GUEST BLOG! From our Friends at Utiva.
When’s the last time you got a really great night’s sleep? For most people, the answer isn’t as recently as they’d like. In fact, about 30% of all adults in the US experience insomnia.
One of the most common causes of poor sleep is stress. When we’re stressed, our bodies naturally release fight or flight hormones that spike and then decrease. But if we’re constantly anxious and overwhelmed, those hormone spikes happen far more frequently. This overstimulates our central nervous system and makes it harder for us to get some z’s.
The result? Sleep and stress get caught in an endless loop together, with the potential to cause major health issues, including diabetes, depression, and urinary tract infections (UTIs).
What is a UTI?
A UTI occurs when bacteria enters the urinary tract, attaches to the lining, and spreads. When your body is stressed and running on low sleep, it compromises your immune system. This makes it harder to flush out bad bacteria and fight off all types of infections, not just UTIs. It also leads to lazy hygiene habits that can make it easier for bacteria to spread.
The most common symptoms of a UTI are a constant urge to pee, a burning sensation when you do, and pain or discomfort in the abdomen. If left untreated, a UTI can spread to the kidneys and cause more harm, leading to back pain, fever, nausea, and even life-threatening kidney failure or blood infections.
Safe to say, UTIs are serious business. But one of the best ways to prevent them is by dealing with the stress and lack of sleep that can cause them.
5 ways to improve sleep, reduce stress, and prevent UTIs
Here are our top 5 tips for improving your stress levels, getting that recommended 7 to 9 hours every night, and keeping urinary tract infections at bay - all at the same time.
Drinking more water is always a good idea. Water helps your body function and keeps your brain and other organs operating at peak levels. But when we’re dehydrated, the opposite happens. That’s when stress and poor sleep can creep in.
Be sure to drink at least 6 to 8 glasses of water per day. This will improve your stress levels and quality of sleep, while constantly flushing any bad bacteria out of your urinary tract to avoid infections.
It might feel impossible to clear your mind in today’s world, but meditation is an incredibly powerful tool to boost sleep and reduce stress. Meditation lowers our stress hormone levels and relieves tension in the body. Plus, it allows you to simply relax and unwind, especially before bed.
Many people will incorporate breathing techniques into their mediation routine. By breathing deeply, we’re able to improve blood circulation, boost our immune system, and reduce any stress we might be feeling. At the end of the day, insomnia, stress, and infections are no match for a calm body and mind.
Take it easy on the caffeine
How many times have you reached for another cappuccino on a stressful day? You’re not the only one. It’s common to use caffeine as a tool for managing high stress. But in reality, the jolt that caffeine provides us is also a jolt to our stress hormones. This significantly impacts our anxiety and ability to fall asleep.
On top of that, caffeinated drinks can irritate the bladder and make UTI symptoms worse. If you’re already susceptible to stress-induced UTIs, drinking more coffee definitely won’t help.
Try reducing your caffeine intake, even if it means no coffee after noon. Substitute coffee with other alternatives, like tea, smoothies, or organic protein drinks. You might get a few headaches at first, but trust us - it’ll pay off in the long run.
Slow down your schedule
Is your calendar getting out of control? One of the best things you can do for less stress and more sleep is to slow down and scale down your schedule.
Look at your calendar and determine what items can be removed. Are there any project deadlines you can push? Did you agree to one too many Zoom hangouts?
By decluttering your schedule, you can make time for taking care of your mind and body. You can also avoid many factors that make you more susceptible to UTIs, like holding in your pee or rushing your bathroom hygiene habits.
With more free time, you can also create a sleep and self-care routine. Choose your favourite ways to unwind and do them every night before bed. Then go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day. Your internal clock will become accustomed to a schedule, allowing you to relax deeply and get a full night’s sleep at night - every night.
Take daily natural supplements
Nature is overflowing with plant-based remedies that can help us become better sleepers with fewer stressors. From passionflower to theanine, earth’s most potent compounds are also powerful medicines, minus the damage so often done by prescription drugs.
Niyama’s Sleep Like Buddha supplement is perfect for before bed to relax you into a deep sleep. By taking 1 Daytime Zen supplement first thing in the morning, it reduces cortisol secretion throughout the day to keep you calm, alert, and help you ease into another amazing sleep later that night.
To prevent UTIs, especially those caused by stress or poor sleep, Utiva’s UTI Control supplement is a daily solution recommended by doctors. Each dose is packed with 36 mg of PACs, which is a powerful plant-based compound found in cranberries. By sticking to bad bacteria and preventing it from spreading, UTI Control is clinically proven to stop infections before they start.
Above all else, remember that you have the power to improve your mind, body, and overall health. Go easy on yourself, take your time, and do your best - it’s been a tough year for all of us.
Simple, natural and backed by science to combat UTIs once and for all.
Made with the belief that everyone deserves the best care, we’re committed to walk with you on your health journey. We’ll arm you with the tools, education and products you need to be prepared to have a UTI free life. Canadian-owned and Operated