Stress—just reading the word can hit a nerve that gets your heart pumping. April is Stress Awareness Month and we’ve decided it’s time to place the spotlight on the unhealthy nature of stress when it’s not controlled.
It’s no secret that stress can put your health at risk, but now researchers from University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), have found that the additional presence of poor sleep is linked to compounded problems long term.
They concluded that the combination of stress and sleeplessness can lead to accelerated aging and a weakened immune system, especially among those who are obese (1). This is the result of shortened telomeres, which are the protective caps at the end of chromosomes that keep DNA healthy and safe from damage. Telomeres begin to shorten as you age, or prematurely depending on your lifestyle.
A similar study published in the Journal of Brain, Behavior, and Immunity discussed the implications of poor sleep and perceived stress levels in relation to telomere health in 87 obese individuals.
Scientists were able to gauge the mechanisms of poor health and aging in response to stress by observing the health of the participants’ telomeres and stress biomarkers, which were measured and approximated through cellular blood samples, while sleep quality was measured using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index and self-reported sleep duration records (1,2).
The results revealed that poor overall sleep patterns, resulting in decreased daily functioning, paired with high levels of self-reported stress were related to shorter telomeres. Thus, the findings offer rationale to make stress reduction, and proper, adequate rest a mission to accomplish (1, 2).
How To Approach Stress
With so many available combative tools and techniques there is no reason to stress about stress; meditation, yoga, exercise, and balanced nutrition are just a few healthy options.
One underused tool for mitigating stress is a family of botanicals known as Adaptogens. Isagenix features these herbs in products such as Ionix Supreme, as well as e+ and t+ Chai, because of their ability to help the body reduce and resist the effects of stress (3).
Starting this April, we’ll be reviewing some of the scientific literature surrounding stress and the use of Adaptogens. With the help of Isagenix delivering quality nutrition, Adaptogens can help you take control of the stress in your life.
- Prather A, Gurfein B, Moran P, Daubenmier J, Acree M et al. Tired telomeres: Poor global sleep quality, perceived stress, and telomere length in immune cell subsets in obese men and women. BrainBehavImmun. 2014 Dec 20.
- Prather A, Puterman E, Lin J, O’Donovan A, Krauss J, Tomiyama AJ, Epel ES, Blackburn EH. Shorter leukocyte telomere length in midlife women with poor sleep quality. JAgingRes.2011
- Panossian A, Wikman G. Effects of adaptogens on the central nervous system and the molecular mechanisms associated with their stress-protective activity. Pharmaceuticals 2010; 3: 188-224.