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How To Get a Good Night’s Sleep?

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As we get older, our body clock changes so as our sleep patterns—Lacking sleep causes one to be grumpy and light-headed.

As time passes, the number of hours spent on sleeping will be reduced according to Dr. Karen Carlson, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and director of Women’s Health Associates at Massachusetts General Hospital. There will also be some visible changes in the way the body regulates circadian rhythms. It is known as the person’s internal clock, which controls one’s body to detect if it is night or day. As we age, it will be harder to catch some z’s and stay asleep for a more extended period.

We all experience having trouble in sleeping. This can be normal, but most of the time, this is a severe problem that needs medical attention.

If you have been experiencing trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, you may use some sleep medications in quest of more restful slumber. But, be mindful that these drugs can have side effects—including appetite changes, dizziness, drowsiness, abdominal discomfort, dry mouth, headaches, and strange dreams.

You don’t need to withdraw sleep aids if you absolutely need them, but before you decide to use pills, try these eight tips to help you get a better good night’s sleep:

1. Exercise

Going for a walk every day won’t just trim you down, it will also keep you up less often at night. Exercise heightens the impact of natural sleep hormones such as melatonin, according to Dr. Carlson. Postmenopausal women who exercised for about three-and-a-half hours a week had an easier time falling asleep than women who exercised less.

2. Save the bed for sex and sleep

The bed must be a comfort zone to be a stimulus for sleeping, not for wakefulness. Reserve your bed for sleep and sex; avoid doing your office works on your bed.

3. Keep it comfortable

Remove any distractions from your bedroom, including your gadgets and ambiance. These can affect your sleep quality. Make sure your bed space is as comfortable as possible.

4. Create a sleep ritual

Reading bedtime stories when you are young is a comforting ritual done by your parents. Routines help warn the body and mind that it’s going to be time for sleep. Try listening to calming music, turning on a dim light, and adding some cool wind.

5. Eat lightly

Avoid sleeping when your stomach is grumbling or if you’re full. These may keep you awake, uncomfortable, and are considered to be distractions.

6. No to alcohol and caffeine

Do not eat chocolates at night. Chocolate carries caffeine, which is a stimulant. Surprisingly, alcohol has a similar effect.

7. Pause the stress

If you’re working on a pile of lists on your work plan and think about it at night, these kinds of worries can trigger until the night: another distraction, another discomfort. Take the night as a time for you to rest, and the day as a time for you to work. To relax, try deep breathing exercises. Inhale slowly and deeply, and then exhale.

8. Get Checked

Having a hard time to move your legs, frequent snoring, and experiencing burning pain in your stomach, chest, or throat are symptoms of three common sleep disorders—restless legs syndrome, sleep apnea, and gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD. If these are hindrances on your rest time or sleeping time, try attending a physician to get checked and receive proper medications.

The tips mentioned above are proven safe and effective with the help of studies, research, and journals from experts worldwide. People at any age should feel comfortable on the night after a tiring day.

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Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle During the Holidays

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It is essential to maintain a healthy lifestyle. This becomes particularly difficult during the Christmas holidays when food becomes overflowing and simultaneous celebrations sway you toward overindulging your palate.

Experts stress that it is important to focus on having a healthy lifestyle during the upcoming holiday season. Harvard’s Medical School fellow, Dr Beth Frates, provides us with several tips on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle during the year-end celebrations.

Dr Frates mentions the necessity of maintaining your workout routine. She points out that people tend to forget their exercise routines during stressful situations. To halt such drastic decisions, however, she recommends integrating a new activity. People get easily stimulated when they are presented with new activities. She adds that it is also helpful to request for exercise-related gifts or even opt for holiday celebrations that allow you active participation.  Playing a simple game with the family, for example, can provide you with the opportunity to physically exert yourself.

It helps to maintain your habits, as well. Dr Frates stresses the need to track your routine. A healthy lifestyle cannot be easily attainable without the conscious effort to control what you do. Hence, recording what you eat and drink during every meal is beneficial. Keeping a record of your daily exercise routine is essential, as well. She says that your logbook permits you to measure your efforts and also allows you to approximate the level of indulgence you can appropriate for yourself during the holidays.

Dr Frates also shares that it is crucial to have a proper mindset. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle cannot be done without changing your point of view. A positive outlook in life is essential. Thus, it is best to throw away all the negative thoughts and pursue only the good vibes that typically accompany the holiday celebrations. Spending time with your family and loved ones can provide you with this, as well.

Food, she says, is an integral part of the upcoming celebrations. However, we should not forget that Christmas and New Year are both centered on new beginnings, as well. Hence, focusing on beneficial modifications and resolutions should be looked into. Banishing undesirable habits, addictions, and even people can greatly help shape—and maintain—a healthy lifestyle. Infusing yourself with good thoughts and plans can further contribute, as well. Allow yourself to discover new things, as well. Find loved ones to do outdoor activities with.

Finally, Dr Frates points out that overindulging yourself during this holiday season can still be a possibility. However, you shouldn’t limit yourself to your maintenance of a healthy lifestyle. Allow yourself to enjoy. The Christmas season is a time of celebration which specifically allows you to relax and be with your loved ones. It is the moment when you get to let your hair down and simply be yourself. She stresses that slipping up on your exercise routine, for instance, shouldn’t be a cause for worry. You can always start again, she adds.

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Masks Take the Fashion Industry by Storm

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Masks are now taking the fashion industry by storm. Instead of the normal-looking masks of old, more and more people are now donning various styles. Aside from the light blue surgical masks and white N95 masks typically worn by doctors, nurses, and other medical practitioners, many people are now wearing masks with different styles and colors. In a sense, these masks are now fashion statements, permitting the wearers to showcase their tastes, personalities, and even identities.

Before, disposable light blue surgical masks were the regular ones worn by health workers especially when on duty in various clinics and hospitals all around the world. Now, these masks have been replaced by homemade and store-bought alternatives. Due to the earlier scarcity of surgical and medical-grade masks earlier this year, people were forced to make masks at home. Different text guides and video tutorials even gradually appeared online, instructing viewers on how to sew their own. By using different materials including used cotton-based clothing and other breathable implements, many were encouraged to create their versions of the anti-COVID-19 shield.

A recent survey done by Statistics Indonesia (BPS) involving more than 90,000 respondents showed that 92% prefer wearing masks when in public places. The said survey also quantified that most respondents support the wearing of face masks over following the other mandated guidelines including frequent handwashing and social distancing. Thus, these significant results stipulate that face masks such as the light blue surgical masks, N95 masks, and alternative ones have now become essential, everyday accessories.

Subsequently, Musa Widyatmodjo, an Indonesian fashion designer, predicts that facial masks will be a far lengthier fashion trend. Although an effective vaccine against COVID-19 may be in sight, these masks will stay with us for longer than we think. Widyatmodjo supposes that fashion masks, if not light blue surgical masks or even N95 ones, will still be fashionable even when the present pandemic finally ends. He, then, thinks that this period can be a great opportunity for designers and artists to develop trendy masks innovations.

“In the past, we made face masks [without considering other features],” he says, as he relates the widespread availability of different mask designs in the market. He mentions that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) can further capitalize on this current trend and hopefully find an excellent livelihood opportunity during this dragging pandemic. Widyatmodjo, however, stresses that there is a need to create safer and more durable face masks, noting the rapid spread of the infectious disease.

The production of these face guards, including light blue surgical masks and N95 ones, has aided various businesses as they strived to save themselves from the massive recession brought about by this deadly pandemic. At present, more and more designers are seen to be producing various face mask styles. Big designers are now selling stylish face masks, as well. A more diverse selection of face masks can be browsed online, although many purchase the good ole’ light blue surgical masks still.

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Rapid Weight Loss and Healthy Living to Prevent Diabetes

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A new international study asserts that the best way to prevent diabetes is through maintaining healthy eating, doing regular physical activity, and promoting fast weight loss. Stopping the deadly and prevalent occurrence of diabetes is a major issue all across the world. While numerous lifestyle transitions proclaim a successful prevention of type 2 diabetes, new research stresses the significance of maintaining an overall healthy lifestyle.

To highlight the importance of observing World Diabetes Day, the PREVIEW (PREVention of diabetes through lifestyle Intervention and population studies in Europe and around the World) project points out its recent findings. The study did a comparison between a high-protein-and-low-sugar diet and a moderate-protein-and-moderate-sugar diet in relation to the maintenance of weight and the prevention of diabetes. Combining these two diets with either high-intensity and moderate-intensity exercise was also looked into.

Jennie Brand-Miller, Co-author and Professor of Human Nutrition at the University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre, explains that the study provided significant results in connection to the lifestyle modifications that can possibly help people who have the predisposition to develop type 2 diabetes. She points out that there is, indeed, a better way to prevent diabetes.

“Overwhelmingly, participants who lost eight percent or more of their body weight in eight weeks and went on to complete the trial, did not develop diabetes within three years despite regaining some weight,” Brand-Miller stresses.

To prevent diabetes, the research was conducted in a span of three years in several countries simultaneously: Australia, Denmark, Spain, Finland, the Netherlands, Bulgaria, the UK, and New Zealand. The participants went through an eight-week weight reduction stage followed by a three-year weight preservation stage.

To achieve the required eight percent weight loss, the 2,326 participants, who were aged 25-70, had to follow several meal replacements. At the end of the said study, about 97% of the participants were able to maintain satisfactory weight loss. They were also able to prevent diabetes development.

“The most important finding in PREVIEW was the low incidence of diabetes in all groups at the end of the study,” Brand-Miller points out as she reiterates the necessity of maintaining a healthy lifestyle to prevent diabetes especially among those who are predisposed with the condition.

She highlights that there was no significant difference observed between the two diet categories or even between the two exercise intensity categories. Brand-Miller, however, notes that fewer participants who belonged in the high-protein diet category had normal sugar levels. In addition, she mentions that further research may provide better insight into the role of weight loss in the prevention of type 2 diabetes.

Nevertheless, the PREVIEW study provides crucial findings to help prevent diabetes occurrence as the prevalence of this disease is proving to be extensively worrisome. “We believe this approach has been more successful in reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes than any previous diabetes prevention study and represents a significant clinical advance in the treatment of pre-diabetes,” she adds.

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