- A Visual Guide to Heart Disease
- Medical Illustrations of the Heart Image Collection
- Take the Heart Disease Quiz!
- Find a local Cardiologist in your town
- Heart disease and stress introduction
- How Does Stress Increase the Risk for Heart Disease?
- Does Stress Affect Everyone the Same?
- What Causes Stress?
- What Are the Warning Signs of Stress?
- How Can I Cope With Stress?
- How Can I Keep a Positive Attitude?
- How Can I Reduce My Stressors?
- How Can I Learn How to Relax?
- Guidelines for Healthy Eating to Fight Stress
- What if Sleep Problems Are Contributing to my Stress
Guidelines for Healthy Eating to Fight Stress
- Eat a wide variety of healthy foods.
- Eat in moderation -- control the portions of the foods you eat.
- Reach a healthy weight and maintain it.
- Eat at least 5 to 9 servings of fruits and vegetables per day.
- Eat food that is high in dietary fiber such as whole grain cereals, legumes, and vegetables.
- Minimize your daily fat intake. Choose foods low in saturated fat and cholesterol.
- Limit your consumption of sugar and salt.
- Limit the amount of alcohol that you drink.
- Make small changes in your diet over time.
- Combine healthy eating habits with a regular exercise program.
What if Sleep Problems Are Contributing to my Stress
If you cannot sleep and it's causing you stress or making it worse, try these tips:
- Establish a regular sleep schedule. Go to bed and get up at the same time every day.
- Make sure your bed and surroundings are comfortable. Arrange the pillows so you can maintain a comfortable position.
- Keep your bedroom dark and quiet.
- Use your bedroom for sleeping only; don't work or watch TV in your bedroom.
- Avoid napping too much during the day. At the same time, remember to balance activity with rest during recovery.
- If you feel nervous or anxious, talk to your spouse, partner, or a trusted friend. Get your troubles off your mind.
- Listen to relaxing music.
- Talk to your doctor before taking any sleeping aid.
- Take diuretics or "water pills" earlier, if possible, so you don't have to get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom.
- If you can't sleep, get up and do something relaxing until you feel tired. Don't stay in bed worrying about when you're going to fall asleep.
- Avoid caffeine.
- Don't exercise within two to three hours of bedtime.
Reviewed by the doctors at The Cleveland Clinic Heart Center.
Reviewed by Robert J Bryg, MD on January 24, 2008
'Portions of this page © The Cleveland Clinic 2000-2004