Seven Ways To Get Better Sleep

by Gretchen Naas .


Get-Better-SleepSleep deprivation can cause you to feel irritated, have a hard time focusing and experience fatigue. Experiencing mood swings is another common symptoms of sleep deprivation. These symptoms can affect your relationships with friends, family and colleagues, make it difficult to work or drive and even cause depression to appear.

The good news is you can start getting better sleep right now. Here are seven methods you can use to sleep better. You will soon start getting better sleep and should eventually manage to get rid of sleep deprivation symptoms.

1. Creating the right environment is very important. You should use your bed and your bedroom only when it is time to get some sleep. If you sit up in bed to play video games, watch TV, do your homework, talk on your phone or browse the Internet, you will associate your bedroom with all these activities instead of sleep. The right environment will help you relax and go to sleep early. Choose some soft lighting, paint your bedroom in a color you find relaxing, add a stereo so you can listen to relaxing music and invest in some comfortable bedding. Reducing the temperature by a few degrees and placing your clock where you cannot see it from your bed should help you sleep. Some studies have shown that looking at your clock and calculating how much time you have left before morning can cause stress.

2. Establish a bedtime routine. Following a routine before going to bed can be difficult if you have a busy schedule due to work, school or parenting. Do your best to follow a routine every night. If you have a hard time going to sleep, do not fall asleep until past midnight or do not have a sleep schedule, decide on a bed time and stick to it. After a while, your internal clock will get used to your sleep schedule and falling asleep will become easier.

3. Avoid eating and drinking before going to bed. Eating before going to bed could cause your stomach to release acids and cause heartburn or indigestion. Eating causes your metabolism to speed up so that food can be digested. This causes your energy levels to go up and can make going to sleep more difficult. Try not to eat anything at least three hours before going to bed. If you want a snack, choose a healthy food with low fat content. A granola bar, toast or a small portion of cereal are good choices. Avoid caffeine, nicotine and other stimulants that cause your blood pressure and energy levels to increase. Alcohol can help you go to sleep since it has sedative effects but your sleep patterns might become irregular as a result of alcohol consumption.

4. Natural remedies can help you sleep. There are plenty of herbal teas with relaxing effects. For instance, chamomile can slow down your nervous system and help you relax. Talk to your doctor about natural remedies. If you decide to use supplements, read the instructions carefully and respect the recommended doses. Even though natural remedies are a healthy option, some herbs can react with some medication or have negative effects on patients who suffer from liver or Parkinson’s disease. You should also talk to your doctor if you are pregnant or nursing. Drinking a glass of warm milk is an entirely safe natural remedy you can use to go to sleep.

5. Avoid naps unless you really need one. It is perfectly normal to feel like taking a nap as your energy levels decrease between 3 and 5 p.m. Sleep experts recommend a 20 minutes nap. Sleeping longer could make you feel groggy and keep you awake when your bed time comes. If you need to stay up later than usual or if you have a irregular sleep schedule (for instance if you have a newborn to take care of), taking a nap in the afternoon is a good choice. A nap can improve your mood and make you more productive.

6. Keep your stress under control. It is normal to experience stress and anxiety. A stressful event or a demanding job can have a negative impact on your sleep schedule. Try to find the time for some relaxing activities every day. You could for instance meditate, work out or take a hot bath. Take the time to relax before going to bed, for instance by writing about your day in a journal. If you find yourself laying in bed worrying about your job or bills you need to pay while trying to go to sleep, get up and find an activity that will help you relax. It is best to deal with the situation that causes you stress right away before going back to sleep. Take care of the bill you are worried about or make a to-do list for the next day and you will find that going to sleep is much easier.

7. Meet with your doctor for a check-up. If you are unable to sleep, your doctor may be able to help. There are several health conditions that can prevent you from adopting a regular sleep schedule such as insomnia or sleep apnea. Being properly diagnosed is the first step towards fixing your health problem. Sleep disorders can have a negative impact on your health, which is why you should see a doctor as soon as possible if you believe you might have one.

How To Relax And Still Have A Healthy Weekend

by Gretchen Naas .


relaxing-musicIf you are trying to live a healthy lifestyle, then you may have noticed that on the weekends, you have a more difficult time maintaining this choice. Weekends are generally looked at as a time to escape from the trappings of weekly duties and expectations. We want to relax and so it is with our lifestyle choices as well.

It is important that we do not allow the desire to relax and escape weekday responsibilities, to sabotage our efforts to reach our fitness and health achievement goals.

It has been found in health related studies that many eat more calories during the weekend then they do other days. On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, some research indicates that we may eat as much as one hundred to one hundred fifty calories more a day than we do on other days.

While this may not seem to be an amount to be concerned about, it is. If you understand that about 3500 calories equals a pound, then eating those extra calories on the weekends could pack on as much as 4 or 5 pounds a year. That is 20 or 25 pounds in just 5 years time.

Many like to tell themselves that they do not need to worry about the extra calories because they think they will exercise a little more the next day. But often the only thing that happens the next day is excuses and more calories.

The key is to re-think about our choices. For example, if you go to church on Sunday mornings, but do not want to wake early to exercise, reconsider this feeling. If you exercise on the weekdays by getting up early, then why not do so on the weekend as well?

If you are one who does not like to get up early in the morning, but find that you skip your exercising in the evening because you want to watch your favorite tv program, consider recording it with a digital recorder. That way you can watch those programs at a timing that is better suited for you and allow you to do your exercising first.

Some men complain that their wife may ask them to help with house work, fixing or painting or even working in the garden. Many of these activities have enough intensity that they are equal to exercise. So help your wife and feel good knowing you have gotten in your days exercise.

Making small changes can make big differences. If you are watching the kids play sports, then stand up while you watch instead of sitting down. If because it is the weekend and you want to play instead of work, and for this reason you just donĂ­t feel inspired to exercise, remember that some is better than none. So even if you do not go full out, it is better to at least do something.

In time, exercise will be something you look forward too. Just keep it up. As well, for good health, do not forget to drink enough water and make good choices at the table. Do not take your attention away from your goal to be healthy.

It is ok to take it easy on the weekends, but remember to continue to make healthy choices, even on more relaxed weekends.

Secret Benefits Of Massage

by Gretchen Naas .


wellness_massages_01-1Yesterday I got a professional massage. it was the first one I had ever had. I chose a Swedish massage. It was unbelievable how relaxed I felt. All of the stress and chaos melted away right there on that table. Sound melted into a shadowy haze and my muscles were re awakened. I didn’t even want to speak.

In short, I liked it.

While it’s true that we’re learning, stress can cause all sorts of issues. It can store fat where you least desire it, on your belly. Nothing fights stress more than a massage. It is perhaps the single and most enjoyable way to reduce weight.

If you are thinking this sounds too good to be true, read why it works.

Heavy Anxiety – High Anxiety
Stress and tension can be a direct cause of weight gain. Cortisol is a hormone that is produced by stress. It can cause a lot of damage to your tissues and your nerves when it is stored up. It can also signal your body to produce insulin. Extra insulin may sound harmless, but that causes your abdomen to store up fat and the more that is stored, the larger you get.

In order to combat this, you’ll need to burn it off via exercise (which is still the best way to lower cortisol levels and stress), or you’ll need to stop it before it’s produced by learning to relax. A massage is perfect for this.

Junk Food Is Not Accidental

Storing more fat isn’t just because of the insulin production, it’s also going to cause you to to crave more high carbs, snacks and sugar. Perhaps this is a traumatic way to word it, but your body is stressed and the trauma of stress can cause it to store up this fat. It’s a natural biological reaction to the stress.

You’ll have a double whammy. Stress will encourage your body to store fat. It will make you want to eat more and those foods will turn to fat. A massage helps to relax you and prevent these binges.

Tender Loving Care For Your Muscles

Think of it as TLC for those tired achy muscles. It can help to reduce your cravings by stimulating blood flow and boosting your metabolism. You’ll feel your body relax and your temperature will rise during your massage. We all need a higher metabolism and it can help to keep your weight down. You’ll feel your muscles relax and improve.

I am convinced it helped and planning another massage in the near future. It also offers up some great mental benefits. I feel more peaceful and more connected. My sense of well being has improved. Next time, I’ll know I’m doing something good for me. I want to fight that fat.