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Monthly Archives: January 2017

8 all-natural ways to get to sleep

Youre exhausted and staring at the clock. Trying to head to bed early, you crawl in at around 9:30pm. And so it goes, as the time clicks past 10pm Then 11pm Then 1am And so on.

For some (or most) having a great nights sleep isnt really a priority. We fall into bed because we need to, but our mind is occupied with everything we need to do the next day.

The thing is, having a good nights sleep is exactly what our body needs. It is the foundation of our health and overall well-being. Not only do we feel better after a good sleep, but we function better, too. Our physical, emotional, and mental health depends on it.

Eight hours asleep isnt necessarily what everyone needs. Some people can nod off around 2am and be bright and ready for the early morning. Others need to head to bed around 9pm to feel refreshed. Although experts consider seven hours to be the number we need, some of us can get by with a little less.

Tossing and turning isnt the only thing that keeps us from having a good sleep. Some of us just dont sleep well, anyway. These are often the lighter sleepers, who never fall into that deep sleep to bring us to pure dozed off bliss.

Not sleeping well? Here are eight all-natural remedies for you to get to bed, and feel refreshed in the morning.

Cut the Caffeine

Perhaps an obvious solution, coffee, tea and other items like chocolate stimulate our bodies and create extra energy. Some folks cant have coffee in the evening, others need to avoid it all day. If you like your cuppa joe, figure out what time works best, and then try not to drink it any time after.

Shove off the Sugar

Like coffee and caffeine, sugar spikes your blood sugar, creating a boost of energy and then a crash. Sugar should be avoided before bed But in moderation throughout the day.

Find Some Stress Relief

If youre super stressed, chances are a good nights sleep isnt going to happen. Try to find a way to relieve your mind before bed. For example, writing a list of the next days To Dos often relaxes your mind, or calling a friend or family member and telling them whats on your mind will help out, too.

Move Your Body But not too late

If you exercise before bed, your body creates endorphins, making it difficult to sleep right after you finish. However, if you exercise in the morning or late afternoon, it helps bring you back down before bedtime. Take the time to treat yourself to a long walk, some strength training, or a cardio session throughout the day, for a better sleep in the night.

Take a Bath

How can a bath NOT make you feel better? You dont have to fill it with bubbles, but sitting in the warm water or even having a warm shower will bring your bodys temperature to a comfortable state, getting your mind and soul ready to tuck into the covers.

Have Some Tea

Certain teas, such as chamomile, have calming effects on the body, making them a perfect pre-bed beverage. Simply make a chamomile tea 30 to 45 minutes before going to bed to treat sleeplessness.

Dont Eat Too Much

Stuffing yourself before bed results in poor digestion, making it hard to get into that deep sleep. A snack is fine just dont go to bed overwhelmed and full.

Stay on Schedule

On days you dont have to get up early, get up early anyway. If you get up at 6am most mornings, aim for no later than 7am for the weekends. Sure, youd love to sleep in, but staying on routine will help you have better sleeps in the future.

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These are just some of the many ways you can get yourself into a better nights sleep. Once you realize how great it feels, youll never want to go back! And once you take the time for you, youll realize how much youll benefit in mind, body, and soul.

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How to Cope With Stomach Flu Symptoms

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 12 (HealthDay News) — If you get the stomach flu (also known as viral gastroenteritis), there are a number of things you can do to cope with the illness, an expert suggests.

“This virus causes nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, fever, and head and muscle aches. Although the virus itself most often is not a serious health threat, it can cause serious complications like dehydration, which can be especially dangerous for young children and older adults,” Dr. Christopher Zipp, a family physician at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey’s School of Osteopathic Medicine, said in a university news release.

Zipp offered the following tips for coping with stomach flu:

  • Avoid dehydration by consuming plenty of fluids. The best choices are water or half-strength juices. It’s best to avoid sodas or sports drinks, but they can be given to people who can’t tolerate the recommended fluids.
  • Relieve body aches and fever by taking over-the-counter, non-aspirin pain relievers such as acetaminophen, as directed.
  • Rest as much as possible.
  • Take steps to prevent spread of the virus. Throw away used tissues immediately and wash your hands often. Soiled bed linens or clothes should be washed separately from other laundry.
  • Make sure you’re fully recovered before heading back to work or school. People with the stomach flu can still be contagious for up to 72 hours after they feel better.

“Keep in mind that this illness is caused by a virus. Antibiotics, which work against bacterial infections, will not help you to recover,” Zipp explained.

“Most people will begin to feel better after a couple of days, but don’t hesitate to contact your physician if you or a family member experiences extreme symptoms, such as uncontrolled vomiting or a high fever that persists and does not respond to over-the-counter medications,” he added.

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Landmark children’s health study launches in Durham County

  Researchers soon will begin enrolling participants in the National Children’s Study, which will examine the effects of environmental influences on the health and development of 100,000 children across the United States, following them from before birth until age 21. The goal is to improve the health and well-being of children.   The study is a congressionally funded multi-year project led by a consortium of federal partners, including the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Environmental Protection Agency.   Durham is one of 30 areas around the country where data collection starts this fall, bringing to 37 the total number of study locations so far. The Durham County arm of the study is managed by the Carolina Population Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Collaborators include UNC, Duke University and Battelle Memorial Institute.   Dr. Anna Maria Siega-RizAnna Maria Siega-Riz, PhD, professor and associate chair of the epidemiology department in the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, and Emmanuel Walter, MD, professor of pediatrics, Duke University, are co-principal investigators of the Durham County study.   “The study will focus on all aspects of the environment,” said Barbara Entwisle, PhD, Carolina Population Center faculty fellow and principal investigator for the N.C. Study Center, which is coordinating the project in Durham and several other North Carolina counties. “This includes the families children live with and the neighborhoods they live in, as well as the food they eat, the water they drink and the air they breathe. The study team is eager to begin working with families in Durham County, and further extend the central role other counties in North Carolina have played in this landmark study from the beginning.”   “The National Children’s Study is yet another example of the unique partnerships our local public and private research institutions have formed with federal agencies to address pressing national needs,” said U.S. Rep. David Price. “Helping everyone from policymakers to parents assess how we can raise healthier children – who in turn will become healthier adults – is a worthy goal, and I am proud that the Triangle will have a key role in the study.”   The study was launched in Durham at an event attended by local community members, study researchers, health officials and political representatives. Speakers included Entwisle, who is also interim vice chancellor for research and economic development and Kenan Distinguished Professor of Sociology in the UNC College of Arts and Sciences; Gayle Harris, director, Durham County Health Department; N.C. Rep. Henry M. (Mickey) Michaux; and Beau Mills, district director for representative Price.   The study is working with hospitals and health care clinics in Durham County to enroll eligible women from diverse backgrounds and communities. Women who are pregnant or likely to become pregnant and their families will be invited to participate. Study staff have already been working with community members in the initial phases of implementation and will continue to be active in the community.   The National Children’s Study will draw on a wide array of data to explore natural and man-made environmental, biological, genetic and psychosocial factors that have an impact on child health and development. By studying children through their different phases of growth and development, researchers expect to better understand the role these factors have on health and disease. Findings from the study will be made available as the research progresses, making potential benefits known to the public as soon as possible.   In addition to Durham, the Carolina Population Center is implementing the study in at least four other North Carolina counties. The research team began enrolling participants in Duplin County last year and aims to start enrolling participants in Burke, Cumberland and Rockingham counties in upcoming years.  

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What Is Strong?

Each time we face our fear, we gain strength, courage, and confidence in the doing. Unknown

For those expecting to see a post about strength levels in the gym this article may leave you disappointed. Instead this post is about strength in all walks of life We sometimes forget that strength encompasses the mind and body and where the mind leads to body will follow.

Last week when watching the new Saucony What is Strong ad campaign it got me thinking about what strength is and how we can implement it into everyday life. It also got me thinking about how we can work with our weaknesses and counterbalance them with our strengths.

Strong is Being Yourself – In the face of adversity and being true to yourself. This can mean different things depending on the situation and it can be tough things like peer pressure and social media make it hard at times. Stick with it though, do what you love and do it well. Strength can also come from experience sometimes we fear things that we have never experienced or done. Once we get around to doing the stuff that scares us 9 times out of 10 we realise that the picture that we build up in our minds is much worse than the reality. Go with it, Roll With The Punches.

Strong is Trying Your Best – All we can do is try our best in life. Whether its sport, work or just some part of everyday life you can always gain strength from the knowledge you have tried your best. This can change from time to time though, we dont always have the same amount of energy and enthusiasm for certain things therefore the level we perform at can vary. This also comes down to accepting moods, energy levels and other factors which determine how involved and successful we are.

Strong is Realising What You Have Control Over – A shift of perspective and simply realising what we do and dont have control over can change everything. So many of the things we worry or stress about which drain our strength are things we have no control over. If you are getting stressed over something write it down on a piece of paper and figure out First whether there is something you can do about it and Secondly what you are going to do and possible solutions. By doing this we can externalize our thoughts and put things into perspective.

Strong is Taking Care of Yourself – In terms of physical strength we need to train, so far this post has been about the psychological aspect of strength. Strength is not purely about brute force but also means strength of the body as a whole, the muscles, agility etc. In order to build physical strength we need to do a wide variety of training that allows us to build muscle, improve movement and build stamina. This translates over to everyday life and the strength we build during training (whether physical or mental) can help us deal with whatever life throws our way.

 

Turning a Weakness into a Strength? Nobody is perfect and we all have an Achilles heel so to speak but this is not to say we cannot turn our weaknesses into strengths. There is a simple rule you can apply to any area of life:

Take for instance running you might be bad at running but you are strong and powerful in the gym. Instead of just going for long slow runs go for light jogs with sprints thrown in to take advantage of your strength and power.

Or you maybe a slow worker – Use the time you take to do your work meticulously and realise that the extra time is because you are doing a more through job than the people working faster than you. People will appreciate the attention to detail.

The idea is simple but it always works and allows us to see and use our strengths to work with our weaknesses rather than masking or ignoring them.

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