Archive for May, 2018

How to get better sleep

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Sleep is one of the most important factors to good health because it restores the immune system, metabolism, and physical/mental health. It is essential that you get enough sleep so that you not only feel well rested, but also get enough sleep for these functions. Many often resort to sleep medication when they cannot fall asleep, but the following are a few techniques you may want to try out before using medicine:

  1. Avoid using electronics 30-60 minutes before bed. Things such as your phone, emit blue light which is helpful during the day because it increases attention, mood and reaction time, but not very helpful when you are getting ready to go to bed. Light in general suppresses the production of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep.
  2. Be sure to get rid of noise. A quiet room is important when trying to go to sleep, especially if you are a light sleeper. However, some people find that white noise, such as a fan or ocean noise, will soothe them. Try different sounds to see if it improves your sleep quality.
  3. Alter the temperature in your room, to what makes you most comfortable. Many wake up in the middle of the night because it was too cold/hot, so be sure you set the thermostat to your perfect sleeping temperature.
  4. Have a regular sleeping schedule. Having a schedule reduces the chances of getting insomnia, because the circadian sleep-wake schedule is synchronized

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Health Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

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Intermittent fasting has become very popular recently, and it is simply when you eat for a certain  period of time during the day and fast for the of remaining time of the day. The most common way of practicing this is the 16:8 ration, which is eating for 8 hours and fasting for 16 hours. However, there are many other ways and variations to practice intermittent fasting. It is up to you to choose the time period that is most convenient to fast and to eat. Although intermittent fasting is often thought of as a way to lose weight, it isn’t always the case. Intermittent fasting is an eating habit, and a common misconception is that if you fast you can eat whatever you want during your eating window. Like any other eating pattern, you should opt for healthy eating habits. The following are a few other health benefits of intermittent fasting:

  1. Reduces inflammation. Fasting causes autophagy, which is when the body gets rid of damaged or old cells, helping the body cleanse it self, thus reducing inflammation. Intermittent fasting also causes your body to use up all of its sugar stores, and then forcing it to turn to fat as fuel. When fat is used as fuel, it creates ketones which block part of the immune system responsible for regulating inflammatory disorders.
  2. Insulin levels drop. This makes it easier for your body to burn fat
  3. Creates brain cells. Studies have shown that fasting stimulates and increases the rate of neurogenesis in the brain, which is the development and growth of new cell/nerve tissue. This may increase brain performance, focus, mood, and memory.
  4. Gives you energy. Intermittent fasting increases the creation of new mitochondria. Since mitochondria are the powerhouse of the cells in your body that take the food you consume and turn it into energy, the creation of new ones will boost your energy.

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