Using Adaptogens for Stress/Sleep
Updated: Jul 2, 2021
If you’re like most people, you deal with your fair share of stress. And often, this stress leads to an inability to get the quality of sleep necessary for optimal health and well-being.
Often, people turn to harmful substances to deal with stress. Whether it’s drinking too much or eating processed “comfort” foods, these unhealthy stress beaters tend to make matters
It’s a much better idea to use a natural substance with a long history of helping balance the body and mind.
What Are Adaptogens and How Do They Work?
You most likely use certain plants and herbs in your life already for their benefits. Green tea for antioxidants, ginseng for memory, and ginger for its natural pain relief.
Well, adaptogens are herbs that can help you deal with the effects of stress. But they do so in a very unique and powerful way. These first work to reduce your body’s stress response and then they support your overall health by helping your body achieve balance and harmony, otherwise known as homeostasis.
The long and short of it is, adaptogens can make you feel less anxious, stressed, and depressed. They have even been known to completely turn a situation around and make the person feel energetic, motivated, and optimistic.
Some of the most widely used adaptogens are:
Adaptogens for Weight Loss and Insomnia
When our bodies react to stress, we are thrown into a “fight or flight” response. Certain hormones like cortisol and adrenaline are produced and pumped out into the bloodstream to help our bodies deal with the danger in our environment. Our heart rates and breathing increase and our blood flow is directed away from our brain and digestion and toward our arms and legs.
This is great for fighting an attacker or running like heck from a hungry bear, but it’s not great for our overall health. Over time, cortisol can help us pack on the weight, especially around our middle. And adrenaline can make it hard for us to relax enough at night to get a good night’s sleep.
So when adaptogens help our body deal with stress, they also help our body deal with the negative effects of the stress response. This means improved sleep, the potential to lose weight around your middle, and better overall health.
As with any supplement, it’s best to speak with your doctor before adding something new to your regimen. This is especially true if you are currently taking medications. Having said this, many doctors do not support the use of non-prescriptive supplements to treat mental health conditions and other diseases.
You may want to find a nutritionist who can help you determine which adaptogen is right for you and what dosage to try.
Stephanie Post, PsyD. at Higher Self Psychotherapy specializes in anxiety therapy, depression therapy, self-esteem therapy, and in trauma therapy online anywhere in California and in the Marina neighborhood of San Francisco. She uses EMDR therapy, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, and IFS therapy to help clients thrive.