4 tips to improve your sleep

Sleep is crucial for muscle recovery and for preparing your body to operate at full speed the next day. Thus, sleep can be considered as a Force Multiplier. We spend one-third of our lives sleeping, making it a powerful tool which is when leveraged in the right way can improve the quality of your life.

Here are a few things you should focus on to take control of your sleep and improve it in every possible way.

Set up a sleep schedule:
Go to sleep at the same time and wake up at the same time every day. Sticking to a sleep schedule will make you feel amazing throughout the day as your circadian rhythm will be set and you will be able to keep it consistent. This is more important than how long you sleep.

It is crucial to relax right before bedtime. When you relax, your blood pressure and heart rate go down. Your digestion increases and you are in a state of relaxation. Create a routine before bed, dim the lights and read a book or do things that can get your body to the state of relaxation. Yoga is another way to get you to the state of relaxation.

Quiet, dark and cool:
Sleeping in the right place is crucial to getting a good night’s sleep. Make sure that the place where you sleep is quiet and dark. Your brain is sensitive to noise even when you sleep and any sound can awaken you, affecting your sleep cycles. Also, keeping your room cool is a great way to stimulate deep sleep. Sleep for as long as you are in a dark, quiet and cool environment.

Track your sleep:
Just like losing weight and putting on muscle, track your sleep progress. Track it to get a clear picture of how well you sleep and then use those measurements to calculate your progress. Chances are that you don’t have the slightest idea of how well you sleep. If you feel like you’re falling behind in your sleep pattern, you can improve it with the information you obtained from tracking it.

Sleep better to live better!

4 Yoga poses for stress relief

Life can be stressful at times. Stress is caused by various factors that differ at various stages of life. It can be due to waking up super early for school, studying late at night, balancing between life and work or weighing an important decision.

There are many ways to cope up with stress. Talking with friends, exercising and seeing a counselor are just a few. Yoga is one such way that helps reduce stress and promotes relaxation. It also benefits three aspects of ourselves affected by stress: body, mind, and breathing.

Practicing yoga helps in building our ability to calm, focus, balance, and relax. People who do a little bit of yoga each day often find themselves better at handling things when life gets a little crazy.

We have listed a few yoga poses for stress relief that can be practiced by everyone:

Child’s Pose (Balasana)
When we feel exhausted, we tend to put a ton of pressure on the adrenal glands, leading to stress. Child’s Pose is one of the most soothing poses for the adrenal glands. Practicing this pose regularly helps in recovering from stress.

Thunderbolt Pose (Vajrasana)
Vajrasana has an incredibly calming effect on the mind and body. Vajrasana is also great for the digestive system, helping in rejuvenation.

Standing Forward Fold (Uttanasana)
Uttanasana calms a busy mind, balances the nervous system, and promotes a feeling of peace. Energetically, it balances the chakra which contributes to fluctuating and excessive emotional energy.

Corpse pose (Savasana)
Savasana puts our body at ease and emphasizes total relaxation. It slows breathing, lowers blood pressure and quiets the nervous system, triggering a state of deep rest.

Lots of people think that yoga is about stretching or twisting the body into various impossible-looking shapes. But yoga is easier than it looks. There are simple poses and complicated ones, so there is something for everyone. You don’t have to wait till you feel stressed to do yoga. Start right away to get the stress to run away.

Why is it important to stay hydrated?

Human body depends on water for survival. Every cell, tissue and organ in the body needs water to work properly. To maintain body temperature, to remove waste, and to lubricate your joints, water has become essential, promoting overall health of the body.

Consume water every single day but the amount of water to consume need not to be the same for every individual. Different people need different amounts of water to keep themselves hydrated. Most people need more water and other fluids to stay well hydrated. While for some people, fewer than 8 glasses are more than enough.

Water makes up nearly half of our body weight. We lose water every day when we sweat and use bathroom. We lose water even faster when the weather is hot. If we don’t replace the water we lose, we become dehydrated.

Dry mouth, sleepiness or fatigue, dizziness or lightheadedness, extreme thirst, no tears when crying are some of the signs of dehydration that one should take care. Don’t wait until you recognize these symptoms of dehydration to take action. Prevent dehydration by drinking the amount of water that you’re body requires.

Some people are constantly at high risk of dehydration, including people who exercise at a high intensity for too long, are pregnant or breastfeeding, have certain medical conditions, or are not able to consume enough fluids during the day. Older adults are also highly exposed to dehydration. As you start aging, your brain may not be able to sense dehydration and may not send signals for thirst.

Here are some tips that might help you if you feel staying hydrated is difficult:

– Keep a bottle with you throughout the day. Try carrying reusable water bottle to avoid extra costs and fill it wherever you get a chance.
– Drink water when you are at a restaurant. It keeps you hydrated, and it is absolutely free.
– If you don’t like to drink plain water, add a slice of lemon to your drink.
– Drink water before and after workout.
– Thirst is often confused with hunger. When you’re feeling hungry, first drink water. If you don’t feel satisfied with drinking water, then go for food.

Water is the best and effective option to stay hydrated. Other drinks and foods can keep you hydrated, adding extra calories to your diet. So, if you’re more concerned about gaining weight, then it would be better if you don’t prefer energy or sports drink for staying hydrated.

The best summer foods for glowing skin

Special care is required for skin during summers as heat can worsen your skin condition. During summers, skin gets scorched and variety of other issues such as burns, patches, and rashes comes on board, which is very difficult to handle. To protect your skin from heat and to get natural glowing, you have to eat right and stay hydrated.

Load your meals with these delicious superfoods listed below, and have beautiful complexion all summer long.

Watermelon: As everyone knows, watermelon contains around 90 percent water, helping you to stay hydrated. It is also loaded with vitamin C, which is essential for healthy collagen production. Its antioxidant property makes it a free radical scavenger, helping to prevent the signs of aging. It also contains lycopene, which protects skin from sunburn and UV rays.

Tomatoes: Tomatoes are filled with antioxidants and Vitamin C along with beneficial phytochemicals such as lycopene, which protects skin against the sun. So to keep your skin healthy, tomatoes are a must in your daily diet.

Pineapple: The benefits of pineapple is quite underestimated. This tropical fruit is a fabulous anti-inflammatory agent that is generously loaded with bromelain and vitamin C. It promotes the flow of blood and eliminates free radical-induced oxidative stress. Also, it wards off inflammations in skin resulted from sunburns. Hence, pineapple should be an another add-on to your diet this summer.

Pumpkin: Pumpkins contain antioxidants, vitamins A and C and minerals. It is rich in zinc which helps in formation of new skin cells. It also helps in regulation of oil production, improving skin tone and reducing the appearance of open pores. All you have to do is to add a handful of pumpkin seeds in your diet to brighten your skin complexion and to get the glowing skin you always craved for.

Cucumber: Cucumber is usually used to relieve puffy eyes, but remember it plays a major role in giving healthy skin too. It is well-known for its amazing cooling and refreshing effect on the body. It encompasses a high amount of water, keeping you hydrated. It also contains silica that has anti-aging properties.

With the arrival of summer, your body will definitely demand extra care. Your skin will start losing off the moisture in the form of excessive sweating, leaving it oily and sticky for rest of the day. So, go for the above-mentioned foods to maintain a radiant skin this summer.

Foods that promote a good night’s sleep

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 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 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 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 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 sleep disorder.

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