11 Tips to Lower Cortisol Levels and Get Better Sleep
If you're struggling to get a good night's sleep, it could be because you have high levels of cortisol. Cortisol is a stress hormone that's released by the adrenal gland in response to stress or anxiety. When cortisol levels are high, it can be difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Over a course of time, this can eventually result in a host of health problems like weight gain, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, insomnia or difficulty sleeping, mood irregularities, and low energy levels.
There are a number of things you can do to help lower cortisol levels. Some of these include reducing stress and anxiety, getting regular exercise, and eating a healthy diet.
In this blog post, we'll share 11 tips that you can use to lower your cortisol levels and finally get a good night's sleep.
How to Lower Your Cortisol Levels Naturally
Chronic stress can lead to higher cortisol, which can in turn cause sleeplessness. Like we mentioned, there are a number of natural ways to lower cortisol levels to see real results. Some of these methods include cutting out caffeine, deep breathing, and yoga. By lowering your cortisol levels, you will be able to reduce the amount of stress that you experience. This in turn will help you to achieve a better work-life balance and improve your overall health.
Here are a few tips to help regulate cortisol production:
Cut out caffeine.
Caffeine is a stimulant, and as such it can contribute to increased cortisol levels. If you need to drink coffee or tea in order to function during the day, try limiting yourself to one cup per day instead of the three that most people consume.
Deep breathing exercises.
Taking deep breaths can help to calm your mind and body down. When you inhale deeply, it sends oxygenated blood throughout your body and helps to reduce stress levels. Try practicing this technique before bedtime for a relaxed night sleep.
Yoga can have many beneficial effects on both your mental and physical health, including reducing stress levels and helping you get a good night's sleep. A modified version of yoga called "yin yoga" is especially helpful in lowering cortisol levels. It's a type of yoga focused on slow, gentle movements and based on the principles of Chinese Medicine to benefit your overall health. Doing Yin Yoga before bed is a great way to reduce stress and tension at the end of the day, especially if you have been sitting at a desk all day.
Avoid Electronics Before Bedtime.
Disconnecting from screens before bedtime allows yourself time for restorative sleep without distractions from electronic devices.
Meditation has been shown to be effective at reducing stress levels and promoting relaxation, both of which are important for a good night's rest. There are many different types of meditation that you can try including sitting meditation, walking meditation, chanting mediation, mindfulness meditation, and visualization mediation. Pick one or two that appeal to you and practice them regularly throughout the day to help reduce your stress level.
Take Herbal Supplements
If you find that you don't have time to exercise or eat healthy, taking supplements can help reduce you keep cortisol levels down. Herbs such as Ashwagandga and Rhodiola Rosea are known to help decrease stress levels.
Jujube seed is also a popular herb in traditional Chinese medicine that is known for promoting calmness. It’s one of the key ingredients in our Cloud Nine, Power Down + Glow Up supplement. The saponins and flavonoids in jujube seed help to influence neurotransmitters like GABA and serotonin, which can aid in sleep and prevent awakening.
One of the saponins found in jujube, jujuboside A, stimulates the action of GABA, calming regional nerve cells in the hippocampus. This helps to reduce stress levels and promote relaxation. Jujube seed is also rich in fiber, which can help to regulate digestion and promote feelings of fullness, both of which can contribute to lower stress levels.
Foods That Help You Sleep
There are certain foods that can help you sleep better at night. Some of these include: dairy products, such as milk and yogurt; whole grains, such as oatmeal and whole wheat bread; fruits, such as bananas and cherries; and vegetables, such as potatoes and carrots. These foods contain nutrients that help promote sleep, such as tryptophan and magnesium. Foods high in Omega-3 fatty acids can be beneficial, as they help to reduce inflammation throughout the body as well.
Connect with others
One of the best ways to naturally lower cortisol levels is to connect with others. Social activities like going out to dinner, going for hikes, or playing games with friends can help to reduce your stress levels and improve your mood. Additionally, spending time with loved ones may help reduce cortisol levels. A study published in Psychiatry (Edgmont) found that participants who spent time with a loved one had lowered their cortisol levels compared to those who didn't. So, if you're looking for ways to lower your cortisol levels naturally, spending time with friends and family is a great option.
Aromatherapy has been shown to be effective in lowering cortisol naturally. One study found that participants who inhaled lavender oil had lower cortisol levels than those who didn't. Additionally, lavender oil has been shown to improve sleep quality, which is another important factor in reducing stress levels. Other helpful essential oils include: chamomile, frankincense and eucalyptus.
Get enough sleep
According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults need at least seven hours of sleep per night to maintain a healthy level of cortisol. When we don't get enough sleep, it can lead to elevated cortisol levels and we may not function as well as usual.
Regular exercise is a great way to relieve stress, improve mood and promote better sleep habits. According to the American Heart Association, 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week is ideal for reducing stress levels and maintaining a healthy weight. Exercising early in the day can also help you significantly lower cortisol levels and sleep better at night.
In a Nutshell
If you're struggling to get a good night's sleep, it could be because your cortisol levels are too high. Cortisol is a stress hormone that's released by the body in response to stress or anxiety. When cortisol levels are high, it can be difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep. There are a number of things you can do to lower your cortisol levels and get a better night's sleep. Some of these include reducing stress and anxiety, getting regular exercise, and eating a healthy diet. By following these tips, you can lower your cortisol levels and get the restful night's sleep that you need.
“How Jujube Can Improve Your Sleep and Health.” Psychology Today, 2018, www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/sleep-newzzz/201809/how-jujube-can-improve-your-sleep-and-health. Accessed 5 Nov. 2022.
Mahmoudi, Razieh, et al. “Investigation the Effect of Jujube Capsule on Sleep Quality of Postmenopausal Women: A Double-Blind Randomized Clinical Trial.” BioMedicine, vol. 10, no. 4, 26 Nov. 2020, pp. 42–48, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33854934/, 10.37796/2211-8039.1038. Accessed 5 Nov. 2022.
Ozbay. “Social Support and Resilience to Stress: From Neurobiology to Clinical Practice.” Psychiatry (Edgmont (Pa. : Township)), vol. 4, no. 5, 2020, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20806028/. Accessed 5 Nov. 2022.
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