap stress for sex
‘Sex can help to relieve tension, burn calories and help you go off to sleep faster. Sex begins in the head, your body’s physical reaction follows. A key part of starting that sexual idea with your partner is setting the mood and romantic music can help, as can low lighting, a candlelit bath, or your favourite romantic or raunchy film,’ explains Dr Glenville.
8. Don’t be a late night worrier
Stress and sleep are closely related. If we do not get enough sleep, we find it harder to function and when we are stressed we find it harder to get to sleep. If you’re a late night thinker it can be extremely difficult to break this cycle. A 2015 analysis of previous studies concluded that CBD oil is a promising treatment for numerous forms of anxiety, including social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, generalised anxiety disorder, and post traumatic stress disorder.
Top tip: To help say goodnight to your anxieties try dispensing a controlled amount of the brand new Cannabigold classic 500MG CBD oil (£29.90, www.bionativa.co.uk) directly under your tongue. This oil is the perfect strength if you are new to the CBD world. It has a mild, palatable taste and contains a full spectrum of cannabinoids and terpenes.