Reduce Holiday Stress and Remedy Insomnia

Nutrition Breakthroughs Provides Tips to Reduce Holiday Stress,
Remedy Insomnia and Save Money

*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 sound sleep.

Calcium is directly related to our cycles of sleep. One study found that calcium levels were higher during some of the deepest levels of sleep, such as the rapid eye movement (REM) phase.  Calcium is one of the few minerals that acts as a natural sedative, because it causes the release of the sleep-inducing amino acid tryptophan. The well-known nutritionist Adelle Davis says: "A calcium deficiency often shows itself by insomnia, another form of an inability to relax. The harm done by sleeping tablets, to say nothing of the thousands of dollars spent on them, could largely be avoided if the calcium intake were adequate."

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 Nutrition Breakthroughs, is a great help for anxiety and insomnia.  This sleep aid also contains vitamin D and zinc and is delivered in a softgel form with healthy carrier oils, making it better assimilated than tablets or capsules and providing a deeper, longer-lasting sleep.
 
Richard P. of Parkville, Maryland says: *The Sleep Minerals are making quite a difference.  I was regularly waking up at around 3:00 a.m. and after a few days use my sleep improved quite a lot. I wake up once a night to go to the bathroom, but the great thing is, I then fall back asleep and sleep several more hours. This has been a great improvement.*

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 Sleep Minerals II, click here.

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These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.  The nutrients and products discussed here are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.