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Learn How an Aquarium Can Lower Stress and Help You Sleep

Posted On February 20, 2014
February 20, 2014

Did you know that clownfish, dwarf angel, dottybacks, royal gramma and tangs are some of the most popular saltwater fish to populate an aquarium? The fish are colorful and beautiful to look at, but did you know that watching these fish in your aquarium can help lower stress and your blood pressure?

Studies have demonstrated that aquariums help lower stress and blood pressure. In fact, a study dating back to the 1980s discovered that watching fish in an aquarium can reduce blood pressure similar to what has been reported for relaxation therapy, biofeedback or transcendental meditation. Another group found that people who gaze at fish and aquatic life for as little as 5 minutes can significantly decrease their anxiety and stress levels.

In addition, according to a survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association, 66 percent said that their aquarium helped them relieve stress and anxiety. And it does not matter if the aquarium is small or large, or if the fish are real or virtual, in all cases, reduction in stress occurs.

What is it about watching fish in aquariums that relieves a person’s stress? The prevalent theory is that production of the neurotransmitter, serotonin, is stimulated and in turn, the brain is messaged to increase the endorphin supply. For combatting stress and pain, endorphins are key, as they prompt positive feelings. Therefore, it is easy to understand how aquariums lower stress and blood pressure.

Connection between Stress and Sleep

Think about it. When you are under stress, do you really find yourself sleeping like a log or a baby? Probably not. So if you can lower your stress and blood pressure by being more relaxed then inevitably you will get a good night of sleep. But there is also a sleep condition that has been linked to an increase in blood pressure and stress: obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Caused by an airway obstruction, OSA is characterized by pauses in breathing that last just a few minutes to minutes, and occur as little as 5 to greater than 30 times per hour.

Currently, it is estimated that 80% of people with sleep apnea are undiagnosed and hence untreated. When left untreated, OSA can increase the sufferer’s risk for life-threatening conditions such as cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure. Therefore, if you get treated for your sleep apnea and gaze at fish in your aquarium, you should be able to not only lower your stress and blood pressure, but also have the opportunity to look at something beautiful and engaging.

If you believe that you might have sleep apnea and would like to discover your best treatment option, please contact one of our medical concierges today at 1-855-863-4537 or schedule a free consultation.

About Phoebe Ochman

Phoebe Ochman, Director of Communications for Sleep Apnea Treatment Centers of America, manages all content and communications for the company.
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