Prevention of Sleep Disorders:

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1. Maintain a regular bed and wake time schedule including weekends.

Our sleep-wake cycle is regulated by a “circadian clock” in our brain and the body’s need to balance both sleep time and wake time. A regular waking time in the morning strengthens the circadian function and can help with sleep onset at night. That is also why it is important to keep a regular bedtime and wake-time, even on the weekends when there is the temptation to sleep-in.

2. Establish a regular, relaxing bedtime routine such as soaking in a hot bath or hot tub and then reading a book or listening to soothing music.

A relaxing, routine activity right before bedtime conducted away from bright lights helps separate your sleep time from activities that can cause excitement, stress or anxiety which can make it more difficult to fall asleep, get sound and deep sleep or remain asleep. Avoid arousing activities before bedtime like working, paying bills, engaging in competitive games or family problem-solving. Some studies suggest that soaking in hot water (such as a hot tub or bath) before retiring to bed can ease the transition into deeper sleep, but it should be done early enough that you are no longer sweating or over-heated. If you are unable to avoid tension and stress, it may be helpful to learn relaxation therapy from a trained professional. Finally, avoid exposure to bright before bedtime because it signals the neurons that help control the sleep-wake cycle that it is time to awaken, not to sleep.

3. Create a sleep-conducive environment that is dark, quiet, comfortable and cool.

Design your sleep environment to establish the conditions you need for sleep – cool, quiet, dark, comfortable and free of interruptions. Also make your bedroom reflective of the value you place on sleep. Check your room for noise or other distractions, including a bed partner’s sleep disruptions such as snoring, light, and a dry or hot environment. Consider using blackout curtains, eye shades, ear plugs, “white noise,” humidifiers, fans and other devices.

4. Sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillows.

Make sure your mattress is comfortable and supportive. The one you have been using for years may have exceeded its life expectancy – about 9 or 10 years for most good quality mattresses. Have comfortable pillows and make the room attractive and inviting for sleep but also free of allergens that might affect you and objects that might cause you to slip or fall if you have to get up during the night.

5. Use your bedroom only for sleep and sex.

It is best to take work materials, computers and televisions out of the sleeping environment. Use your bed only for sleep and sex to strengthen the association between bed and sleep. If you associate a particular activity or item with anxiety about sleeping, omit it from your bedtime routine. For example, if looking at a bedroom clock makes you anxious about how much time you have before you must get up, move the clock out of sight. Do not engage in activities that cause you anxiety and prevent you from sleeping.

6. Finish eating at least 2-3 hours before your regular bedtime.

Eating or drinking too much may make you less comfortable when settling down for bed. It is best to avoid a heavy meal too close to bedtime. Also, spicy foods may cause heartburn, which leads to difficulty falling asleep and discomfort during the night. Try to restrict fluids close to bedtime to prevent nighttime awakenings to go to the bathroom, though some people find milk or herbal, non-caffeinated teas to be soothing and a helpful part of a bedtime routine.

7. Exercise regularly. It is best to complete your workout at least a few hours before bedtime.

In general, exercising regularly makes it easier to fall asleep and contributes to sounder sleep. However, exercising sporadically or right before going to bed will make falling asleep more difficult. In addition to making us more alert, our body temperature rises during exercise, and takes as much as 6 hours to begin to drop. A cooler body temperature is associated with sleep onset… Finish your exercise at least 3 hours before bedtime. Late afternoon exercise is the perfect way to help you fall asleep at night.

8. Avoid caffeine (e.g. coffee, tea, soft drinks, chocolate) close to bedtime. It can keep you awake.

Caffeine is a stimulant, which means it can produce an alerting effect. Caffeine products, such as coffee, tea, colas and chocolate, remain in the body on average from 3 to 5 hours, but they can affect some people up to 12 hours later. Even if you do not think caffeine affects you, it may be disrupting and changing the quality of your sleep. Avoiding caffeine within 6-8 hours of going to bed can help improve sleep quality.

9. Avoid nicotine (e.g. cigarettes, tobacco products). Used close to bedtime, it can lead to poor sleep.

Nicotine is also a stimulant. Smoking before bed makes it more difficult to fall asleep. When smokers go to sleep, they experience withdrawal symptoms from nicotine, which also cause sleep problems. Nicotine can cause difficulty falling asleep, problems waking in the morning, and may also cause nightmares. Difficulty sleeping is just one more reason to quit smoking. And never smoke in bed or when sleepy!

10. Avoid alcohol close to bedtime.

Although many people think of alcohol as a sedative, it actually disrupts sleep, causing nighttime awakenings. Consuming alcohol leads to a night of less restful sleep.

 

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How To Look After Yourself – Naturally

How many paracetamol do you take a week? Do you take just one tablet? Maybe two? I surprised myself some years ago when I tried to purchase 3 packets of paracetamol at my local chemist and was refused, the limit was two packets. I explained that I did not take more than the recommended dose � I just needed one packet for work, one for home and one for my handbag – I was still refused. I never asked myself why I needed such ready access to paracetamol.
It was a long time before I recognised a pattern that had formed over many many months. I had a severe headache at least once a day and needed at least one if not two paracetamol tablets to keep going through to the end of the day.
There are side effects to simple paracetamol, not many, but taken consistently over time I wondered what damage I had done to my body? Now when I have a headache the first step I take is to have a glass of water and I’ll wait for at least ten minutes before seeking alternative pain relief. Better yet, if I know I’m going into a stressful situation, I put a drop of my Stress Buster aromatherapy oil on to my wrists beforehand to relax myself.
There are many natural, non invasive drug free options as a first line of treatment. Prevention is always better than cure, however if you need a cure and are willing to experiment, why not try an alternative to pharmaceuticals?

Simple Solutions

In the case of an injury the kitchen is a great place to start. Simple everyday items can be used such as ice cubes or a bag of frozen peas when applied to an inflamed area can prevent further swelling. Alternatively a wheat bag kept in the freezer can be used over and over again. Wheat bags are simple cotton bags filled with wheat grains, wheat grains have a unique cellular structure that allows them to absorb a temperature quickly and release it slowly. They are inexpensive and flexible. Also known as wheat warmers they can also be used to treat conditions using heat. Simply heat in the microwave for two minutes and then apply to any muscle pain or ache. For conditions such as back ache, neck pain or even ailments such as arthritis or fibromyalgia a wheat bag is only a treatment, meaning it can relieve pain temporarily, it is not a cure but it may offer the suffer sufficient relief to manage their pain.

Conclusion

Common sense is the key to using alternative remedies well and making them work for you. If you are unsure of why you are not well or what has caused you to feel ill then the first step is to consult a medical professional, once you have received advice you are in a position to make an informed decision about your treatment. Wheat bags or wheat warmers are only one of many options available and there are numerous websites specialising in natural and alternative remedies. Wishing you good health.

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The Art Of Boxing :skills, Drills And Benefits

Boxing is considered by many as the worlds most ancient and most celebrated sports. Boxing had its beginning in ancient Greece when it was considered nothing more than a gentle art of self defense. Boxing has continually been refined and perfected over the ages.

Today professional boxing is recognized as a major sport attracting many sponsorship deals and there is huge money involved making boxers millionaires. Amateur boxing is also not lagging behind, with amateur boxers willing to fight driven by a strong desire to avail the many benefits. Innumerable pay-per-view boxing events are attracting millions of watchers worldwide. Ever since boxing became a global phenomenon, the fitness industry has fully exploited the boxing popularity with training classes for boxing.

In today’s scenario, aspirants will have to undergo rigorous training and practice to reach competition levels. The typical boxing training session stimulates all muscle groups, and provides the perfect combination of aerobic with oxygen exercises and anaerobic without oxygen exercises. The boxers’ workout is designed to get anyone into the best physical shape of their lives. To perfect the basic boxing skills you will have to survive three rounds – each of three minutes’ duration � of actual fighting in a controlled gym-setting. You have to be supremely conditioned and physically strong enough to throw mighty punches from round one lasting up to three.

Attending an established boxing training school provides you with the required physical and mental strength, coordination, both aerobic and anaerobic fitness and powers of endurance. The most important exercises include heavy bag, speed-ball spring-ball and medicine-ball work, skipping, running, weight-training and wind-sprints. Exercises are condensed and combined to form a circuit or performed independently over a longer period. In short, boxing improves ones reflexes, stamina, muscle flexibility, speed and cardiovascular fitness.

A boxing workout of about one-hour generally conforms to the following timetable: Five minutes on warm-up exercise followed by stretching of all major muscle groups; twenty five minutes of sit-ups with medicine ball; ten minutes of skipping five two-minute rounds on heavy bag; three two-minute rounds on the speed-ball; three sets of 15 side laterals; finally five minutes of bike to cool down.

A competent boxer needs a significant amount of confidence more than confrontationist skills. If the boxer needs to protect himself in a self-defense situation, he will be more efficient at finishing things quickly and cleanly due to heightened confidence levels. Seasoned boxers will tell you that boxing is the ultimate sport for countering stress. The combination of strength training and aerobic work provides an excellent feeling of muscular pump and stimulates the cardiovascular system. Please know that hitting the heavy bag for five to six rounds tremendously relieves physical and mental stress. This type of workout enhances the ability to relax and helps one to remain poised under pressure.

As you are aware, boxing allows for a direct confrontation between two persons in a controlled setting. Make sure to get trained in full contact sparring � although it is optional in many boxing classes � as that provides the perfect platform to fine-tune your fundamental boxing skills…

Before engaging in any form of boxing training, you must possess the right equipments for both safety and performance reasons. The equipments you would need are – bag and sparring gloves, wraps, mouth guard, speed-ball, heavy bag, skipping rope, medicine ball and focus mitts.

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