‘Tis the season for holiday stress. From last minute shopping, to getting less sleep, to making ends meet financially, to consuming more sweets and drinks at holiday get-togethers. Americans are faced with many more physical and emotional pressures during the holidays. Recent research studies and surveys in the areas of sleep, eating, and finances are shedding some light on actions one can take to lessen the stress load.
The market research firm Harris Interactive recently conducted a “Holiday Stress Index” study. The poll was based on a nationwide sample of 2,173 adults in the U.S. eighteen years and over. Ninety percent of the respondents said they experience some level of stress and/or anxiety about the holiday season. However this year, more than a third (38 percent) said they expect to feel more stress and anxiety in this holiday season due to the current economy.
One interesting aspect of this study is that people feel there is too much emphasis on gift giving and not enough on communication and connection with those we love. The study indicates that, given a choice, most people would prefer having good family relationships as opposed to gifts or material goods. Here are some ideas: If your wallet or purse isn’t full enough, write a poem for someone and frame it, bake something special, or give gift certificates for outings, walks or simple things you know your friend or family member enjoys.
For those who love food yet want to watch their calories, a study published in 2010 offers some interesting findings. The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM), found that people who rapidly bolt down their food are more likely to overeat than those who dine at a more leisurely rate. The scientists discovered that rapid eating stops the release of a hormone that tells the brain when the stomach is full.
On one day of the new study, volunteers wolfed down 2 1/2 scoops of ice cream in five minutes flat. On another, they made the treat last for 30 minutes. The Athens University scientists measured blood levels of two types of appetite-lowering hormones before and after, and discovered that when people savored their ice cream very slowly, the appetite-suppressant hormone levels were 25 percent to 30 percent higher. Enjoy those holiday parties – just take your time with eating and chew, chew, chew.
Financial stress is causing Americans to lose sleep this holiday season. According to a recent study done by SleepBetter, almost half of the nation’s moms and dads (44%) say they are worried about being able to afford the holidays this year, with one in six Americans (17%) expecting to lose sleep due to holiday-induced stress.
Not only do the anxieties and excitement of the season have an impact on many people’s ability to fall asleep, but added obligations and busyness at this time of year mean trying to fit more into our days and nights. To sleep well, SleepBetter recommends you keep your regular sleep schedule as best you can during the holidays, by going to bed and getting up the same time as usual. In addition, while alcohol may help you fall asleep, it will interfere with the quality of sleep during the night as it creates a lighter, less deep sleep.
Good nutrition can help stabilize the effects of eating sugary or fattening holiday foods. Eat fresh vegetables and fruits daily, drink lots of water, do some walking daily, and take nutritional supplements. A natural sleep remedy containing highly absorbable, quick acting forms of calcium and magnesium, such as Sleep Minerals II from www.NutritionBreakthroughs.com, is a great help for anxiety and insomnia.
Calcium is directly related to our cycles of sleep. In one study, published in the European Neurology Journal, researchers found that calcium levels in the body are higher during some of the deepest levels of sleep, such as the rapid eye movement (REM) phase. The study concluded that disturbances in sleep, especially the absence of REM deep sleep or disturbed REM sleep, are related to a calcium deficiency. Restoration to the normal course of sleep was achieved
following the normalization of the blood calcium.
Veronica R. of British Columbia, Canada says: “Sleep Minerals II has worked wonders for me. Before I started taking it, I would fall asleep and wake up in the middle of the night and not be able to get back to sleep. When I got the product, I started taking them and have had no problems going back to sleep. Now I don’t have to be awake for two or three hours every night. I’m so happy I took the chance to try it. I don’t like taking over-the-counter drugs. With Sleep Minerals II, I don’t feel sleepy at all during the day.”
Here’s to a healthful holiday season. May you conquer stress, sleep better, save money, and enjoy the season with your family and friends.
For more information on the natural sleep remedy Sleep Minerals II, visit www.NutritionBreakthroughs.com