Health Tips

How Sleep Can Affect Your Health

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Looking after your health involves regular physical activity, a healthy diet, stopping smoking and controlling your alcohol intake. However, an additional factor that is often overlooked, but is increasingly considered by scientists to be important, is good sleep. It is well known that on average we need eight hours sleep every night, but many of us fail to reach even that minimum level of sleep, and the consequences for our health can be serious.

If you’ve ever had to wake up particularly early or had a few consecutive late nights, you know that groggy feeling that signals you aren’t at your best, and you will have experienced the loss of concentration, low mood or reduced energy levels that also go with sleep deprivation. But sleep debt is a serious problem that can even more pronounced health effects.

The immune system

Scientists have discovered that if you experience poor or interrupted sleep, your body’s immune system can be compromised making you more susceptible to a range of illnesses. If you’re one of those people who seem to catch every flu bug that goes around, it could be that lack of sleep is contributing to the problem.

Mental health

Not getting enough sleep can leave us feeling grumpy and not at our best. In fact, everything can be too much effort when we lack sleep and we aren’t much fun to be around. So, you won’t be surprised to learn that if you regularly fail to get enough sleep, you increase your vulnerability to serious mental health problems including anxiety and depression.

Weight control

Among the more surprising effects of sleep is its role in helping the body to control weight. Some studies have found that people who get fewer than seven hours sleep a day are at greater risk of developing obesity than others. There may be a number of factors that cause this, but scientists believe that two chemicals called leptin and ghrelin, are to blame. The role of leptin is to help you to feel full, and when you don’t get enough sleep, your body doesn’t produce enough of it. Ghrelin is a chemical that increases hunger and levels of this chemical are more likely to be raised among people who don’t get enough sleep.

Diabetes risk

There is no doubt that diabetes is one of the most serious health problems in the US, and some studies show that those who get five or fewer hours sleep per night are at a significantly higher risk of developing diabetes than others. While the link between sleep and diabetes is not fully understood, it is possible that a lack of sleep affects the ability of the body to create glucose (which gives us energy) leading to insulin problems.

Lowered libido

There are numerous studies that show that lack of sleep can have a negative effect on your sex drive. One research project found that men who develop the disorder known as sleep apnea are likely to have lower testosterone levels and a reduced libido.

Heart problems

One of the more serious effects of a lack of sleep can be an increased risk of heart disease, including hypertension, increased heart rate and an accumulation of chemicals that can contribute towards inflammation and diseases of the cardiovascular system. These effects combined can serve to put a strain on your heart, further increasing the risk of heart disease.

Getting a good night’s sleep

For people who may be struggling to get sufficient sleep, the good news is that you can change your sleep patterns, although it will take more than just one early night to make a difference in tackling the long-term consequences of sleep debt.

A good place to start is to update your bedroom furniture and accessories. There is a range of products available from mattress and bedroom accessory suppliers. It is therefore worth checking out what is obtainable so that you can make a comparison and choose the right sheets for your needs, whichever side of the tencel vs bamboo debate you are on!

By being pro-active and optimizing the tranquility of your bedroom environment, you can dramatically increase your chances of getting a proper night’s sleep, avoiding the negative effects of sleep loss. We all know what it is like to go without a good sleep. Hopefully this article will inspire you to take sleep seriously, for the sake of your wellbeing.

 

Health Tips

Understanding the Concept of a Family Balancing Service

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Not many people know that a family balancing service exists, let alone what it is. It is linked to gender selection, which was initially developed to help parents prevent passing on genetic diseases. However, as this offered people the possibility of choosing the gender of their child, they also became interested in using this in order to balance their family so that both genders are represented within their family unit.

How Does a Family Balancing Service Work?

Gender selection, regardless of why it is performed, uses PGD (Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis), an advanced type of technology that enables physicians to test an embryo’s chromosomal make-up. It has to be completed together with IVF (In-Vitro Fertilization). Once PGD testing has been completed, the embryos of the desired gender are implanted in the mother’s uterus. The gender accuracy rate is near 100% if it results in a successful pregnancy.

What Does Family Balancing Mean?

Some people want to have what is known as a “balanced family”, which means they have as many sons as they have daughters. Often, parents want to add a certain gender to complete their family. Because of the availability of PGD and IVF, this is now possible. Usually, it is only offered to those who already have one child, unless it is done for genetic reasons rather than family balancing. Most clinics will not offer family balancing services to families that already have an equal number of sons and daughters either.

How Is it Done?

The process involves IVF, which means eggs are harvested from the prospective mother and then fertilized with the prospective father’s sperm. The embryos are then developed and tested to determine they have no chromosomal abnormalities, also checking whether it is male or female. Then, the embryos are implanted in the mother’s uterus, through standard IVF procedures.

What Is IVF?

IVF is a treatment whereby women take fertility medication so that her ovaries develop multiple mature eggs, instead of the singular one produced during a normal menstrual cycle. It takes around two weeks for the eggs to be ready. The medication, meanwhile, stops the follicles that contain the eggs from releasing them. Instead, they are removed and fertilized in a laboratory. IVF was developed for those couples who had difficulties to conceive naturally, or for single women who wanted to have a family using donor sperm. However, as medical science developed and IVF started to be used with PGD to help avoid genetic abnormalities, it quickly became obvious that it could also be used for gender selection and family balancing.

Today, there is a significant ethical debate about whether or not family balancing is a tool that should be offered to people. Overall, however, people are left to make their own decisions about that. Naturally, insurance companies do not cover family balancing treatment even if some will cover IVF. However, if they cover IVF, they only do so if the couple has been struggling to conceive naturally for some time.

Health Tips

Kami Hoss: Taking Care of Your New Braces

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Braces have become much more common as new technologies and techniques have allowed for the cost to plummet it. In addition there are many new styles of braces that are less unsightly and even practically invisible to the eye. As a result the amount of people purchasing braces continues to increase.

These devices will realign the teeth so that they are straighter and more even and take a considerable amount of time to do their job. A person with braces can expect them to be in their mouth for more than a year and involve many visits to the orthodontist who is the dentist that installs and cares for the braces.

Top dentists like Dr. Kami Hoss recommend that you modify some of your normal eating habits and be aware of certain habits that you must adopt and keep throughout the time that the braces are in your mouth. This will ensure that the braces do their job and your teeth and gums are healthy in the meantime.

Brushing Your Teeth With Braces

Brushing your teeth twice a day is the amount recommended by dentist and this is certainly the case for those with braces. You also need to make sure that you brush again after any meals that include sticky or sugary foods, and any food that will leave lots of particles that make it stuck in your teeth or your braces.

If you do not remove these food particles rather quickly they can stay trapped in your mouth or braces and cause serious dental problems. To brush your teeth, you should use a toothbrush with soft round bristles and use the light Strokes around your teeth and the braces. You should rinse your mouth several times and make sure that you brush all areas of your mouth and around the braces well. You should also consider purchasing an electric toothbrush which will give a much more even brushing throughout your mouth.

Flossing

Flossing is an important part of taking care of your braces. There is a specific method of flossing that is required to make sure that you get between and around the braces but do not cause any damage to them. You should floss between the braces and also under the wires. Use a floss threader or orthodontic flosser and consider using wax floss which will snag less on your braces.

Rinse Your Mouth Several Times each Day

You should develop the habit of rinsing your mouth out with clear water or even mouthwash several times a day. The mouth develops large amounts of bacteria that can linger long after a meal or drink is finished. This will develop bacteria in your mouth that can harm your teeth and gums or even cause staining. In order to move the bacteria out of your mouth you should rinse it regularly.

Modify Your Diet

When you have braces, you will have to be much more aware of the things that you put in your mouth. You must limit starchy foods and those that contain high amounts of sugar because they will cause plaque to build up around your braces and on your teeth. You should also stay away from any chewy foods like gum, and soft candies because these can get stuck in your braces and cause you a trip to the orthodontist. Most people don’t realize that hard foods are also not a good choice for braces these include popcorn, nuts, and even seeds.

These foods can break or damage your braces or their wires and should be avoided. Marginally hard foods like Apples and beef jerky should be eaten sparingly. Keep in mind that if you damage your braces they will have to be repaired which can be costly and time-consuming. So be smart about what you were chewing and if you have any doubts, do not eat it.

People purchase braces because they want to look their best and they want to avoid spaces in their teeth making it more difficult for them to chew their food. They will be with you a long time once you purchase them, so take care to treat them well and you will be happy with the results.

 

Health Tips

Scott Tominaga on Getting into Shape for Surfing

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One of the most important parts of your body if you are a surfer is your feet. This is why Scott Tominaga believes all aspiring surfers need to exercise their feet in particular. This is what helps them absorb shock, and give them agility, strength, flexibility, power, control, force, and balance. But how do you get started?

Scott Tominaga Explains Feet Exercises for Surfers

Sit down and roll a ball, such as a tennis ball or baseball, under your feet. This wakes up the fascia, which is the connective tissue of the foot. You should not put your full weight on the ball. Instead, switch to smaller, harder balls over time, thereby increasing the pressure. The pressure should not come from your toes and arches, but rather from your outer edges, the balls of your feet, and your heel. You should do this for one minute at least.

Next, use your toes to pick up small objects. Once you can do that with ease, try flinging them up in the air. You should then use your toes to write the name of your favorite person, or anything else quite long and complicated, in the air. Make sure you move them about a lot.

Place your feet back on the ground and start dragging and pushing your toes and the ball of the feet away from the center in an outwards direction. Once you are duck footed, lift the front part of your foot up, leaving the heel stationary. Repeat around 15 times.

Next, press down four of your toes and attempt to raise the big one. This is very hard and you may have to keep your toes pressed down with your hand or your other foot. Repeat 15 times. Then turn it around, pressing down the big toe while attempting to rise the four others. Spread your toes wide apart. When the toes are up, hold them for five seconds. Repeat 10 times. Lastly, rock your feet from toe to heel 20 times.

You then need to stand up, since much of your surfing will be done in standing position. Walk the length of a room on your heels, then walk back on your feet’s balls. Repeat this a few times and then lift your big toe. You should feel the arch of your foot rise. Bring the toe back down, but try to keep your arch up. Hold for a few seconds.

Next, find a step somewhere and place your feet’s balls on the step itself. Your heels should hang down, over the edge. Slowly and with control, use the front of your foot to go up as high as you can. Then, just as slowly and controlled, drop your heels as far down as you can possibly get. Repeat this 20 times.

A final thing Scott Tominaga wants people to remember, is that if any of the exercise hurt, you should do them. Few people exercise their feet, which means the above could be quite difficult for some time. Simply work your way up and do what you can.

Health Tips

How to Ensure That You Have Great Looking Skin

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As I approached the ned of my 20s, I realised that my skin was really beginning to show its age and decided that it was time to take action. Throughout my 20s I really didn’t care what my lifestyle was doing to my skin but the years of partying and poor skin care, left me looking a little older than my years would suggest. Thankfully I took action at the right time and now 4 years on, my skin looks and feels great. For us women, having healthy skin gives us a great confidence boost and if you want to make sure that your’s looks great, here are some tips which worked very well for me.

Water

Drinking water is so simple and has a huge effect on how we look and feel, yet most of us are guilty of not drinking enough of it. What basically happens with water is that if you don’t drink enough of it, your body will become dehydrated, once dehydrated, the body searches for water to supply the organs, and it essentially steals it from other areas of the body, including skin. Dehydrated skin gives the appearance of a dry and flaky face, and wrinkles are far more prominent. Drinking enough water is an easy fix, but one which most of us don’t do enough if.

Great Products

There are many products on the market which you can pick up to help improve the quality of your skin and it is really important that you get a product which really matches with your face and skin tone. Personally I absolutely love the product from Jeunesse Global, especially their Luminescence range. The Jeunesse products are perfect for me because they are very well priced, and there is a huge range of treatments for just about every skin type. If you want to make sure that your skin is looking its best, make sure that you test out a number of products until you get the results that you are looking for.

Good Practice

The final key to great looking skin is good practice, especially when it comes to the evening. I started to give myself around 45 minutes each night before bed to wash my face, tone and moisturise, something which I had hardly done in the past. Having this nightly routine can really help to boost your skin in no time at all.

In terms of good practice when it comes to skin care, you should also look at cutting down or cutting out, the things that really damage your skin. If you are a smoker then this is going to cause your skin all kind of damage and you really should stop. Make sure that you are getting a good 7-9 hours sleep per night, and be careful when drinking alcohol as this can also wreak havoc when it comes to the quality of your skin.

Work hard, do things right and you can have great looking skin in no time at all.