Your Bag (0)



    Sleep, Stress, and the Key to a Longer Life

      |  Jan 24, 2024

    Are you getting enough sleep? If you’re regularly fatigued, irritable, or stressed, it’s likely you aren’t getting enough rest at night for your body to function properly. And you aren’t alone. According to the CDC, over a third of U.S. adults are getting below the recommended 7 hours of sleep each night. We don’t blame you: life is busy, and the stresses of everyday life can make it even harder to fall and stay asleep.

    Unfortunately, it’s not just that stress that’s making it hard for you to go to sleep. A lack of sleep can also cause more frequent symptoms of stress. The two are very much connected, and can impact your quality of life now and your future healthspan.

    Stress impacts our quality and duration of sleep by disrupting our circadian rhythm through the release of hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. In our waking hours, this can be a good thing. Stress can provide an added boost of energy to complete a hard task, or give you the power of hyperfocus during a dangerous scenario. But in excess, stress hormones can make it harder to fall and stay asleep. In fact, 43% of people between the ages of 13 - 64 have reported being unable to fall asleep at night due to stress in the past month. In turn, sleep loss sends signals to our bodies to signal our stress response, creating a vicious cycle of stressful and sleepful nights.

    Stress impacts more than our sleep, though. Long term stress exposure, aka chronic stress, can lead to conditions such as cardiovascular disease, obesity, and cancer, while a lack of sleep can impact your ability to retain new information, decrease your metabolism, and disrupt your endocrine system. 

    On the other end of the spectrum, consistently getting good sleep can actually improve your health and lengthen your life. In a recent study, researchers discovered that following 5 good sleep habits over the course of 5 years can add 2.5 years to a woman’s life, and 5 to a man’s. Another study found that a regular good night’s sleep can decrease your risk of premature death by 18%.

    How to reduce stress

    Stress is a normal part of everyday life — it’s impossible to avoid, and can be beneficial in the short term, even if it doesn’t always feel great. But there are ways to manage stress and its symptoms, both mental and physical, in order to prevent it from disrupting your health.

    Maintaining a practice of mindfulness meditation can help you better cope with racing thoughts associated with stress that might keep you up at night. Several studies over the past few decades have shown that meditation can decrease heart rate, lower blood pressure, and reduce blood adrenaline levels, all while better equipping you to deal with anxious thoughts.

    Exercise is another popular and effective way to reduce stress and its impacts on your health. While exercise produces physical stress (the type that helps us build muscles and stronger bones) it reduces mental stress by increasing the production of feel good chemicals like endorphins, and reducing levels of adrenaline and cortisol in the body. Even an extra 20 minute walk per day can help reduce stress levels.

    On top of regular exercise and meditation, supplements or stress reducing treatments can give your body an added boost to fight stress and related symptoms. L-tyrosine, a precursor to several important neurotransmitters such as dopamine, can reduce stress and improve cognitive function. Modern Age’s IV Drip Therapy for Stress is also a popular option for reducing stress on a chemical level. The clinically created mix of vitamin C and glutathione act as powerful inflammation fighters, helping with stress related symptoms like anxiety, fatigue, and tension.

    How to improve sleep quality

    So you’ve incorporated meditation into your daily routine, are going to the gym regularly, and taking supplements that help your body fight against stress chemicals. If you still can’t fall asleep, you might need to improve your sleep hygiene. Sleep hygiene refers to where and how you sleep, and includes practices like sleeping in a dark room, turning off electronics an hour or more before bed, and avoiding large meals late in the evening. Start small. Putting your phone in another room an hour before bed, and reading or journaling instead of scrolling, can greatly improve how easily you fall and stay asleep.

    Supplements for better sleep are also available. Melatonin is a popular bedtime supplement, but it’s not the only option out there. Cognimag, a form of magnesium that contains Magnesium L-Threonate, has been proven to both support better sleep and improve cognitive function.

    Improve your healthspan with Modern Age

    If you want to get to the root cause of issues like bad sleep and excess stress, our Aging Wellness Assessment can help. This holistic test helps you connect the dots between everyday symptoms like anxiety, fatigue, and weight gain with their causes, such as hormonal balances or vitamin deficiencies. Working 1:1 with a licensed clinician, you’ll understand the science behind your unique health, and work together to reach your goals.