More than avoiding caffeine and heartburn-inducing foods at night, consuming certain foods and beverages before going to bed could actually help you in falling asleep faster. We have listed a few things to add to your grocery list for more restful nights.

Skip the white bread, refined pasta, and sugary, baked food items, which reduce serotonin levels and impair sleep. Instead, choose whole grains for your bedtime snack. Popcorn, oatmeal, or whole-wheat crackers with butter are all good choices.

Nuts, especially almonds and walnuts, are a good source of fats that are needed for healthy heart. They contain melatonin, a hormone that helps to regulate your sleep/wake cycle. It increases the blood levels of the hormone, helping you in sleeping more soundly.

A cup of bedtime tea can be a perfect relaxing ritual. Ginger, chamomile, and peppermint are some of the calming choices for bedtime.

Scientifically, there is a link between the tryptophan and melatonin content of milk and improved sleep. More than that, there is a powerful psychological link between warm milk and bedtime as a child. A warm glass of milk will provide you the perfect soothing backdrop for a relaxing bedtime routine.

Foods that are high in lean protein, like cottage cheese, also pack the amino acid tryptophan, increasing serotonin levels. Low levels of serotonin can contribute to insomnia. To sweeten the cottage cheese, top it up with raspberries, which are rich in melatonin.

Certain fruits containing melatonin can also help you fall asleep faster and wake up less often during the night. If you have insomnia, eating two kiwis before bedtime can increase your sleep duration by an hour in a month. Other fruits and vegetables that are rich in antioxidants also have a similar effect by helping to counteract the oxidative stress that is caused by a sleep disorder.

Above all, having a calm and composed mind is the best way to help you get a good night’s sleep!

February 7, 2019

Less Stress, More Sleep

Finding yourself tossing and turning, and unable to sleep at night? This may be due to stress hormones produced by your adrenal gland.

Stress is common, but experiencing frequent moments of stress might affect your long-term health. It will impact both your physical and mental health, stimulating fatigue, insomnia, and mood swings.

Stress hormones, such as cortisol and adrenaline, make you feel more alert while focusing on redirecting nutrients from other body parts towards internal organs in order to get you ready to respond in a potential fight or flight situation. They also affect the absorption of nutrients in your intestine and the functioning of the digestive system, resulting in constipation or diarrhoea.

If your body triggers a stress reaction releasing cortisol and adrenaline at bedtime, you’re going to find it difficult to sleep. Also, if your cortisol levels are erratic throughout the day, it exhausts your adrenal glands, which in turn cause hormonal imbalances resulting in sleep deprivation.

Sleep deprivation makes it difficult to concentrate and causes irritability and mood swings, as well as difficulty in processing emotions. If you’re finding it difficult to cope with your emotions, you will feel increasingly anxious and worried, which will trigger the release of stress hormones. This forms a cycle where stress begets sleep deprivation and sleep deprivation begets stress.

Talk to your family member or friend about your problem. It might not solve your problem but at least it gives you a chance to get it off your chest. It might even offer a new perspective to the issue, suggesting you an alternative approach.

Exercising outdoors is a great way of boosting your mood and regulating your sleep patterns. Spending time in the outdoors has a lot of health benefits too. Spending time surrounded by nature lowers your cortisol levels, making you more relaxed and calm.

Practice meditation. It improves your concentration and reduces your stress levels. It helps you to focus your full attention on your breath, allowing you to observe your own thoughts. It is easy and doesn’t have to be time-consuming.

To overcome stress and prevent it from ruining your sleep patterns, follow the above-mentioned steps for a good night’s sleep.

skin care

Exercise, diet and the attitude is as important as genetics when it comes to growing old gracefully.

Growing older affects mostly every part of your body, your hair, skin, heart, muscles, and others—but aging well may be as simple as adopting these easy everyday habits.

1.Stay connected with people
Maintaining and existing in relationships is certainly important, but meeting new people can help provide older adults with a world of new possibilities and opportunities. People might treat you differently by judging you with your age, but that is when we kick up and prove them wrong! Surround yourself with others who are a source of positivity. Make friends and you never know when they might turn into family.

2.Keep the brain exercised
Engage in mentally challenging activities and learn new things. Often times, seniors enroll themselves in a class or join a group to do just that. This is beneficial not only for one’s mental stimulation, but also for their social well-being. Play games like candy crush if nothing!

3. Maintain physical activity
Incorporating at least half an hour of moderate physical activity (particularly aerobic exercise or Zumba) into one’s daily routine is vital for well-being. The goal with any exercise is to elevate the heart rate, but it should never be painful. Be sure that your loved ones consult a physician before starting a new workout regimen.

4.Set personal goals
Similar to learning a new skill, setting (and accomplishing) personal goals helps provide a strong sense of control and fulfillment. Most importantly, meeting goals instills a strong sense of independence. Whether it’s doing an exercise routine five days in a row or completing a project at home.

5.Minimize stress
Although it’s impossible to escape some of life’s stressful situations, it’s important to find the best personal method for overcoming feelings of negativity, in a healthy way. Whether it’s deep breathing or taking a walk outside, finding the right solution to tackle this is how we stay out of it.

6.Eat healthy and fresh
Nutrition plays a major role in our body. One of the research shows that a low-glycemic diet high in fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein is the healthiest. One great example is the following diets with fruits and vegetables, rich in plant-based foods, whole grains, nuts, and red wine. It also involves eating nuts, dry fruits and cutting down on salt. Research shows that this type of diet may help you age better by off guarding heart attacks, strokes, and premature death.

7.Make exercise a part of your routine
Staying active during this period is a very essential part of the process. Staying fit also reduces age-related memory loss. Even if it takes just is walking around the place or going out to the closest shop to get some grocery. Keep your heart rate to a higher level. Do exercise such as breathing, yoga and other light exercise just to remind your body that you still are as young as ever! Keeping yourself fit in this process is very important. Everyone fails to understand the need to do so. As we keeping ageing we start taking our body for granted and that is something we should stop. Our body is used to the exercise and activity we used to do and slowing that down can lead to gaining weight.

understanding melasma and its causes

Melasma is a common facial skin pigment problem with patches of excessively dark skin. Most people with melasma are women, but men also suffer from it too, especially those with darker skin. The disfiguring facial hyperpigmentation of melasma can be emotionally devastating. It can even cause social isolation.

What causes Melasma to happen?

The cause of melasma is complex and not fully understood. We do know that melanocyte cells (the skin’s pigment-producing cells) are stimulated by a number of different things including UV light, but the pigment formed with melasma is not the same as a tan. It is much more complex.

In melasma, there is a cascade of events that happen from UV exposure and visible light, such as from indoor lighting. Yes, indoor (visible) light can also play a role in causing melasma!

The problem of melasma is more than just a problem of excess pigment, it includes what happens to the pigment and the skin around the pigment.

  • Light causes melanin to be formed and cells called melanophages to gobble up the melanin and hold it in both the epidermis and dermis.
  • In the skin where melasma exists, there is also evidence of sun damage in the dermis (changes in elastic fibers).
  • There are also more blood vessels in the skin where melasma pigment exists!
  • Immune cells and dermal fibroblasts are also more active and playing some role in causing melasma.
  • Melasma is a very complex physiologic process that can even sting and itch.
  • Genetics also play a role in whether you are predisposed to melasma.
healthy aging

You would have noticed that there are hundreds of anti-aging products flooding the market and various offers and promises of completely eliminating wrinkles, fine lines, and dark spots and so on. The simple fact is that if you want to retain your youthful self you need to take control of things that are in your hand. What you eat, the level of exercise and lifestyle changes are all things that you can easily do to slow down the skin’s aging process. This beginner’s guide will help you get started on how you can age gracefully.

1. Don’t skip the sunscreen: Anti-aging skin care routines should be started at a young age itself, you spend all your time outside and being at a lot of different places, your skin is exposed to the sun and pollution, as you age you will notice the impact of overexposure to the sun. Applying sunscreen frequently will help to decrease early signs of skin aging such as dark spots and lines. Use a sunscreen that has broad-spectrum protection, i.e., which can protect you from all the harmful UVA and UVB rays.

2. Your lifelong friend, The Moisturizer: A moisturizer is a must with any other anti-aging creams that you use. You will definitely notice a difference in your skin’s appearance as you keep using a moisturizer. A good moisturizer helps to distribute and lock in water to all parts of the body where applied and helps to promote a radiant, hydrated and glowing skin.

3. Throw away all your bad habits: Your habits and daily lifestyle will determine how your skin will look. Junk food, smoking, exposure to the sun, a lack of sleep are all major causes of unhealthy skin. Make these changes at a young age itself, and your future self will give you a big hug!