What’s the connection between stress, sleep and immunity?

We all know how important it is to get that right work and life balance, but as an entrepreneur it can be difficult. As this week is National Work Life Week, we wanted to highlight the many factors that can contribute to your high-stress levels, some such as lack of sleep and getting sick. But did you know that all three of these actually go hand-in-hand? 

Nora Tobin, performance enhancement and executive coach, nutrition specialist and CEO of Nora’s Naturals Coffee, highlights how stress, sleep and immunity are linked when considering one’s general wellbeing: “Stress, sleep and immunity are closely linked. When you miss out on sleep, you miss out on time for your body to recharge and prepare for the next day. In fact, sleep is quite vital for our cardiovascular and immune systems to function properly, as well as our ability to think clearly, learn and retain new information, and manage our emotions. If an individual continuously deprives themselves of getting enough sleep each night, they create more stress on their bodies physically and mentally, which in turn affects the immune system, and essentially creates a negative downward spiral.”

So, how can optimising stress, sleep and immunity improve your professional performance?

Nora said: “Other than a strong work ethic and a high level of drive, your professional performance too, is connected to your overall health and wellbeing. Practicing healthy habits such as getting consistent sleep and managing your stress, can help you stay healthy and maintain a strong immune system. When you get into a healthy, regular routine you will feel more productive and ready to produce high-quality results that you wish to see in your professional life.”

Here are 3 top tips for optimising stress, sleep and immunity

Stress Resilience 

Result of Stress

When the body is under chronic mental or physical stress, the production of cortisol becomes unbalanced. This leads to excessive fatigue, brain fog and the storage of fat in the abdominal region. In order to produce enough cortisol to keep going throughout the day, the body pulls from the thyroid (lowered metabolism).

Solution to Stress

Guided breathing, vitamin D and adaptogenic herbs balance cortisol (stress hormone) as well as regulates the amygdala- part of your brain that controls anxiety. Try to incorporate one or all of the below on a daily basis. 1-minute Meditation:take an inhale for 3 counts, hold breath at the top for 3 and exhale for 3. Repeat for 1-minute. 

Vitamin D

Precursor to serotonin (feel good hormone) and strong immune defense for the body. Get outside for 10 minutes without sunglasses or try this quality source of Vitamin D daily 

Herbs: Adaptogenic Herbs have been utilised in India for thousands of years and help support the body's energy and naturally protect against cellular stress. The top-two herbs I utilise to lower stress and anxiety are Reishi and Ashwagandha. Mix into tea or water before bed. Additional support- quality CBD. I love the brand Windward for their clean sleep, stress and energy elixirs.

Sleep Enhancements

Result of Sleep

During sleep, cerebral spinal fluid runs through the brain to clear toxins and create new neural connections crucial for retaining information and slowing down aging. This process is called glymphatic drainage. The glymphatic system primarily works during sleep, so in order to successfully create new cerebral pathways and clear waste products, it is essential to get at least six hours of sleep.

Solution to Sleep

Legs up the wall, temperature changes and minerals help the body shift into a parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest) and out of flight or fight mode. 

  • Legs up the Wall: Lying for five to ten minutes with legs up the wall will reset circadian rhythm and improve the body's ability to drop into deep REM sleep (reparative/clears brain plaque). Simply lie with legs resting on the wall with feet above hips taking deep breaths. 
  • Change Temperatures: Alternating between hot water and cold in the shower (20 seconds hot, 10 cold) for two minutes before bed will greatly improve the body's natural ability to regulate its own production of melatonin. 
  • Increase Minerals: Magnesium is easily depleted in a state of prolonged heightened stress. This mineral is a precursor to the neurotransmitter Gaba, which aids in the repair process during sleep. Gaba turns on Theta brain waves, facilitating deep levels of relaxation, healing and rejuvenation. In order to up the levels of magnesium before bed, try Calm. It also comes in travel-size packets. 

Energy Improvements

Result of Low Energy

The body has two forms of energy burning- glucose and ketones. When the body is primarily burning glucose, it goes through rapid spikes in blood sugar, leading to cravings, energy crashes and weight gain. When the body is burning ketones, it's receiving steady state energy while burning its own fat stores. 

Solution to Sustained Energy

Interval workouts, whole foods and eating healthy fat allow the body to burn more ketones for energy without feeling deprived. This leads to rapid cellular turnover, efficient weight loss/management, and high energy levels all day long. 

  • High Intensity Interval Training: Raises post workout oxygen consumption, elevating metabolism for 24 hours post workout. The form of training is suitable for all levels, takes less than 20 minutes and requires no equipment. This allows the body to burn fat much more efficiently and supply adequate energy to the brain. Alternate with days of low intensity training like yoga or walking. Workout and yoga Videos.
  • Increase Anti Inflammatory Foods: Lowering inflammation in the body will optimise and help sustain energy throughout the day, help fight off pathogens and generate rapid cellular turnover. Pick any foods from the attached list to incorporate daily as well as spices and herbs (the more the better).
  • Incorporate the 8 Hour Eating Window: Shortening the time window of our meals increases autophagy and allows the body to burn ketones (fat stores) for fuel instead of glucose. Eating in this window a few days per week will rapidly increase cellular turnover, boost irisin and enhance cognitive function. 
Startup Details

Startup Details


Nora Tobin

Nora Tobin creates an unmatched experience for our audience through a commitment to quality and integrity. The company will endeavor to improve people’s quality of life through top of the line products and exceptional experiences. Nora Tobin LLC builds long-term strategic partnerships to create and distribute transformative programs and superior products that deliver sustained results without sacrificing enjoyment.

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