When I attended medical school back in the 1970’s, I was taught that stress caused or worsened 75% to 90% of illness or disease. Stress was and continues to be, so pervasive that it is now normal. This may sound strange, but in fact, as a noun, normal is defined as, the usual, average, or typical state or condition. Since the vast majority of us regularly experience stress, this state of being, is, in truth, our normal way of being. Our body, mind and emotional state were not designed to operate well, when regularly experiencing stress. Although stress has become normal, it is not our natural state, and as a physician, I can attest to the fact that we do not endure it well.

The primary function of our nervous system is to keep us safe and secure. It is principally our senses of sight, hearing and touch, administered by our nervous system, that constantly, consciously and subconsciously, scans our environment for danger. The greater our stress level, the more hypervigilant we become, day and night. What is the result of living this way?

The list of stress related conditions includes, but is not limited to; hypertension, heart disease, asthma, obesity, diabetes, headaches, anxiety, depression, gastrointestinal disorders, Alzheimer’s disease, accelerated aging and premature death. It also promotes addiction and unhealthy emotional states which interfere with healthy relationships and the list goes on.

Obviously, stress is also very detrimental to healthy sleep. Generally, it makes it harder to fall asleep, causes more awakenings and often makes it difficult to fall back to sleep. On a chronic basis, this leads to sleep deprivation and chronic insomnia with further likelihood of deteriorating health. Sorry to paint such a dismal picture, but this is the legacy of stress.

What is driving this pathological state? Fundamentally, it results from our thought processes, how we have programmed ourselves to think and react. The genesis of stress all happens in the 6 inches between our ears, called our brain. Most people don’t like to hear this. They would rather blame stress on conditions outside of their control. And yes, stressors are all around us, but it is our reactions to those stressors, that create inside of us, either a stressful or non-stressful state of being.  Ultimately, it is our choice.

The stressful state produces unhealthy processes throughout our body due to the imbalance it causes in our Autonomic Nervous System (ANS). The ANS has two major divisions, sympathetic (manifesting a fight or flight reaction) and parasympathetic (manifesting relaxation and rejuvenation). Stress stimulates the sympathetic division and suppresses the parasympathetic division. The Z•TRACK™ Analyst uses heart rate variability analysis (HRV) to assess the balance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic divisions. During stress, it clearly reveals the persistence of wakefulness, the reduction of delta sleep and more frequent awakenings.

Tracking these changes in real-time during sleep using HRV, allows Z•TRACK to instruct the Z•GEN™ Magnetic Conditioner to produce the frequencies associated with the various stages of sleep. This process not only can be used at night during sleep, but also during relaxation or meditation sessions to break the cycle of stress, which also positively impacts sleep. Defeating stress is by far, our best antidote to improving sleep, health, and life in general.