skin health

Sleep your way to excellent health

Effective Sleep

Healthy Sleep

Sleep is one of the most important aspects of life to ensure a healthy body and mind. A good night sleep revives the immune system, improves brain health, restores healthy bacteria in the digestive system, and revives the endocrine system (hormones). Unfortunately, millions of people suffer from insomnia and other sleep issues. It’s an epidemic. The following article by Kate B. Forsyth, a writer for Be Healthy Today, will help you on your journey to a better and healthier sleep regime. 

7 Proven Tips to Ensure a Good Night’s Sleep

Sleep is one of the most important factors a body needs in order to function properly. However, due to the day and age we now live in, plenty of other factors get in the way of us getting the sleep that we deserve. There’s stress at work, stress at home, heck, even stress from the environment.

There are many things that people do to make sure they get the best sleep. Some have nightly rituals, some invest in the best sleepwear, some even hire people to help them get to sleep. If you are able to rest fully and properly, you will get tons of benefits, both mentally and physically.

What exactly will you get? Well, if you regularly get a good night’s sleep, you will have healthier skin and a more youthful appearance. It encourages healthy cell division. It will improve your ability to learn new motor skills by 20 percent. It boosts your brain health. Developing good bedtime habits ensures that your body gets the rest it needs, helps you better manage stress, and provides you with more energy during the day. And finally, it improves productivity and also the overall quality of life. Basically, if you have healthy sleeping habits down pat, they will greatly improve your overall life.

Here are some tips and tricks that guarantee you to be sleeping like a baby and waking up full of energy.

  1. Avoid Caffeine. Nicotine, and Alcohol

Caffeine is a stimulant that can keep you awake. Make sure to avoid drinking coffee, soda, tea, or chocolate at least 4–6 hours before your intended bedtime.

Also, smokers should not use tobacco products too close to sleeping time. Smoking alters the expression of clock genes in the lungs and the brain. This ruins and disrupts a restful sleep. It’s been noted that smokers experience restless sleep and are more likely to suffer from insomnia.

With regard to alcohol, yes, it may help to bring on sleep. However, once the body starts to process the alcohol, it increases the number of times you wake up during night. Make sure to limit your alcohol intake to at most 2 glasses, and avoid drinking within 3 hours of bedtime.

  1. Exercise, Exercise, Exercise

Regular exercise promotes good quality sleep. As little as 10 minutes of aerobic exercise every day is enough to improve your quality of sleep. This makes sure you don’t feel sleepy during the day.

In addition, regular exercise improves the symptoms of sleep apnea as well as insomnia. Also, it increases the amount of time you spend in the deep and restorative stages of sleep.

Working out in the morning or early afternoon is the best choice. If you exercise too close to your bedtime, it interferes with your sleep. Try to finish moderate to vigorous exercises at least 3 hours before bedtime.

  1. Limit Daytime Naps

Many people  make naps a regular part of the day. Although napping is a good way to make up for lost sleep, if you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep at night, napping can make it worse.

However, if you can’t stop yourself from dozing off, make sure to limit the napping time to 15–20 minutes. Also, make sure to take them in the early afternoon. Having late-day naps decreases your sleep drive.

  1. Set a Sleep Schedule

It’s a good idea to keep a consistent sleep schedule. That means getting up and going to sleep at around the same time every day, even on weekends or when you’re on vacation. Experts recommend at least 7 hours and at most 9 hours of sleep every day.

This helps regulate your body clock and helps you fall asleep faster and stay asleep for the rest of the night. Keeping a schedule also makes you feel more energized when you wake up.

For bedtime, choose a time when you normally feel tired. If you feel drowsy a few hours before your intended bedtime, do something mildly stimulating. Some examples are washing the dishes, arranging your books, or calling a friend.

During the weekends, do not sleep in. If you need to make up for a late night, a short daytime nap will do.

  1. Dim the Lights

Before going to bed, dim the lights and put away electronic devices with backlights. Dimming the lights boosts your body’s melatonin production. Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone that helps regulate your sleep-wake cycle. What happens is if it gets dark, your brain secretes more melatonin, making you sleepy.

Also, this means no more late-night binge watching. This is because the light from the TV suppresses melatonin. Also, most programs nowadays are stimulating rather than relaxing.

  1. Make Your Room Conducive for Sleep

Keep in mind that your bed is for two things only: sleep and sex. That’s it.

Make sure there are no disruptive noises that can be heard in your room. Also, ensure your room temperature is just right. Many people sleep best in a slightly cool room with adequate ventilation.

If you still have some trouble falling asleep, try using scents that can help you zone out. Smells like ylang-ylang, lavender, and chamomile activate the alpha wave activity in the back of your brain. This leads to a feeling of relaxation and will help you sleep more soundly.

And of course, make sure you have a comfortable bed and pillows. It is essential that your sleeping posture keeps your head and neck in a straight line in order to avoid tension or cramps that can prevent you from falling asleep.

  1. Don’t Force Sleep

There are just some nights where you can’t fall asleep easily. And the more you toss and turn, the more your eyes remain open. If you find yourself unable to sleep after about 15 minutes, get out of bed and do something that will relax you. Some light reading or listening to soothing music are good examples.

 

Author Bio:

KATE

Kate B. Forsyth is a writer for Be Healthy Today, who specializes in health and nutrition. Her passion is to help people get an overall transformation of health that lasts a lifetime. In her blog posts, she goes beyond research by providing health-concerned citizens doable and simple tricks to achieve a healthier lifestyle.

 

Healthy nutrition and cosmetics.

Do you practice the art of healthy nutrition and cosmetics? As important as nutrition is for a healthy body and mind, it’s also extremely important to be aware of what you put on your skin in regards to lotion, shampoo, soap, toothpaste and cosmetics. What we put on our skin is like food, as some of it will be absorbed into the body. Sadly, most skin products are full of toxins and they are contributing  to this epidemic of illness and disease. Fortunately, there are natural choices for healthy skin products and cosmetics. Healthy nutrition and cosmetics is the way to go.

The following article is from http://www.fix.com.  The author is http://www.fix.com/blog/authors/nikki-fotheringham/

You are perfect. But we understand that, every now and then, you need to add a little color to your cheeks and a little smoke to those eyes. Most cosmetics contain toxic chemicals that may cause harm and age you prematurely. Why use toxic cosmetics, many of which were tested on animals, when you can have your makeup and eat it too? You can make everything in your makeup bag from items you already have in your kitchen and some from your local health food store.

What’s in Your Makeup Bag?

The effects of makeup on your health are more than just skin-deep. Your makeup bag harbors more horrors than you can shake a sharp stick at: everything from lead to asbestos and quite a few nasty things in between. Some of the ingredients moonlight as stabilizers for pesticides and industrial cleaners. Can we all agree that something that’s used to clean a factory floor probably shouldn’t be cleaning your delicate face?

The ugly truth about the beauty industry is that many of these chemicals have been linked to cancer, birth defects, and infertility, as well as skin irritation and eczema.

Here is a list of the chemicals with the most dire health consequences:

1. Phthalates

These endocrine disrupters found in synthetic fragrances and nail polish have been linked to breast cancer and early puberty in girls. Studies have also found high phthalate levels in people suffering from diabetes. Phthalates have been linked to obesity in children. 1

2. Parabens

Used as an anti-microbial, anti-fungal, and as a preservative, parabens have been found in biopsies of breast tumors. Parabens are thought to be present in 75-90 percent of cosmetic products. The problem is that these are considered part of the “trade secret” ingredients, so cosmetic companies aren’t required to list them on the label. They are found in a wide range of creams, lotions, and antiperspirants. 2 3 4

3. Ethylene Oxide

The National Toxicology Program classifies ethylene oxide as a known carcinogen. It is found in shampoos and fragrances and has been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer.

4. Lead

Found in a plethora of products, including sunscreens, lipsticks, foundations, nail polishes, and toothpastes with whitening properties, lead is a neurotoxin that is known to reduce fertility and may result in learning and language disabilities and behavioral problems. 5

5. Triclosan

A popular anti-bacterial, triclosan can be found in cleansers, antiperspirants, cosmetics, and toothpastes. Triclosan is actually classified as a pesticide, and it can have serious effects on your hormones, especially those associated with the thyroid, which regulate the metabolism. Widespread use of triclosan in hand sanitizers and anti-bacterial soaps is linked to increased bacterial resistance. 6 7

DIY Organic Makeup - Cosmetic Chemicals With Known Side Effects

DIY Deodorant

Antiperspirant contains anti-bacterial chemicals and zinc, which have been linked to breast cancer and early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. Toss your underarm sticks and make your own in two shakes of a lamb’s tail – you probably already have everything you need!

  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 3 tablespoons baking soda
  • 3 tablespoons corn starch

Mix all the ingredients into a stiff paste and spoon into an empty underarm deodorant stick. Cool in the fridge until firm. Apply as usual.

Note: if it is very warm in your home, keep the deodorant in the fridge so that the coconut oil doesn’t liquefy.

DIY Organic Makeup - DIY Antiperspirant Deodorant

Face Powder and Eye Shadow

Talc, a known toxic substance, is found in face powders and eye shadows, where it acts as an anti-caking agent. Talc contains asbestos, which causes cancer in the breast and lungs.

Face powders and eye shadows also contain zinc and may cause skin irritation with extended use. Dr. Donald Grant, dermatitis specialist, says, “Unfortunately I do see an awful lot of women who have eczema or inflammation on their eyelids and nowhere else. The tissue around the eyes dries out as you get older.”

If you want alluring peepers and perfect skin, you can cook up your own beauty regimen in no time at all.

  • Arrowroot
  • Cocoa powder for brown eye shadow
  • Beet powder for pink eye shadow
  • Spirulina for green eye shadow
  • Activated charcoal for black/gray eye shadow
  • Nutmeg for golden brown eye shadow

For the eye shadows, use one-quarter of a teaspoon of arrowroot as your base. Now add color until you get the shade you desire.

For face powder, start with one tablespoon of arrowroot and slowly add cocoa and nutmeg until you get a shade that matches your skin tone.

Note: for a creamier eye shadow, add one-eighth of a teaspoon of shea butter, which will help to moisturise your lids and prevent the eye shadow from rubbing off.

DIY Organic Makeup - Eye Shadow and Face Powder

Mascara and Eyeliner

Smokey eyes can be healthily achieved when you follow this easy recipe that serves as both an eyeliner and mascara. Use an old mascara tube and a brush to apply the mixture. To clean the mascara tube, soak it in very hot water for 10 minutes, and then rinse thoroughly.

  • 3/4 tsp beeswax
  • 1/2 tsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp shea butter
  • 2 tsp aloe vera gel
  • 1 capsule activated charcoal

You can find all these ingredients at your local health food store. Place the beeswax, coconut oil, shea butter, and aloe vera in a double boiler. If you don’t have a double boiler, place the ingredients in a glass or metal bowl in a pot of water.

Heat gently over a very low heat until all the ingredients are melted and mixed. Break open the capsule, add the charcoal, and mix well. Use a funnel to pour the mixture into the mascara tube or pour it into a container for eyeliner.

If you don’t have a funnel, pour the mixture into a plastic bag, snip a corner off, and then squeeze the bag so that the mixture can be piped into the mascara tube without spilling.

DIY Organic Makeup - All Natural Mascara and Eye Liner