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I Can’t Sleep! – 4 Common Causes of Insomnia

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Sleep is one of the most underrated and underutilized cures to virtually any ailment known to man. Even if getting enough zzz’s doesn’t completely cure what’s bothering you, you can be sure that it will at least help improve your situation. With our busy lives and deadline-driven lifestyles, many of us take sleep for granted. We think that those 8 hours could be spent doing something a lot more productive. The problem is, the less you allow your body to rest and recover, the LESS productive you will become.

Almost everyone has had or is currently having trouble sleeping. The first key to making sure you and your counting sheep get along as well as possible is to identify what’s causing you to toss and turn in the first place. Below are four of the most common causes of insomnia straight from the “sheep’s mouth” (aka the National Sleep Foundation) along with advice on how to solve them.

1. Stress, depression, or problems in work or personal life

This one, unfortunately, is probably the most common, and, as fate would have it, probably the hardest to solve as well. Your boss or your spouse or your friends are always causing problems and literally making you lose sleep, right? Wrong! To overcome the problems of depression and stress is far beyond the scope of this article, but there are a few simple things you can try to remember. The first thing you have to realize is that YOU are the one in control of solving any problem you face, no matter how severe or unbeatable it may seem. Even the richest, most good-looking, most popular people in the world face problems every day of their life. The difference lies in how they view these obstacles. Someone who is usually depressed and stressed out may see an obstacle and say, “No! Another problem! Nothing ever goes my way! The world is against me, and I give up!”. The successful and controlled person could see the same obstacle and say, “This is blocking me from getting where I want to go. How do I get past this, over this, or through this to reach my goal on the other side?”. You see the difference in these two ways of thinking? One person focuses on the problem itself and all the negative baggage that comes with it. The other focuses on the SOLUTION and the destination that lies on the other side of this minor inconvenience. In other words, change the way you see your problems, and, in time, you will change the way you handle them. Believe me, life looks much better from this side, and you need to make the decision right now to come join us!

2. Drinking alcohol or caffeine late in the day

This one is easy, and no life-changing, mind-altering adjustments are required. Simply don’t drink alcohol or caffeine anytime within about 3-5 hours of going to sleep. Not to mention the myriad of other reasons why alcohol is not the healthiest choice at anytime, but when drinking late at night, your body is so busy working and trying to flush this stuff out of your system that sleeping takes a backseat on the to-do list. And as for caffeine, you should have already known about this one since you were five years old, and your Mom kept telling you, “No soda before bed!”.

3. Exercising too close to bedtime

It’s hard for me to advise anyone to NOT exercise, but, finally, this is one example when you might actually have a valid excuse not to hit the gym (but you still have no excuse for why you skipped your workout EARLIER in the day!). When you do any type of exercise, be it slow and steady walking or hardcore and intense weight training, you are putting greater demands on your body. Normally, this is a good thing — a great thing, in fact. Exercising raises your metabolism, meaning your body is working faster, harder, and more efficiently, all while burning unhealthy fat. However, this process continues for hours even after you stop working out, which, again, is great news, UNLESS you are trying to put your body into sleep mode. Obviously, exercise mode and sleep mode are polar opposites, and one is going to interfere with the other. So, make sure you do your exercise as early in the day as possible. If you can’t find time in your schedule, try going to sleep earlier and waking up earlier, so you can make exercising the FIRST thing you do before your morning shower. Not only will you raise your metabolism for the rest of the day and be effortlessly burning fat, but you will be more awake and alert for the rest of the day as well.

4. A distracting sleep environment — one that’s too bright or loud

I can personally attest to this one. I have my computer and various computer accessories in my bedroom, which used to stay on all the time. All of these snazzy electronics come fully equipped with those oh-so-important blinking lights — green ones, blue ones, red ones. After learning that even the smallest sources of light could affect our body’s sleeping patterns, I started turning all of my gadgets off before hitting the sack. In doing so, this also eliminated the faint buzzing sounds caused by the same electronics. I was amazed at what a difference this made. My room is now completely pitch black and silent when it’s time to go to bed, and yours should be too.

Starting tonight, try using as many of these tips as possible, and you will begin seeing results immediately. In the morning, when you wake up, you should feel more rested and more eager to start the day.

I’ll see you in dreamland, and drinks are on me (water of course, alcohol and caffeine will send you right back to the real world!).

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5 Types Of Mobile Games That Can Actually Help Your Mind

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featMobile gaming is often viewed as a way to pass the time, or simply as entertainment. More often than not, these are perfectly fair descriptions. On other occasions, mobile apps and games can help optimize both body and mind!

Mobile Games & Puzzles for Brain Health

However, the mobile gaming market is vast, and among the offerings there are also some games that can help to train your mind in various ways, or in some cases improve wellness. Here, we wanted to give some examples of types of mobile games that can serve these purposes.

1. Escape Puzzles

In the real world, “escape room” attractions have become wildly popular in just the last few years. They’re generally seen as weekend recreation options for groups of friends or colleagues, but there are also those who believe they benefit your brain health. To our knowledge there aren’t in-depth studies into this phenomenon’s mental benefits just yet, but there’s certainly something to be said for the idea. Escape rooms lead to everything from positive moods to improved memory and heightened social skills. Escape puzzle games don’t carry all of the same benefits, but they are in many cases the mobile versions of the rooms, and they can certainly exercise your brain where concentration, patience, and problem-solving are concerned, at the very least.

2. Conquest Games

This isn’t quite as big a category as that of puzzle games, though there are actually different genres within the idea of a conquest-themed mobile game. What we’re referring to here though are games like the mobile versions of Sid Meier’s Civilization installments, which famously delve into real human history in quite a lot of detail. Simply put, games like these that teach real history can exercise the brain and help to improve memory, association, attention to detail, and specific knowledge.

3. Poker Games

Poker games are actually among the oldest ones available on mobile phones, though they’re steadily getting more sophisticated these days. Poker apps are included among the games spreading gradually into the U.S. through expanding gambling legislation, and even some free-to-play poker games are now employing advanced graphics and features that make them feel like the real thing. Whichever specific app you opt for though, you could actually stand to enjoy real mental benefits. Various medical studies have actually hinted at poker’s benefits in everything from improving focus and attention to detail to combating Alzheimer’s Disease!

4. Quiz Apps

Some might consider quiz apps to comprise their own category aside from gaming, but the distinction isn’t particularly important. Either way there are dozens if not hundreds of accessible quiz apps, and each and every one of them can teach specific knowledge and keep the mind sharp in general. It’s virtually never a bad idea to test your knowledge, and these kinds of games help people do it on a daily basis.

5. Brain-Trainers

Lastly, and most overtly, there are also apps specifically designed to train the brain. These are in some cases actually designed with medical input and consideration, but they’re still game-like in nature, or at least include games more often than not. The specific training varies from one app to the next, but this is definitely a category you’ll want to look to if you’re curious about using mobile games to improve your mind.

Final Thoughts

Mobile apps, games, and real-world puzzles such as escape rooms are sometimes purely for entertainment. Other cases, such as those discussed here, can be leveraged to help with brain training for better cognitive performance and perception. The best part is, these brain games can often be leveraged during times you’d otherwise be doing nothing else!

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Getting Your Health Under Control In 2019

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For many, having control over their health is a constant battle with a number of vitamin deficiencies as well as illnesses that are sometimes unavoidable it is crucial to ensure that your health is under control. Whether this is a visit to Finchley dentist to prioritise your oral health or a visit to the doctors for a checkup there are a number of ways that you can prioritise your health within a busy lifestyle.

Moving More And Sitting Less

During the course of the day, it is important to keep moving, with a lot of people sitting down throughout the day it is important to remember to move around. By adding a 10-minute walk to your daily routine this can help to improve mental health as well as your physical health. This small addition to your daily routine can help you to lose weight and maintain a suitable cholesterol level. This could help your health in the long term as this helps you to maintain a healthy weight.

The Power Of A Smile

Have you ever thought about how a smile can help you and those around you to feel better? The simple act of smiling releases chemicals into the brain helping you to channel positive emotions as a result. This act of smiling can also make you appear endearing and approachable to others allowing you to spread joy to those around you. This is something that can take practice to do but can have major health benefits. By making time to laugh and smile during the course of the day you can reduce stress and anxiety whilst helping to improve overall happiness.

Sleep

Having enough sleep is something that can be very difficult with a busy lifestyle. However, it is important to make the time. With the recommended sleep time aimed between 7-9 hours per day, it is important to look at how much sleep you are getting and how much this can affect your overall health.

If you are feeling like you cannot concentrate or are having trouble being able to focus on simple tasks, this may be a consequence of lack of sleep. In order to sleep accordingly make sure that your day is filled with exercise and activities. By filling your day with exercises and activities you will wear yourself out. This will allow you to stick to a simple sleeping schedule throughout the week.

If you struggle to fall asleep at night try relaxing before bed, whether this is through having a bath or shower or even reading a book to help you unwind, this can help you to fall asleep almost instantly.

Relaxation

Another important aspect of your health is relaxation. It is not good for your heart or your mind to be stressed 24/7 therefore, it is important to practice self-care wherever possible. With a number of meditation apps available to you both free and paid you can have a completely customisable experience based around your specific needs.

By adding ten minutes of meditation into your daily routine you can help to reduce stress and anxiety whilst helping to lower blood pressure. So with all this in mind, there are a number of considerations when thinking about your health in 2019 that are well worth considering.

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Intermittent Fasting – Introduction and How-To

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Intermittent fasting is becoming increasingly popular. It appears that apart from marketing, losing weight is the most popular topic to be discussed online. People want to get rid of all those pounds, whether extra or seemingly extra to attain the ideal body shape. A multitude of diet plans have been devised; from cabbage soups to high protein diet to eight losing herbs and supplements, everyone is trying everything that might have the slightest notion of producing likable results. But in most of these diet plans, one has to give up eating their favorite foods. No more pizzas and pastas, some happily adopt an herbivorous lifestyle, just to lose weight.

But what if you do not have to give up eating your favorite dishes? What if you don’t have to try any experiments with artificial supplements on your body? What if weight loss could happen with you eating what you generally eat, and in the quantity you eat but still losing weight? Sounds elusive, right?

The truth is that it is possible. And this is not a new found theory, but it has been around for quite a while. Surprised?? Wondering what exactly is this magic diet plan? It is called, “Intermittent Fasting”.

Intermittent fasting is the trick to adopt. It requires a person to go on a fast for 24 hours, once or twice every week depending on the individual capability, and having a large intake of water/green tea during this time span. With the lifestyle we all lead, packed with work, food, more work and a truckload of responsibilities, it is not only difficult to take out time for gym and aerobic classes but truly impossible. Similarly, even following a diet plan can become monotonous, and everyone is aware of how diet plans quit working after some time since the body becomes immune to them. So you might just lose weight during the first month of your diet plan routine, it is assured that the results will start to wear off once the body becomes accustomed to the routine. On the opposite end, Intermittent Fasting will help you consistently lose weight and also maintain it. The routine is not difficult to adopt.

Steele Williams a leading celebrity PT and personal training course expert from TRAIN says that studies dating back to 1945 proved that Intermittent Fasting (IF) extended the life of mice. More recent studies on humans show that alternate day fasting increases SIRT3 proteins, which scientists believe are responsible for longer lifespans.

Also, IF has been shown to increase insulin sensitivity, therefore reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes. It’s also been shown to reduce inflammation, blood pressure, and “bad” cholesterol.

All you have to do is pick a day or two in the time frame of a week when all you are going to be consuming is water, or better still, green tea. That one day where the intake of liquids is going to be on the rise; it will allow the metabolism to flush up and work off all those stored fats in the body. Take it more like a body cleansing day. Just like a shower is vital to rid the exterior of all the germs, a day on water is pivotal to rid the body of the harmful fats that are stored up.

In the remaining days of the week, keep on going with your normal diet. You do not have to give up food at all during that time. Sounds great? Well you will feel great once you try out this truly genius form of putting off those extra pounds!

Have you tried intermittent fasting? What are your thoughts?

 

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