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Sleep, Exercise, Meditation, Medication and Stress

Updated on October 5, 2014

If I get in a good hike during the day. I sleep well: period

Tougher the hike better the sleep.
Tougher the hike better the sleep. | Source

Stress is normal, Sleep and exercise are healthy. Meditation keeps us balanced. Medication has pros and cons

Anything with moving parts creates stress on itself. Sleep relieves that stress. Exercise channels that stress. Meditation removes the stress. Medication is a default position not the optimum. So we may need Stress, Sleep, Exercise, meditation and medication. Ignoring a need for them could get you in some trouble.

Stress is actually a positive if you let it be a positive but we have to learn how to turn it on and off. We must be in control of stress or it can quite literally eat us alive.

Let me start with a fun story. I started school at four when most start at five. So come driving age everyone got their license before me. So a girlfriend and I borrowed her dads car for a date -- her first solo without dad just a fun drive and only for a half hour. When we got back to her house we got out of the car and started the teenage dance of a kiss or not. Well after cheek pecks I grabbed my bike to ride home. And then I noticed the car still running I caught the girl at the door and asked that "didn't she want to turn the car off and bring in the keys" she looked at me funny and said "my dad always did that, I never thought of turning it off".

Well I am afraid parents do much the same thing with teaching there kids about turning off stress. They just do it themselves but never stop to think that they should teach there children the same things. We teach reading, writing and mathematics but we ignore stress.


This one I forgot to teach how to turn it on.

OK so she is a dual degree Berekely graduate but still motivation is not her strong suit. She is currently a very happy nanny, who just got back from a month backpacking China
OK so she is a dual degree Berekely graduate but still motivation is not her strong suit. She is currently a very happy nanny, who just got back from a month backpacking China | Source

So I suppose we do not have to turn on stress but if we do we must learn how to turn it off.

Dalai Lama once said that the greatest meditation is sleep. I reckon he would know if anyone would. But I slept so sound last night that I must not have moved an inch - whoa did I wake up stiff. Old age is creeping up on me -- not yet though. The stiffness was more do to the hard hike I took the day before.

Exercise is a very good way to start to get the body de-stressed. But it is not a tool to be used by itself. That is kind of dangerous. If that is how you do it so you can then fall asleep. Oops. You see physical exertion makes us tired and so then we sleep. But I got some fun new factoid for you. The brain does not get tired. It just goes into different modes.

In my undergraduate studies in sociology I wrote two papers on experiments. The first one was to stay awake 72 hours and then write a ten page paper. The second was to take a strong dosage of peyote and write a ten page paper. (of course these were edited for grammar and spelling later - I only had a manual Underwood typewriter -electric ones with erase mode were only for rich kids and fancy offices) What was found was the results were nearly identical. Just a different wavelength going on in the brain but very similar. Then I enrolled in a study where one group got full 8 hours of sleep a night and my group got only four. (two days a week off) Our group totally out performed the sleepers on the tests they ran. Of course we were all young yet mature. Different ages would have differing results.

So my point is that falling asleep exhausted does not turn off the switch to stress to the brain.

Does that make me crazy

Medications

Do you use medications to help you sleep

See results

Do you do something to calm your mind before sleep?

Have you consciously tried natural techniques to get rid of stress before sleep

See results

May I suggest a few ideas.

Hot relaxing tea. Not so much the tea, the ritual. Slow the hell down and boil the water and just wait for it to boil. Maybe get your tea ready take the time to smell it. Make yourself be in that moment while waiting for the water to boil. --- not an accident here. If you just remain still for the time it takes that water to boil you begin to relax the brain. Then of course you brew it. Most relaxing teas take about six minutes to brew properly. Concentrate on that brewing smell it or if in a cup watch the water turn into tea. Just do that. And then of course you get to drink it. I write when I sip my tea. Never anything important just random thoughts and usually a little thanks for what I have.

Or just simply sit and breathe and concentrate on your breathing at first and then anything your mind takes you to. A normal westerner breathes about 13 times a minute. That is crazy! 4.25 seconds per breathe. Bring it down nice and easy. shoot for 6 seconds a breathe hold in the middle maybe and maybe breathe out your nose. I either pray or just visualize some beauty in nature.

I suppose reading a book is good as long as it is not a real page turner. Too many people use TV. Think about that - not so great. Music is awesome.

I just touch the surface here. Because I do not want to stress you out on what to do to de-stress. I hope how described it might make it sound like a fun thing to do. Because that is partially the point. And I think you get my point.

I like to think of this when I close my eyes and have done some deep breathing

Good enough to think of those waves washing away my stress and my son so happy. SRF Meditation gardens Encinitas CA
Good enough to think of those waves washing away my stress and my son so happy. SRF Meditation gardens Encinitas CA | Source

Medications - do not be an idiot.

There are some herbal ones that also help with internal organ health, skin health and blood pressure. Talk to a pro about those. I use them. And my teas have all kinds of cool for your body stuff.

Over the counter - saw it on TV. Like I said do not be an idiot. Any type of synthesized chemical type of sleep aid is serious. Just because you can buy without a prescription does not make it safe or good for you. Just go pay the cost and see a doctor. In fact most prescriptions are cheaper than over the counter so in the end the price works out. But get a doctors advice. Ibuprofen PM for example might be just fine for you. But you might have some kidney or liver issue (like if you drink much) that it could really exacerbate.

Here is something I have done since my twenties. I listen to foreign language songs. I mean I get the overall meaning in most but the details escape me and that

Of course as this author is want to do let me close with some thoughts

Take time to appreciate you.

You have made it this far, you must be doing something right.

A relaxed mind produces sweet dreams a tense one nighmares

It is OK to lose all control of everything for a few minutes before you sleep.

Do not go to sleep, let sleep come to you

I may not even know you but I hope you rest well tonight and kick some butt tomorrow.

Do not do something wrong.

This article was written by Eric Dierker. I reserve all rights to this article and desire no duplication without attribution. On the other hand feel free to share the content just let folks know where it came from. Copying it and claiming it as your own would be stupid and subject you to my legal harassment of you. Besides if someone asked you what it meant you would not know so yes it is copyright protected as original work by me. Just leave a comment to ask to use it elsewhere and please share it.

To read more by this fascinating author visit www.thedierkerblog.com, Eric Dierker on Facebook and Pinterest and my sweet blog resipsaloquitor on google blogs.

OK I admit it, I need more publicity. If you steal this content please let me know so I can make a big deal out of it and get some press time.

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    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I sleep very well my friend, without help. For seven years now I have slept the sleep of the almost virtuous. LOL Great suggestions, Eric!

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Bill for your constant support. That sleep is so important to keep that "new friend" at bay as you so brilliantly taught us today at: https://hubpages.com/health/Battling-and-Loving-Ad...

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

      A wonderful hub Eric on a very important subject therefore I know this read will benefit many. Voted up and shared Eric. Here's to so many more to follow. Have a great day and lots of love from Wales.

      Eddy.

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thanks Eddy, I am coming over to read your latest and greatest. But I am afraid I running late so will have to make it a lunch date! See you then

    • profile image

      graceinus 3 years ago from those of the Ekklesia

      Great Hub Eric. Health is an important issue for all of us. And sleep always helps mend the body of all kinds of ills, however I have found that as I get older sleep seem more restless when sound sleep is most needed. Other than taking some from of sleeping aid, I'm wondering if there is a more natural way to do that. Maybe somebody in Hubs has an answer for that.

      Enjoyed the Hub. Voted up.

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Well I make a several cup tea using Celestial Seasoning Sleeptime extra and Tension tamer. My wife just loves it with me. Check out the ingredients -- really cool. And I also take a natural "sleep aid" I think it is called Midnight - sometimes. In my case I am prescribed Ibuprofen once a day by my doctor.

    • DeborahNeyens profile image

      Deborah Neyens 3 years ago from Iowa

      Thank you for these tips. I've had a terrible time with insomnia in the last few weeks because my mother has been very ill and I'm under a ton of stress. I tried Advil PM but it did nothing for me. Maybe I'll give the tea ritual a try.

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      The PM ingredient is really just an antihistamine -which with my nose helps. One of the few things we cannot help but worry about is family health. Sounds hokey but throw in a mantra say 50 times -or positive affirmation - my mother will be fine, my mother will be fine. Do it to a rythm. In this case I suggest a gentle rocking chair. Of course make up your own. I am Christian so mine come easy, they are prayers.

      And Debra I cannot put enough importance on sharing this trying time with trusted friends. It just releases the stress and must release some chemical within. Plus the shared value creates a synergistic effect.

      And never fall into the trap that you are weak because you chose to see some kind of healing practitioner. And of course now you have the extra umph of my home praying for you and yours

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