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Vagus nerve, music, and de-stressing: better sleep

Vagus nerve, music, and de-stressing: better sleep

Have you ever been so stressed that relaxing was hard? Our body knows when to stay alert and fight and when to relax.

But too much stress can make it hard for our bodies to deal with things and change to meet our physical and mental needs. So how can we help our bodies handle stress better and make sure we can relax when we need to?

As we’ve already said, our bodies are well-equipped to handle both physical and mental stress. It just needs a little nudge.

Everything About Nerves

Learn more about how your body works if you want to help it relax and sleep better. Thanks to our nerves, our brain can tell our bodies what to do and hear what they have to say.

The vagus nerve is one nerve that can help us deal with and handle stress. But to fully understand and appreciate how the vagus nerve helps us deal with stress and stay healthy, we need to know how our nervous system works.

Our nervous system is the center of how our body talks to itself. It connects the rest of our body to our brain and controls our senses, emotions, and bodily functions. These nerve branches can be put in different groups based on where they are and what they do. You can divide the nervous system into two parts:

The brain and the spinal cord cord

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You could say that the central nervous system (CNS) is the nerves’ main office. The central nervous system is made up of the brain and spinal cord. Most of the body’s systems and organs only do one thing, but the central nervous system can do more than one thing at a time.

The CNS controls all voluntary and involuntary movements, such as talking, walking, blinking, and breathing. It’s also the basis for our thoughts, feelings, and how we see the world.

Peripheral Nervous System

The nerves that are not in the central nervous system are part of the peripheral nervous system (PNS) (CNS). The PNS is in charge of connecting the CNS to the organs, limbs, and skin. It does this with the help of its many nerve branches.

From the brain to the ends of the body, these nerves go. The peripheral nervous system lets the brain and spinal cord get information from and send it to different parts of the body. This helps us react to things going on around us. There are two parts to the PNS:

Somatic Nervous System

A part of the peripheral nervous system called the somatic system carries sensory and motor information to and from the brain. Both voluntary movement and the exchange of sensory data are controlled by the somatic system. 

System of Autonomic Nerves

The PNS’s autonomic nervous system controls uncontrollable physiological processes like breathing, digestion, heartbeat, and blood flow. The ANS allows a number of bodily processes to happen without our awareness or conscious control. There are two parts to this system:

System of Sympathy

By controlling the flight-or-fight response, the sympathetic system energises the body to make it ready for threats from without. The sympathetic nervous system reacts to the need for action by raising the heart rate, widening the pupils, breathing more quickly, increasing blood flow to the muscles, and inducing sweating.

Parasympathetic System

The parasympathetic nervous system conserves energy and other physical resources to maintain normal physiological processes. The body expends more energy when we are in the fight or flight response.

The parasympathetic nervous system returns the body to a state of natural rest after the perceived threat has subsided. For instance, you’ll breathe more slowly, your heart rate will slow down, and less blood will be flowing to your muscles.

Sleep and music

What Effects Does Stress Have on Nerves?

When we are stressed, our autonomic nervous system controls how our bodies react. The following steps are taken:

As previously stated, the sympathetic nervous system is involved in the “fight or flight” response. When the body is stressed, it devotes its energy resources to avoiding a potentially fatal situation or fleeing from an adversary.
The system stimulates the adrenal glands to release the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol. To deal with the emergency, these hormones cause the heart to beat faster, the respiration rate to increase, the blood vessels in the arms and legs to dilate, the digestive process to shift, and the blood glucose levels to rise.
The SNS response is quite rapid in order to prepare the body to respond to an emergency scenario or acute stress—short-term stresses. When the crisis is over, the body usually returns to its pre-crisis, stress-free state. The parasympathetic nervous system counteracts the sympathetic nervous system and aids in recovery. Excess parasympathetic nervous system activity, on the other hand, can aggravate stress reactions by encouraging respiratory issues such as asthma, increased vasodilation, and poor blood circulation.
All components of the autonomic nervous system have close relationships with the immune system, which can also regulate stress responses. The central nervous system is especially important in activating stress reactions because it manages the autonomic nervous system and plays a critical role in evaluating settings as potentially hazardous.
Stress can deplete the body if it is experienced frequently. This is especially dangerous when the body interprets everyday stressors as a reason to activate the fight or flight response. The ANS continues to push physical reactions, tearing up the body and depleting its natural ability to recover from stressors.
More than stress, the constant stimulation of the nervous system to act on the reaction is what causes the real harm. After a certain point, the body is unable to manage stress hormones and remains hyperactive long after the threat has passed. This is what causes many long-term health problems, such as diabetes and heart disease.
Cytokines are proteins that are released to signal the immune system to begin its work. A study, however, found that chronic stress causes the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines. This release causes chronic inflammation, which causes not only physical disorders such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and autoimmune disorders, but also a wide range of mental health issues such as depression and anxiety.


The Vagus Nerve

Vagus nerve is a complex cranial nerve that originates in the brain. This nerve controls both sensory processes and motor information for movement throughout the body. It sends information back and forth from the brain’s surface to the body’s tissues and organs.

The vagus nerve, which connects the brainstem to the rest of the body, contains two sensory nerve cell clusters. It enables the brain to monitor and receive information on a variety of bodily functions. It is in charge of many vital internal organs, including the digestive tract, the heart, and the lungs.

The vagus nerve is involved in both sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system processes.

The vagus nerve performs the following functions:

Heart rate and blood pressure control
respiration rate
The gastrointestinal system must be balanced.
Vasomotor activities include blood vessel dilation and constriction.
Sneezing, coughing, vomiting, gag reflex, swallowing, and other reflex responses
Some muscle control, primarily around the neck, throat, and mouth.
Because it plays important roles in the PNS response, stimulating the vagus nerve can help people restore balance to their bodies.


The Vagus Nerve, Stress, and Relaxation

When we are in a stressful situation, our bodies become tense due to the sympathetic nervous system. To prepare for a perceived attack, our hearts begin to race and our bodies go into overdrive.

Although the vagus nerve does not participate in the sympathetic nervous system, it does work to reduce its activity. This is because it stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, allowing the body to de-stress.

The vagus nerve helps our bodies cope with stress by increasing some autonomic parasympathetic responses. As a result, you automatically become more relaxed and peaceful.

Anyone who is aware of the link between their body and mind may notice the deep link that exists between our mental and gut health. Anyone suffering from a gut-related inflammatory disease will tell you that mental stress can cause a negative gastro-intestinal response.

You can’t ignore the vagus nerve if you want to keep your immune system healthy. Recent research has revealed that the vagus nerve plays an important role in this brain-gut connection, emphasizing its significance in stress management.


How Does the Vagus Nerve Affect Sleep?

study found that vagus nerve stimulation can alter sleep patterns. It is not surprising that the vagus nerve can influence our sleep because it regulates our breathing, heart rate, blood pressure, and other bodily functions.
The vagus nerve, by assisting the parasympathetic side of autonomic responses, can pull our body from a stressed state into a more peaceful state.
You can manipulate the vagus nerve to increase its relaxation response by stimulating it. When you are relaxed and not tense, your body is naturally more prone to falling asleep.
The vagus nerve regulates the nervous system by increasing the relaxation response, which is essential for a good night’s sleep.
Your nerves prepare your body for sleep by sending autonomic signals, increasing parasympathetic activity, and suppressing any sympathetic response. As your heart rate decreases and you begin to take slow, deep breaths, you will enter a state of relaxation that will lead to a night of deep and efficient sleep.
If your vagus nerve does not receive the proper stimulation, it can cause a slew of sleep issues. Some nights you will not sleep well, and others you may not sleep at all.
If your vagus nerve is not properly activated, you may experience a variety of sleep disorders and sleep deprivation. Maybe you don’t get enough sleep, or you wake up frequently, or you can’t sleep at all. The solution to all of these issues lies in the activation of the vagus nerve.

 Vagus nerve sleep


Vagus Nerve Stimulation

A few studies have found that vagus nerve stimulation is effective for proper activation. Researchers and doctors alike have sought ways to stimulate the vagus nerve, as stimulation causes it to perform better when assisting in the parasympathetic autonomic nervous response.

Here are a few ideas for stimulating your vagus nerve:

Transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation (tVNS) is a method of stimulating the vagus nerve. A non-invasive tVNS device that generates electrical impulses is used to carry out this method. This device is placed on your neck and uses electrodes to send mild electrical pulses to the nerve, stimulating its natural vagal responses.

Homeostasis is the ability of the body to bring itself to a state of stability by regulating its internal environment. The vagus nerve can be stimulated by achieving homeostasis. This state can be triggered in a variety of ways, including:

Exercise: Increasing your heart rate can increase your body’s sympathetic nervous response. However, once you stop, the brain will send an immediate message to increase parasympathetic activity, causing the vagus nerve to react.

The ultimate autonomic balance is breathing in and out. When you take a breath in, you activate your body’s sympathetic nervous system. When you exhale, you encourage it to return to a state of calm. This is why deep, slow breaths can help stimulate your vagus nerve.

Meditation: When you meditate, you encourage your body to relax and activate its parasympathetic nervous system. You could incorporate humming and chanting into your meditation routine to strengthen your throat muscles and vocal cords. The motor activities of these muscles are triggered by the vagus nerve, so they will be stimulated automatically.

Massages are an excellent way to relieve stress. It induces relaxation and promotes homeostasis in your body. A full-body massage can help to stimulate multiple nerves at once.

Try the Pulsetto

TLDR:A revolution in the fight against stress, anxiety, and sleep disorders. The Pulsetto device is an easy-to-use, wearable piece of tech that only needs minutes to activate your Vagus nerve at home. Operated by a simple mobile app, the Pulsetto has pre-set sessions to either prevent or deal with current instances of stress, anxiety, or sleeplessness. Pulsetto parasympathetic nervous system activation sessions last just 6 minutes, and science indicates that the effects are felt immediately. You will find yourself calmer, more relaxed, and with a clearer mind. It lowers stress and anxiety, enhances your quality of life, and boosts your focus.

So, ready to fight back against stress factory? Utilize the benefits of vagus nerve stimulation at home now to improve both your results at work and your well-being at home.

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Pulsetto does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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