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How to Tell That You Need Better Sleep

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Getting a good night’s sleep has more distractions today than ever before. The stresses of modern life, TV, and social media, up to the moment you want to sleep create perfect opportunities for distractions. Even after investing in a quality nectar mattress, a bed, and devices to boost sleep. Many people still do not get good sleep. How do you then tell when you have a sleep issue and when it becomes a problem? Sleep deprivation, disorders, and many other sleep issues are common problems today. Below are signs that will help you know that you need better sleep and you should seek help from a sleep specialist. 

Often lying awake for hours 

How fast do you fall asleep when you go to bed? Although there is no rule or procedure that you should follow. But falling asleep should take at most 20 minutes. Therefore, if you are still uneasy and just tossing around after an hour, this could be a tell-tale sign that there is an issue. This can be a lot of things from using your phone in bed to having a sleep disorder. On the other hand, falling asleep immediately when you enter inside the covers is a sign that you are sleep deprived and you should work on that as well. 

Sleeping less than seven hours a night 

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How long should you sleep and how long are you sleeping? Many adults are advised by sleep specialists to sleep at least seven hours every night. This is not only for rest purposes, but to learn new information, fight off infections, and many other benefits. This sleep deficiency is brought about by work requirements, environmental causes, lifestyle, or sleep disorders. In such a case, consult a sleep doctor to help you know what the issue could be between sleep deprivation and insomnia, as they are different or it could be something else. 

Excessive sleepiness 

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When you keep falling asleep, it is different from the usual drowsy feeling and yawning. Since excessive sleepiness shows that there is an issue that is causing it. This is not to be confused with when someone is feeling sleepy, as they are not the same. Most of the time it is because of inadequate sleep. Therefore, when you start feeling you can fall asleep wherever and whenever you get a chance to, it is a sign of unhealthy sleep. Plus, this is dangerous, especially if you have to drive, work at a hospital, and do other sensitive things that need you awake and alert. 

Poor concentration and memory

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Quality sleep boosts your memory and your ability to learn. If you do not get enough sleep you will find it hard to concentrate. Therefore, your ability to make decisions, solve problems is impaired. Also, you make more mistakes, reaction time is slower, and you take longer to finish tasks. Besides, you can tell if your concentration is poor. For instance, when you lose your concentration fast as you drive to work or back home. Also, it is common to see people with sleep issues struggling to concentrate and struggle with their memory. If this could be you, you need to make sleep a priority or find out what could be causing you not to sleep well.

Change in appetite and mood 

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Did you know that sleep deprivation can affect your ability to control your mood, appetite, and your weight? Also, studies show that when you do not get enough sleep there is a connection with a high risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and depression. Human bodies do not function well with unpredictable or inadequate sleep. As an example, people who experience major sleep deprivation like shift workers it affects their health. 

To conclude, the above are reasons that show you may not be getting better sleep. Therefore, it is best to consult a sleep specialist to guide you through improving your sleep. Plus, when you watch the lifestyle that you lead, there can be simple tweaks that you can change to ensure that they improve your sleep and help you sleep better. Such as avoid alcohol hours to bed, using electronics hours to bed, and ensure your sleep environment is clean. 

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Health

Yoga: Benefits Beyond Fitness

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We’ve all heard the long laundry list of physical and fitness benefits that come with practicing ancient arts like Hatha-Raja yoga and other forms of yoga. We’ve come to know that the practice is a great way to build muscle strength, boost flexibility and a whole host of other physical and fitness benefits. But what else is there to yoga? Does it begin and end with the physical?

What is there in yoga beyond the fitness dimension?

1. Healthier Self-Awareness and Body Image

At the core of the philosophy of yoga is a sense of self-awareness and in particular awareness of the unity between mind, body, and spirit. Yoga practitioners are, by and large, and as a result of their practice, much more self-aware of the state of their physical body, its abilities, and its weaknesses. Understanding their own bodies better also helps yogis to be less critical of their own bodies in that very harmful way in which many other people have become regarding their body image.

Where most people’s body image is informed by comparison to supermodels and celebrities, yoga practitioners tend to focus more on just themselves and the way they feel. If things feel good, then that’s all they need.

2. Better Mindfulness

Along with self-awareness, yoga also teaches its students to be mindful of everything around them and what they are experiencing in the present moment. You might think this starts and stops in the yoga studio, but in fact it frequently spills out into a yogi’s real everyday life. They start to become more mindful of other areas of life that turn out to be very beneficial.

One interesting area of everyday life where this manifests itself very clearly is in diet. Those who practice yoga are acutely aware of their bodies and their feelings towards various stimuli around them. It allows them to better savour their food, appreciating and understanding the smells, tastes and textures of every bite. It also makes them very well tuned to when it’s time (and not time) to eat. In other words, yogis are less likely to eat just for something to do or because they feel bored, as many others might, nor will they continue to eat when they feel full.

3. Benefits to Cardiovascular Health

Besides giving those special muscle groups and your core a great workout, yoga is also said to be beneficial to one’s cardiovascular health. It reportedly helps to reduce blood pressure in those with hypertension by restoring what is known as “baroreceptor sensitivity,” which is the body’s own sense of imbalances in blood pressure. Yoga can apparently help the body restore equilibrium more easily on its own.

Another key benefit that has been proposed is that of improved lipid profiles in patients with coronary artery disease, as well as lowering excess sugar levels in people with diabetes. For this reason, yoga has been incorporated into various rehabilitation programs designed to help people recovering from cardiac irregularities and disorders.

4. A Great Stress Reducer

It seems that there is also some consensus on the value of yoga as a stress reducer, and therefore a key component of improved mental health. It might even go as far as to help people with symptoms of depression and anxiety when facing stressful and difficult situations as many have done during the times of the global pandemic, lockdowns, working from home, and potentially losing income. 

Both 2020 and 2021 have been stressful years, and yoga is something that most people can practice in the comfort of their home or yard. It’s therefore a great tool for people to start healing.

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Health

How to Choose the Right Psychologist

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It’s hard for anyone to admit even to themselves when they need some help with mental health issues like depression, anxiety, or dealing with past trauma. Even when we can admit that we need the help, to find the right clinical psychologist in Melbourne can also be challenging when there are apparently so many setting up shop offering their services.

How can we distinguish between the many providers to find the right one for us? Below are some useful tips and advice:

1. Credentials and Personality Fit

Some might consider these as two separate factors, but we’ve put them together because you absolutely need to assure both simultaneously. Your psychologist first needs to have the right education and training background for you to know that they are in a position to help you at all. That’s a fundamental and essential requirement. Therapy isn’t just talking to people, it’s a serious discipline and training.

Secondly, psychologists are people, too. They do have different styles and personalities and it’s important you find someone with whom you won’t clash on a personal level. Finding someone you can connect with on the personality level helps to build trust and foster better and more authentic communication between you. This can’t be overlooked.

2. Specific Experience and Expertise

On top of training, it’s important to know what kind of psychological therapy they specialise in. Are they a generalist helping all kinds of people? Or do they focus on one area like marriage counseling, behaviour disorders, trauma counseling, etc. You are most likely seeking the help of a psychologist for a specific thing, and so the professional having some experience and background in that area is a great help, and an added comfort and reassurance, too.

3. Treatment Methods

Next we come to the preferred treatment methods of the psychologist in question. Not every psychologist or therapist uses the same methods, and so it’s important to find one with whom you can work positively and without resistance. Some might prefer CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) which focuses on identifying and changing negative thought patterns. Alternatively, others may use DBT (dialectical behavioural therapy) which aims to manage emotions and distress and build problem-solving skills.

There are many more methods used, including exposure and response therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, person-centred therapy and others. You should take time to learn about different therapies, which ones a psychologist favours, and then find one that aligns with what you think might work best for you as a treatment. If you’re going to be resistant or hesitant on treatments, then the process of therapy won’t be as effective for you.

4. Cost

It’s unfortunate to have to bring up the issue of cost, but it’s an undeniably important factor. Hiring a psychologist invariably means spending money, so you have to be well informed on costs. There’s no point going with someone who appears perfect but is miles out of your price range, because seeing that practitioner will just put you in financial trouble, or leave you with just a small handful of sessions that you can afford before being forced to stop.

5. Availability

The final factor to consider is the availability of a psychologist. This is another balancing act. On the one hand, you might not want someone who is wide open all the time because it suggests they have no one else in their books, which in turn raises questions on their quality of service. On the other hand, finding the busiest psychologist is counterproductive because he or she might not be available when you need them most. Strike a balance by finding the right qualified person with a good track record who can guarantee that your session will be at the right time for you.

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Health

Signs of a Great Dentist

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Does anyone really like going to the dentist? Regardless of what we think, we do need to go, and we need to go regularly to be sure of healthy teeth and gums. Let’s say we’re looking for a new dentist in Frankston, and we want of course to choose the best dentist in Frankston, but how can we be sure of achieving that?

Here are some things you need to be looking for as signs of a truly great dentist.

1. Clean, Tidy and Organized Office

First impressions are important and a good dentist knows that. This is why a truly great dentist puts a lot of attention and effort into making their reception and waiting area somewhere that’s pleasant and somewhere people don’t mind waiting. They make good provision for their customers, perhaps a water dispenser and a great selection of up-to-date magazines and publications. Is there anything more depressing than finding a 10-year-old fashion mag and a completed crossword puzzle book strewn about with a few newspapers?

On top of that, the environment will be well cared for, and will include flowers, air fresheners, pleasant but not overbearing lighting, and so on. The more a dentist has done to make their front-end as attractive as possible, the more they clearly care about their client experience.

2. They Listen and Connect with You

One thing people worry about at the dentist is being told they need unnecessary work done to their teeth, which then inevitably costs a fortune. They are convinced that some dentists are just trying to make as much money as possible, even if it harms you. A good way to avoid this is to find dentists who focus more on listening to you rather than trying to get you to listen to them. 

Yes, a dentist needs to give you feedback on your oral health, and they need to advise you on a good course of action, but they should be listening more and laser-focused on your questions and concerns first and foremost. A dentist who listens and connects with you on that level is likely a great one.

3. They Offer Practical Advice

When you meet with different dentists, you’ll notice a difference in styles of communication. One type of dentist is more critical and tells you everything that’s wrong with your teeth and gums. Another kind of dentist may first inform you of problems but then is more focused on providing you with helpful solutions and advice on how to remedy the situation. They are not surprised, nor do they offer judgement on the situation, but just focus on getting you a solution that will help.

4. They’re Good with Kids

Most of us are a bit scared of the dentist, but it’s even more pronounced with kids. A great dentist makes special provision for kids in their charge, and has a manner with kids that helps put them at ease. A lot of adults hate the dentist because of a bad experience they had when they were kids, among other things. Dentists who work hard at getting kids to understand why the dentist matters, and why they don’t need to be afraid are the ones who are committed to providing a better service for all their clients.

5. They Want to Build Long-Term Connections

Customers don’t want to be just another file in the folder. Dentists that can take the time to really connect with and get to know their patients are much better. They don’t just pressure you to get work done and make more appointments, but follow up with reminders of when it’s the right time to come see them, inquire about your well-being and show an interest, and most importantly give signs of recognition to established patients.

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