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Is it good to eat right before going to bed?

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Many people like to eat right before going to bed, but what the impact?

It doesn´t matter if you´re following a time restrictive eating protocol where you skip breakfast and have lunch and dinner or if you have the normal 3 meals per day being breakfast, lunch and dinner, some of us like to eat before going to bed, but this may not be the best option.

Having a big meal will make us feel tired because our body sends all the energy to digest the food we´ve just ate, this is why we find it easier to fall asleep after a huge meal, some people like to have a huge dinner before going to bed because they know they feel tired and find it easier to fall asleep, this is why some people feel like taking a nap also after a huge meal.

Even when it´s easier to fall asleep this does not means it´s a great option. When we go to sleep we want to make sure that our body is able to do all the jobs it needs to do while we´re sleeping, it needs to delete information, store important information in other parts of the brain, it needs to get rid of toxins, it needs to build, repair, recover, grow and make sure that we´re ready for the next day. If we eat a big meal right before going to bed our body will be working on digesting all that food and it won´t be doing what it´s supposed to do.

There´s no reason to have a huge meal before going to bed, we´re not going to be exercising or doing any physical activity so we don´t need that much food.

Some of us like to have a huge meal before bed and we don´t think about what we´re eating, so many of us have problems with digestion, some foods make us feel constipated, bloated, acid reflux, etc; all this cause a lot more problems and makes it harder for our body to digest the food plus it will take it more time which disrupts our sleep.

So many people recommend that we have the last meal 3 hours before going to bed, and this makes sense, in those 3 hours we´re giving our body time to digest all that food so that when we go to bed our body can do what it´s supposed to do. You can make that last meal of your day a big meal and make it higher in carbohydrates, it´s better to eat carbs at night because of hormones like cortisol, insulin and growth hormone, this way you´ll feel satisfied and you´ll still find it easier to fall asleep.

What you eat on that last meal has a huge impact on the quality of your sleep, even when you can have carbohydrates and protein, keeping that meal a little lower on fats may be beneficial and the most important point to consider is to be aware of foods that can cause problems, foods that make you feel bloated, constipated, etc; this creates inflammation and stress on our body and it takes more time to your body to digest. We do need to consider this on all of our meals and avoid foods that cause any problem, even if those foods are consider healthy, but even more on our last meal. You can have a big meal 3 hours before going to bed just make sure your food choices don´t cause any problem.

If you do need to eat before bed because of your busy day and schedule just make sure that it´s not a big meal, and make sure your meal doesn´t create any digestive problem, for this you need to be aware of what foods cause problems and avoid them so that you can have a small or medium meal before bed and you don´t go to bed hungry.

You need to find out what works best for you according to your day, if you can eat 3 hours before going to bed that´s ideal, you can still have a relatively big meal and give your body enough time to digest, if you can´t then it´s better to go for a small meal. In both cases make sure that your meal does not cause any digestive problem so that when you go to bed your body can work on what´s important at that time.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Sleep

Sleep disorders

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Some of us don´t give sleep the importance it deserve, we have a lot of things to do and we love doing them that we don´t want to go to sleep, we´re so inspired and motivated by our work that someone needs to stop us, others don´t sleep enough because they need to finish their work even when they hate what they do and there are some others that can get 8 hours of sleep every night, they go to bed early but can´t fall asleep.

If you are in the last group you may have a sleep disorder and it´s the reason why you can´t fall asleep or you wake up at night, here are some of the most common sleep disorders:

1.- Insomnia.- When we have trouble to fall asleep or we wake up frequently during the night and when we wake up we don´t feel rested we feel like we didn´t get enough sleep, this can be caused by stress, jet lag, illness.

2.- Sleep apnea.- Here the regular pattern of breathing while we are sleep gets interrupted for short periods of time because the airway gets blocked.

3.- Nightmares.- This one is when our dreams are scary and we get frightened and fearful so we wake up, if this happens every once in a while is normal but when it´s constant it can be caused by stress, anxiety or worries.

4.- Shift work.- Working at night goes against the internal clock of the body and it´s harder to stay alert and productive during work time and we may have trouble to get 7 – 8 hours of sleep during day. Blocking all light and noises during our sleep time is key to help us get as much sleep as we can. Some people doing shift work like to spend some time of the day doing stuff they like or need to do and many of them don´t get enough sleep so for them is really important to get the recommended 7 to 8 hours.

5.- Restless legs syndrome.- If we feel the urge to move our legs at night while we are sleeping we may suffer from RLS, one of the causes is low levels of iron but there can be more.

We all suffer from sleep disorders from time to time, if we´re dealing with a very stressful situation, if we´ve been traveling a lot, if we are worried, it´s normal to have some nights of poor sleep every once in a while but when this is consistent then we need to do something.

There are different treatments for sleep disorders, some of them will be more beneficial than others and as with any other treatment you will get results fast, at least the symptoms will lower but almost all sleep disorders can be improved by making some changes to our lifestyle that start with making better choices, being more active during the day, especially in the morning, reducing stress and following a healthy nutrition program will improve the quality of sleep.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Sleep

How to get more sleep

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We all know sleep is important, but most of us do not give it the attention it deserves and the ones who do try to prioritize may find it difficult to get more sleep for different reasons.

Many of us do not get the amount of sleep we need because of stress and worries, our mind can´t stop thinking of all the negativity of our lives and this keeps us awake, when we can finally fall asleep sometimes we wake up in the middle of the night, this is a huge problem and even when it won´t cause any disease directly, the combination of unhealthy habits will lead to diseases, and lack of sleep makes everything worse.

Some people like to drink before going to bed because they find it easier to fall asleep so they think is a great option but it´s obviously not, alcohol is a sleep initiator but this doesn´t mean that the amount and quality of sleep you´re getting is the right one and beneficial. This habit causes more problems than it solves.

You may have heard of melatonin which is a hormone that helps you fall asleep, we talked about it on a past post. So many people take melatonin to fall asleep and even when it can be helpful it may not be necessary for most of us. If we´re sending our brain the right signals it will release melatonin and we will find it easy to fall asleep and get enough high quality sleep every night.

To get more sleep it all lies on developing good habits, we´ve been talking about them on other posts:

1.- Be consistent with your hours.- Going to bed at the same time and waking up at the same time every day helps your body regulate your circadian rhythm making it easier to fall asleep and wake up without and alarm and this helps all systems and hormones of your body work in harmony.

2.- Turn off electronic devices 60 minutes before going to bed.- Being exposed to light before going to bed sends the wrong signals to your brain so it doesn´t release melatonin and you won´t be able to fall asleep, also being exposed to light in the middle of the night will disrupt your sleep and circadian rhythm.

3.- Get sunlight in the morning.- By getting sunlight in the morning you´re also sending the right messages to your brain, direct sunlight helps your body and brain know that it´s time to be alert.

4.- Exercise.- Any type of physical activity will be beneficial, if your exercise routine is more intense it will be easier to fall asleep but in this case you need to exercise early in the morning.

5.- Breath.- We´ve talked a lot about breathing, most of us find it difficult to fall asleep and remain asleep because of all the stress and worries, doing some breathing exercises before going to bed helps us relax and calm our mind and body so that we can get good quality sleep.

If you develop some of this habits you´ll find easier to fall asleep and get high quality sleep every night, with time you´ll see that you´re getting more sleep and you feel better when you wake up.

Unfortunately, there is no hack or quick fix, we´ve been following unhealthy habits and routines that lead us to where we are today so it won´t be possible to fix all this in one day, it takes time to develop good healthy habits but if you´re really committed to improving your health, improving the way you look and feel and improving your life in general you´ll have the motivation you need to start making changes, as you start making changes you´ll start seeing results and this will keep you motivated to continue.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Sleep

Habits to improve sleep

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We´ve talked on other posts about the importance of getting enough high quality sleep every night and the way to make sure we can achieve that is by developing certain habits.

We know that melatonin is a hormone that is released by the pineal gland and it helps us fall asleep, but for this to happen we need to send the right message to our brain and this is done with light, in order for the pineal gland to release melatonin it needs to be dark and most of us expose ourselves to unnatural light from electronic devices and this sends the wrong signal to our brain so when we go to bed and we want to fall asleep it takes a lot more time for the pineal gland to release melatonin and it may only release a small percentage. If you are able to fall asleep fast maybe because you´re tired the quality of sleep won´t be good enough.

There are some habits you need to develop that will make it easier for you to fall asleep and improve the quality and quantity of sleep:

1.- Wake up at the same time every day, also on weekends.

2.- Get direct sunlight during the day, especially in the morning.

3.- Do physical activity, especially in the morning. If you can´t schedule your exercise routine in the morning a short walk will work fine. Have you spend a long day outside doing any physical activity? Probably you enjoyed that day and you fall asleep really fast. I´m not saying to stay really active all day just to do some resistance exercise and a couple of short walks will work fine.

4.- Be aware of what you eat. This includes all your meals but especially your last meal try eating 3 hours before going to bed and make sure that what you eat don´t cause digestive issues. Focus on eating foods and meals that make you feel good and avoid unhealthy foods like sugar, refined flours (except nut flours) and seed oils, this lowers stress on your body and leads to better quality of sleep.

5.- Turn off electric devices and all blue light exposure at least 60 minutes before going to bed. Use amber glasses if possible.

This steps play a huge role on your circadian rhythm, our body works in cycles just as nature does and when everything is working in harmony that´s when we can expect the best results in overall health and also how we look and feel. Sometimes when we´re on a bad mood or we feel tired or unmotivated is because something is working out of sync, if we are aware of this then we can make better choice to improve it.

We´ve talked about this in other posts and there´s a reason why, sleep is important and this 5 steps or habits make a huge difference on the quality and quantity of sleep. Sleep is really important for optimal health so if you really prioritize your health then you´ll need everything you need to improve it.

Developing good habits for the 4 principles of fitness is what leads to success and makes your life a lot more easier. You don´t need to develop all habits at the same time, and actually if you try to do this you will fail, take one habit you want to develop and work on it for the first days and weeks you need to do it consciously, once you feel comfortable with it and you don´t need to think about it take another one. Getting direct sunlight first thing in the morning and avoid blue light exposure as the sun comes down and exercising are the 3 most effective habits that will give you the biggest results. When you wake up and as soon as there´s sunlight expose yourself to sunlight, something as simple as opening the courtines will work, as we mentioned before turn off electric devices and blue light exposure 60 minutes before going to bed and exercise. Do this for a couple of weeks and let us know what changes you noticed.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Sleep

Why we need to prioritize sleep

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When we talk about health most people think about exercise and diet, nowadays sleep and stress are starting to be part of this talk, but still most of us don´t give sleep the attention it deserves.

Throughout the last post we´ve learnt that sleep plays an important role on maintaining optimal health, during sleep our body is not resting, it´s doing so many different activities including cleaning, repairing, recovery and growing.

There are several reasons why we need to prioritize sleep, if you want to feel energized and be able to concentrate you need to make sure you´re enough high quality sleep, if you want to be able to memorize, learn and remember new skills and information you need to get enough high quality sleep. If you know tomorrow you´re having an exam or competition or an important event you know you need to perform as best as possible, you want to be able to concentrate and remember everything you studied before so you need high quality sleep. Our brain works better and is able to perform and remember more when we concentrate on the task at hand for a certain period of time, it can be 30 minutes to 60 minutes or even 90 minutes and then we take a rest. You can concentrate for a longer period of time, but you´ll get to a point where it´s harder to stay concentrate and you start getting distracted. After a period of concentration you need to give your body and brain a rest, naps are beneficial here, if you can´t get the 7 or 8 hours recommended of sleep you can take a nap.

Another reason why we need to prioritize sleep is to make sure that all hormones and systems in our body are working in harmony, one night of poor sleep or lack of sleep can make us insulin resistance, hormones get out of balance which is a reason why we feel hungry and we have more cravings and it´s harder to avoid those cravings so we end up eating a lot more especially unhealthy foods.

Lack of sleep or poor sleep has been related to different health problems making diseases worse. Research has shown that lack of sleep or poor quality of sleep to be associated with diseases like diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, strokes, depression and even cancer. We need to mention that lack of sleep or poor quality of sleep can be caused by sleep problems like sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, stress.

If we´re following a program to lose weight if we don´t get enough sleep it will be harder to stick to the diet and to exercise, for some reason we can´t avoid unhealthy foods and we can´t maintain a calorie deficit plus we don´t feel energized and motivated to do any type of physical activity, lack of sleep makes our weight loss journey a lot harder. You don´t need to get 8 hours of sleep, most of us don´t have the luxury to sleep that much, you can get 6 hours of sleep just make sure those 6 hours are the best quality possible.

As you can see all 4 principles of fitness need to be working together, sleep, stress, diet and exercise are all important and if one of them is not on point it will affect negatively the other 3 principles, poor sleep or lack of sleep will increase stress, will lead to unhealthy food choices and leads to lack of physical activity. It leads to hormonal imbalances that not only makes your weight loss harder but it also leads to diseases.

We may not have the possibility to get 7 or 8 hours of sleep every night, and if you´ve been following me and reading my posts you may know by now that I believe that getting 6 hours of high quality sleep might be better than getting those 7 or 8 hours. What we can do is make sure that the hours of sleep we get are the best quality possible, this can be achieved by having sleep routines and habits, what you do before going to bed is really important, and what you do right when you wake up also matters. Physical activity and getting sunlight also play a huge role on the quality of sleep.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Sleep

Is it more important quantity or quality of sleep?

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Is it more important quality or quantity of sleep? Is it better to get 7 or 8 hours of poor quality disturbed sleep or to get 6 hours of high quality undisturbed sleep?

If I´m not wrong on a las post we talked about why it´s better to get 6 hours of high quality sleep than to get 7 hours of poor seep. We can´t deny that both matters, quality and quantity are both important, but, there are some points we need to consider.

The quantity of sleep each of us need varies, babies and kids need more sleep while adults need less. Some people do need to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep while others may just need 6 hours. This varies for many reasons, circadian rhythm, chronotype, lifestyle.

There´s no reason to get 7 hours of sleep if those 7 hours or poor quality, it´s better to get 6 hours of high quality sleep. With quantity too much or too little sleep are both a problem, more than 9 hours of sleep and less than 6 hours of sleep both have negative impacts on health, you can see those short-term negative impact right the next day. You feel tired, it´s harder to focus on the task at hand, you don´t perform as best as you can, cravings for unhealthy food increase, you eat more. This happen also when you 9 hours or more of sleep (considering you haven´t gone through a night of poor or lack of sleep), for some reason you don´t feel as great as you should imagined after getting that much sleep.

Even when experts and most people say that we all need 7 to 8 hours of sleep this is not completely true, knowing your sleep chronotype is key to knowing at what time is better for you to sleep and how much sleep you actually need. Dr. Michael Breus is talking about all this better than anyone else.

You might now by now if you like to go to sleep early and wake up early in the morning or if you prefer to go to sleep later at night and wake up later in the morning. You might also know if you feel more energetic and able to concentrate in the morning or if you find it easier to work and concentrate later in the day.

Even when nature has a rhythm or cycle and we all need to work according to it, we all have some moments when we feel more energized and focus and this has an impact on our daily schedule.

Nowadays it´s hard for us to get those 7 to 8 hours that most experts recommend to finding our chronotype is very helpful, although the problem with this is that most of us have a 9 to 5 job or go to school so it´s hard to fit our internal clock and when we feel more energetic, when we are able to concentrate and perform better with the demands and hours of school and work.

To keep things simple most of us will get great benefits and feel great by getting 6 hours of high quality of sleep, if we consider that each sleep cycle last around 90 minutes with 6 hours of sleep we´re getting 4 complete cycles, most people feel way better when they wake up after a completing a cycle than when they wake up in the middle of one. Now we need to make sure that those 6 hours are the best quality possible, you can do this by creating a sleeping schedule and routine as we´ve mentioned in other posts and try to use your chronotype as a guide, if you can make it fit with your daily lifestyle that´s way to go, otherwise try to make it as close as possible. If you know you can concentrate and perform better in the morning try to make the hardest task in the morning, if you know you work better at noon or late afternoon try to make the activities that require more concentration at that time.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Sleep

How our lifestyle impacts sleep

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Fitness is a tool to help us live a meaningful life and it´s compromised of 4 principles: diet, exercise, sleep and stress. They all work together to give us the best results so everything we do affects all of them. From these 4 principles most we pay more attention to diet and exercise than to sleep and stress and they play a huge role on maintaining optimal health

We´ve seen in other posts that sleep is highly important, one night of poor sleep makes it harder for us to concentrate and perform, we feel tired and lack motivation, cravings for unhealthy food increase, it takes all hormones out of balance and it can lead to insulin resistance, now imagine if this lack of sleep or poor quality sleep becomes chronic, the negative impact on the long run is devastating.

Sleep is affected when we´re exposed to bright light at night, when the sun comes down everything is getting darker, this exposure to bright light sends the wrong signals to our brain through our eyes so it doesn´t release melatonin which is the hormone that makes us fall asleep. If we´re in front of a computer, laptop, cellphone, tv or any other electronic device before going to bed we´re sending the wrong information to our brain so it will takes us longer to fall asleep and we may not get the best quality sleep.

Stress is also important when it comes to getting enough high quality sleep, most of us live wight chronic stress thanks to school, our job, our teachers, our boss, classmates, coworkers, homework, projects, meetings, traffic plus relationships, finances. When we go to sleep our mind is busy thinking about how we´re going to pay the bills, how are we going to make it until the next pay check, how are we going to finish the project in three days, etc; all this stress do not let our brain and body relax and calm down so it´s difficult to fall asleep and to stay sleep, we may wake up constantly thanks to all those worries disrupting our sleep.

What we eat also impacts the quality and quantity of sleep, if you eat a big meal right before going to bed your body will be working on digesting all that food instead of preparing to sleep, all that food in your stomach may make you feel tired and lazy so you go to sleep and you may find it easier to fall asleep, but this doesn´t mean that your body is working and doing what it´s supposed to be doing during sleep. If that meal makes you feel bloated, constipated or any other digestive symptom then you will find it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep making it a bad night sleep.

Exercise also plays a role in the quality and quantity of sleep, most people are sedentary so they´re not aware of this. Exercise improves both, quality and quantity of sleep and it doesn´t need to be something intense and long, even small walks will give you great benefits. With exercise the time of day also has an impact, if you do a moderate to high intensity workout it´ll be harder to fall asleep whether it´s cardio or resistance training. If you exercise in the morning you´ll find it easier to fall asleep.

We´ve talked before about habits and routines, this habits and routine apply to the 4 principles of fitness, in this case stress, diet and exercise all affect sleep. Some simple steps you can start following today are:

1.- Turn off all electronic devices at least 60 minutes before going to bed.

2.- Do breathing exercise before falling sleep to reduce stress.

3.- Make sure you have your last meal 2 to 3 hours before going to bed.

4.- Do some physical activity especially in the morning.

You can start with one of this steps and do it for a couple of weeks until you feel comfortable with it and then add another one. Our goal is to develop healthy habits that lead to a healthy lifestyle.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Sleep

Can we recover from poor quality sleep?

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How many times have you binge watch of get just a couple of hours of sleep because of work thinking that you can replenish those lost hours on weekend? Is this possible?

You may have heard of sleep deprivation, so many time for so many different reasons we´ve all suffered from sleep deprivation. Some of us because of work, it may be homework and projects or it can be all the workload of the office, emails, meetings, projects and in this cases we may not have so many choices so we choose to finish what we need even when we know we´re getting very few hours of sleep. In some cases we choose to watch one more episode of the series because it´s so great and we can´t stop, but the next day we need to get up early so we only got a couple hours of sleep.

Life demands a lot and if we don´t give sleep the importance it deserves most of the time we choose sleep deprivation thinking that we can replenish this hours on weekends or some day in the near future. From what I´ve researched it takes a long time to replenish lack of sleep.

One night of poor sleep or not enough sleep has negative impacts on your health and brain and you can see those negative impacts in the short term the next day, you feel tired, you´re not able to focus and concentrate, cravings increase, etc and if sleep deprivation becomes chronic then it has a lot of negative consequences on health.

In mots cases it´s better to get 4 or 5 hours of sleep than getting 6 or 7 hours of disrupted sleep. You may had experienced this before, for some reason you could only sleep for 5 hours but those 5 hours were straight, without any interruption, the next day you wake up and you feel maybe a little tired, you notice you can´t concentrate and perform as you normally do but, it´s not as bad if you could have gotten one more hour you´ll feel great. Other night you get 7 hours of sleep, but those 7 hours were disrupted, you keep waking up because of certain noises, dreams, the temperature of the room, maybe you were n vacations and there was something that didn´t make you feel comfortable. Even when you get 7 hours of sleep you wake up and you feel tired, your concentration and performance is really low, you have cravings, you just feel worse than when you get 5 hours of straight good quality sleep.

Now, can you replenish those hours lost? Or that night of poor sleep? If you have more time the next days to go to sleep an hour before than you normally do or if you can wake up an hour later it can help you on recovering from those nights of poor sleep or sleep deprivation, but if you make this a habit, then this negative habit will have a greater negative impact. When it´s one night or two is fine, but more nights it´s not.

We´ve talked about in other posts about the circadian rhythm and how it affects almost all hormones and systems on our body and why it is important to go to sleep at the time and wake up at the same time every day including weekends, holidays or vacations. If you don´t sleep and wake up at the same time every day then your body can´t work efficiently, your body doesn´t know when it´s time to sleep and go through all the processed or cleaning, repairing and recovering and it doesn´t know when it´s time to stay alert, concentrating and working, all hormones and systems are out of balance.

If you do have a routine and sleep roughly at the same time every night and wake up at the same time then the night that for some reason you couldn´t go to sleep at the same time or wake up at the same time and you didn´t get the normal amount of sleep, you´re getting less hours but probably those hours will be good quality, if you want to replenish the hours lost then you can add one more hour on the following days, but more hours can make you circadian rhythm to start getting out of sync. When you get 7 hours of poor sleep it can be harder to replenish it, you can get a lot more hours of sleep the next night and that may be all you need.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Sleep

How getting sunlight in the morning improves sleep

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Getting outside to get as much sunlight during day and getting as dark as possible during night is the best way to improve circadian rhythm, improve mood and health in general.

Nowadays we spend most of the time closed doors, whether it´s in our office, classroom, home and we spend that time sitting in front of a computer or tv. This sedentary lifestyle is causing a lot of health problems. We evolved to see and get direct sunlight during the day and to have complete darkness at night, that´s how it´s supposed to be.

Getting direct sunlight during day not only improves the quality of sleep but also improves your overall health. We´re seeing right now a lot of information about vitamin D regarding to Covid-19, spending time outdoors to get sunlight during day is the best way to get vitamin D and if we lower light exposure as the sun comes down until we get completely dark for the night improves circadian rhythm. Nature works in cycles and our body also works in cycles, the more we are able to work in the same cycles as nature the better it is for our body. When our body gets out of rhythm or out of sync with this cycles everything starts working out of harmony, the circadian rhythm takes all hormones and systems on our body out of balance.

We know that sleep is crucial and we need to make sure that the amount of sleep we get is high quality, one of the ways to make this happen is by manipulating light or using light at dark the best way possible. Getting direct sunlight first thing in the morning keeps your circadian rhythm in balance, it tells your body it´s time to be aware and active and by lowering light as the sun comes down it tells your body to start getting ready for rest, recovery and cleaning.

It´s hard for us to match completely the cycles of nature and to wake up as the sun rises and turn all electric devices as the sun comes down, this is when amber glasses, red light and other stuff to block blue light is helpful. Even though I still recommend to avoid bright light at least 60 minutes before going to bed and to get outside and get direct sunlight for 20 minutes every day. If you can´t do it first thing in the morning it doesn´t matter just make sure you get sunlight 20 minutes a day, it can be at lunch time.

Also if you buy some bulbs to manipulate light during the day you can use some blue light spectrum in the morning and red light at night.

We also need to mention that when we get sunlight exposure our brain releases serotonin which boost our mood and help us increase focus and concentration and it also has a calming and relaxing effect. This IS why exposing ourselves to direct sunlight first thing in the morning can help us feel better throughout the day, we can also get outside at lunch time to get more sunlight and it can help us end our day in a better way.

Lack of sunlight has a negative impact on our mood and mental health, if the levels of serotonin are low we feel sad and it can lead to depression and other mental health issues.

We all know that our body makes vitamin D when we are exposed to sunlight, but nowadays most of us are deficient on this vitamin which creates a lot of health problems. Vitamin D has a huge impact on the functioning of the cells which can improve or worsen diseases. Getting enough sunlight so that our body can make vitamin D can help us prevent diseases, now, there´s so many people saying that direct sunlight exposure can cause skin cancer so you need to use sunscreen, and some people say that if you use sunscreen your body is not getting the sunlight exposure, because… That´s what sunscreens are for. The important point here is to find balance, you need to have enough sunlight exposure, if you´re going to spend a lot of hours outside then you may need to use sunscreen, but if you only get 15 or 20 minutes it may not be necessary.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Sleep

Do you suffer from insomnia?

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At some point inf our lives we all go through difficult situations and this difficult situation lead to trouble with sleep, so many people is diagnosed with insomnia and there are a lot more who don´t know they have it.

Insomnia is a sleep disorder that makes it harder for you to fall asleep and to stay asleep. You wake up in the middle of the night and you can´t fall asleep again and in the morning you feel tired. You´re not satisfied with the quality of your sleep and you know there´s something wrong, with time this affects your health, work and relationships.

All of us experience this at some point in our lives, we´re going through a difficult situation maybe we got fired from our job, we didn´t pass the exam, someone close to us is diagnosed with a chronic or immune disease, someone we love passed away. This situations can cause insomnia for a period of time, depending of the traumatic event or situation it can last from a week, a couple of weeks or even a month, in most cases this short-term insomnia will start to improve in a couple of weeks or a months, but in some cases it can keep going for months, 3 t 4 months or more which is chronic insomnia.

Acute insomnia which is short-term has a negative impact on our day and life, chronic insomnia leads to more problems. Here are some symptoms you can look for to find out if you have insomnia:

1.- It´s hard to fall asleep

2.- You wake up during the night

3.- You can´t stay asleep

4.- You feel tired when you wake up

5.- You can´t remain focused and concentrated on the task at hand

6.- It´s hard to finish any activity

7.- You are anxious

There are different causes that can lead to insomnia and stress is one of them, most of us experience insomnia thanks to stress, as I mentioned before if you got fired from your job, or if you failed the exam, if you´re worried because of finances, if someone got diagnosed with a chronic or immune diseases, if someone you love passed away all this situations increase stress, depression, anxiety and they cause insomnia. If we know or if we have an idea of what is causing it then we can work on it, if you know it´s because you are stressed then lowering stress is a good strategy. Doing some breathing exercises can be beneficial to help you lower stress, calm and relax your body and brain which will help you get better sleep.

Poor sleep habits or routine can also lead to insomnia, if you spend hours at night watching tv or Netflix or sitting in front of a computer or your phone and you turn them off right before going to bed or once you´re on bed it will be harder to fall asleep and get high quality sleep. The temperature of your room, light and noise also play an important role, if it´s too hot you´ll find it difficult to fall asleep and you can have nightmares and wake up in the middle of the night. Your diet is also important, if you eat a big meal right before going to bed your body will be working on digesting all that food and it can be harder for you to fall asleep and stay asleep. If you eat foods that cause bloating or inflammation it can also have an impact on the quality of your sleep.

The first step is to realize that you´re suffering from insomnia or any sleep disorder and find what is causing it, for many people changing habits and routines that lead to a healthy lifestyle is beneficial, avoiding big meals 3 hours before going to bed helps and breathing exercises once you are on bed are also a great tool.

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Pam