Suffering from stress, lack of sleep, or low energy? In this article, we provide you with 20 tips to sleep better when stressed and explain how functional mushrooms can help improve your sleep quality.
- The link between stress, sleep, neurogenesis, and mushrooms
- Chronic stress can shrink the hippocampus and reduce neurogenesis
- 20 Tips to sleep better when stressed
- 1. Take mushroom supplements to sleep better when stressed
- 2. Avoid eating too much before sleep
- 3. Stay hydrated during the day
- 4. Meditate for a better night’s sleep
- 5. Write down your thoughts
- 6. Eat healthy and add mushrooms to your meals
- 7. Go outside for at least an hour during the day
- 8. Learn to respect and express your boundaries
- 9. Use white or ‘colored’ noise
- 10. Try some aromatherapy
- 11. Limit caffeine (coffee, black tea, chocolate)
- 12. Move your body every day
- 13. Reduce stress with mindfulness or therapy
- 14. Eat products that promote melatonin
- 15. Tryptophan for regulating sleep
- 16. Complex carbohydrates for serotonin production
- 17. Omega-3 fatty acids for reducing inflammation
- 18. Magnesium for muscle relaxation
- 19. Vitamin D for better sleep quality
- 20. Tips to sleep better when stressed: calming tea
- Get a better night’s sleep with mushroom supplements
The link between stress, sleep, neurogenesis, and mushrooms
Neurologists used to believe that a damaged brain was beyond repair. While this is true in certain cases, such as neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s, there is currently no cure. Other forms of brain damage, however, can sometimes be repaired.
Through a healthy diet and exercise, for example, new brain cells can be produced—a process known as neurogenesis. This means that your brain changes throughout your life.
Healthy adults continue to produce new neurons, although this decreases as we age. This decline is particularly noticeable in certain areas of the brain, such as the hippocampus, which plays a key role in regulating our stress response, cortisol levels, and emotions.
Chronic stress can shrink the hippocampus and reduce neurogenesis
With chronic stress, increased cortisol levels can damage the hippocampus. The shrinking of the hippocampus can also reduce resilience to stress, emotional stability, and sleep quality.
Recent research shows that neurogenesis can be promoted by adaptogens, such as Reishi and Lion’s Mane. Proactive compounds, such as hericenone in Lion’s Mane, can prevent the shrinkage of neurons in the cortex, contributing to stress relief and good sleep (1, 2).
20 Tips to sleep better when stressed
It is clear that we are all tired. Research shows that 30% of the Dutch suffer from fatigue symptoms, and worldwide, 62% of adults struggle with sleep deprivation. One of the main causes? Chronic stress.
The keywords ‘why am I so tired’ and ‘tips to sleep better’ are (unfortunately) incredibly popular on Google. In the Netherlands, the first is searched about 1,900 times a month, and in England as many as 12,000 times.
So you are not the only one fighting daily against heavy eyelids and a lack of energy. But enough is enough! Let’s see how to increase your energy – in a natural, healthy way.
1. Take mushroom supplements to sleep better when stressed
Mushrooms, especially functional mushrooms, contain numerous properties that contribute to a healthy lifestyle.
One of the best-known functional mushrooms for a good night’s sleep is Reishi, or Ganoderma lucidum. Reishi is considered an adaptogen, meaning it can help regulate your physical stress response and sleep quality (3).
Interested in buying Reishi as a mushroom supplement? MushPeak offers only the highest quality mushroom supplements, naturally organic, and extensively tested. Check out our products in the shop now.
Also read: Reishi Benefits: What Does Research Say?
2. Avoid eating too much before sleep
Have you ever felt a lump in your throat in the middle of the night? As if something is stuck, causing you to cough and scrape your throat?
This may be because (excess) stomach acid rises when you lie down horizontally immediately after a large meal. Tricky to fall asleep with! To avoid that, it’s best not to eat your dinner too shortly before bedtime. And to not snack too much after dinner.
3. Stay hydrated during the day
Hydration is essential for good health and mental clarity. If you forget to drink during the day and catch up in the evening, it increases the chances of waking up at night. So try to consume your eight glasses of water before 8 p.m.
In addition, dehydration can dry out your mucous membranes in your throat and nose, which can lead to snoring. Not fun for yourself, nor for your potential partner!
4. Meditate for a better night’s sleep
When stressed, you are tense. Your body is tense, your brain is working overtime. You may especially experience tension and pain in your neck, head and shoulders. Perhaps you suffer from negative thoughts, a result of (chronic) stress.
To let go of that and to literally relax, meditation helps for many people. Meditation comes in different forms. For example, there is mindful meditation, breathwork, yoga, walking, drawing, writing. Massages can also be meditative, as long as you know how to relax.
5. Write down your thoughts
By writing down your worries or thoughts, you clear your head. Maybe you used to write in a journal? Writing in a journal for adults these days is called journaling. According to psychologists, writing works well to calm down because you write slower than you can think. You slow down your thoughts with it!
Are you feeling nervous and panicked? Write down what goes through your mind and feel yourself slowly becoming calmer.
6. Eat healthy and add mushrooms to your meals
Is your body getting enough nutrients? Is your digestion running smoothly? Do you know how to handle stress well? Then chances are you also sleep well and have enough energy during the day.
If not, it’s time to change that. A varied diet is important for a healthy lifestyle. Mushrooms are a valuable addition to any diet. Why?
- Mushrooms are a good source of dietary fiber, which contributes to healthy digestion and makes you feel satiated.
- They contain several essential nutrients, including B vitamins, vitamin D, selenium, and various minerals.
- Mushrooms are generally low in calories and low in fat.
- Some mushrooms (Reishi, Chaga, Cordyceps) contain antioxidants, such as polyphenols and selenium, which can help neutralise free radicals. Free radicals can lead to inflammation, aging and cell damage.
Also read: Buying Functional Mushrooms: Find Your Match
7. Go outside for at least an hour during the day
We go outside for at least an hour every day, even if it’s gray, cold, stormy, and wet. This is not only because we love the outdoors and exercise but also because daylight plays a crucial role in regulating our circadian rhythm.
Natural light, especially in the morning, makes your body understand that it is daytime, which stimulates the production of melatonin in the evening (your sleep-wake cycle). This helps you sleep better at night.
8. Learn to respect and express your boundaries
Yes, one of our tips for sleeping better when stressed is: learn to express your boundaries. Sometimes stress builds up because we want to do too much or can’t say no.
Are you very compliant? Do you have low self-esteem? Do you find confrontations difficult? Or are you not assertive? Then you probably recognise the problem with saying no.
It may seem social to want to keep everyone happy, but in the long run you may be selling yourself (and others) short. It can even lead to burnout, or mental fatigue.
Want to improve your sleep quality? Then become aware of your own boundaries and defend them.
9. Use white or ‘colored’ noise
White noise is a sound consisting of equal intensity over a wide frequency range. It resembles the noisy sound of running water, a waterfall, or a gentle, steady breeze.
People use white noise to mask background noise, sleep better, concentrate, mask tinnitus, or create a quiet environment.
There are also other types of “colored” noise, such as pink noise (where the lower frequencies have more energy), brown noise (where the lower frequencies have even more energy), and blue noise (where the higher frequencies have more energy).
10. Try some aromatherapy
Lavender is known for its calming and stress-reducing properties. The scent of lavender can reduce anxiety and tension, making it easier to fall asleep. You can also combine lavender with chamomile, jasmine, bergamot, ylang-ylang, or sandalwood.
11. Limit caffeine (coffee, black tea, chocolate)
Caffeinated drinks, such as coffee, black tea, and chocolate, are stimulating. They block the production of adenosine, a neurotransmitter that promotes drowsiness and relaxation.
Plus, they trigger the release of adrenaline, leading to an accelerated heart rate, increased respiration, and heightened alertness. This is far from beneficial to a restful night’s sleep. It might be better to reserve your coffee and chocolate for the morning rather than indulging in them during the evening after dinner.
12. Move your body every day
One of the best tips for sleeping better when stressed is regular exercise. Gentle exercise reduces stress and improves sleep quality. Avoid intense exercise right before bedtime, as it makes you more alert.
13. Reduce stress with mindfulness or therapy
Mindfulness, cognitive behavioural therapy, or progressive muscle relaxation help to reduce stress and sleep better.
14. Eat products that promote melatonin
Melatonin is a hormone that regulates the sleep-wake cycle. Foods such as cherries, tomatoes, and nuts contain natural sources of melatonin and can help your body fall asleep.
15. Tryptophan for regulating sleep
Tryptophan is an amino acid involved in the production of serotonin and melatonin, which can help regulate sleep. Foods such as turkey, chicken, eggs, dairy products, bananas, nuts, and seeds are rich in tryptophan.
16. Complex carbohydrates for serotonin production
Eating complex carbohydrates, such as whole grain cereals and whole grain pasta, can promote the production of serotonin. This can improve your mood and reduce stress, which in turn can improve your sleep quality.
17. Omega-3 fatty acids for reducing inflammation
Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as oily fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel) and flaxseed, can reduce inflammation and promote sleep quality.
18. Magnesium for muscle relaxation
Magnesium plays a role in regulating muscle relaxation. Foods such as leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole grains are good sources of magnesium.
19. Vitamin D for better sleep quality
Vitamin D can help improve sleep quality. Sunlight is a natural source of vitamin D, but you can also get it from foods such as mushrooms, oily fish, and eggs.
20. Tips to sleep better when stressed: calming tea
Of all the tips to sleep better when stressed, this is the easiest: drinking chamomile tea. Chamomile tea has calming properties and can help you relax before bed. Just don’t drink too much, or you will still wake up at night with a full bladder.
Get a better night’s sleep with mushroom supplements
Are you done with that eternal tossing and turning in bed? Want to feel fresh and alert during the day? Dive into our functional mushroom supplements and revitalise your life! They’re all naturally organic, tested, certified, and cultivated with love.
Supplements should not be used as a replacement for a diverse diet, a healthy lifestyle, or as a treatment for any medical condition. Keep this product out of the reach of children. If you are ill, pregnant, or in doubt, always consult with your healthcare provider. The information provided on this website is intended for general informational purposes and should not be considered as medical advice. While traditional Chinese medicine has a history spanning thousands of years and has been tested on numerous individuals, MushPeak does not make claims indicating the proven medicinal properties of herbs or mushrooms, in accordance with current EU legislation. Detailed information about mushrooms is available from publicly accessible sources on the Internet. Please feel free to contact us with any questions.
- Arya, C. (2022). Potential Uses of Mushrooms as Dietary Supplement to Enhance Memory. In: Arya, A., Rusevska, K. (eds) Biology, Cultivation and Applications of Mushrooms. Springer, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-16-6257-7_13
- Ratto D., Corana F., Mannucci B., Priori E.C., Cobelli F., et al. (2019). Hericium erinaceus Improves Recognition Memory and Induces Hippocampal and Cerebellar Neurogenesis in Frail Mice during Aging. Nutrients, 11(4):715. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11040715
- Yao, C., Wang, Z., Jiang, H., et al. (2021). Ganoderma lucidum promotes sleep through a gut microbiota-dependent and serotonin-involved pathway in mice. Sci Rep 11, 13660. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-92913-6