We’ve all been there. You wake up in the middle of the night and you check the time once, twice, three times, and before you know it, it’s almost time for you to get up and get ready for work. Having trouble sleeping can affect you all throughout the day; it can cause irritability, grogginess, hunger, and brain fog. Whether you’re a student, a parent, or just have a busy schedule, it’s imperative that you get a good night’s sleep. Here are four things you can do today, to sleep better tonight.
1.Exercise, Exercise, Exercise
Let’s face it; if you already have a busy schedule, exercise is probably one of the last things on your to-do list for the day. However, getting your heart rate up can actually help you relax when it’s time for bed. Whether you exercise at the beginning or the end of your day, being active is a great way to relieve stress and expend all that pent-up energy from being in the office 5 days a week. Exercise also triggers a drop in body temperature that can aid in falling asleep. And if you exercise outdoors, the exposure to natural sunlight can help regulate your body’s sleep wake cycle. All of these benefits sound great, right? But the real question is how to actually incorporate exercise into your daily routine to actually see these benefits. If you’re a busy mom, try taking your kids to the park and running a few laps around playground. If you’re a student, try waking up 30 minutes earlier and doing a few aerobic exercises in your bedroom or in your backyard. And if you’re stuck in the office from 9-5, try following an evening online workout class or video that you can do right from your living room.
Hands down, the best preventative measures against diabetes include achieving a nutritious diet and maintaining a healthy weight. However, complementary medicine may also have positive benefits when combined with these important changes.
Essential oils are concentrated oils derived from plants that have been used medicinally for hundreds of years. Their high concentration of plant compounds makes them particularly potent for helping with a wide variety of ailments, from headaches to the common cold and more. Research suggests that essential oils can be added to a diabetes care plan to improve health outcomes.
Diabetes is a metabolic disease that changes how the body processes glucose, the primary sugar source for the body. In the United States, it is estimated that around 30 percent of those over the age of 18 have diabetes.
Because of the body's reduced ability to metabolize glucose, the buildup of sugars can lead to serious complications like stroke, heart disease, and cancer. Managing the condition under the guidance of a doctor is an important step in maintaining a healthy lifestyle and improving health outcomes in the long term. Natural methods like essential oils can provide helpful complementary therapy.
Using Essential Oils for Healing
Pure essential oils have been part of treatments and medical practice for hundreds of years. As research into essential oils has increased, compounds isolated from the oils have also been incorporated into a lot of Western medications.
Care should be taken when using essential oils. Most pure oils should not be ingested; it is mostly recommended to use oils topically or with an aromatherapy diffuser. The majority of topical applications should also be diluted. The most common method is a 2-3% dilution using a neutral carrier oil like almond or coconut oil. This oil blend can then be applied to pressure points on the body, like the temples or wrists, using a rollerball applicator or by rubbing the oil into the skin.
It is important to note that essential oils contain potent compounds. This is what gives them their strong effects, but it also means that children, those who are pregnant or anyone who has additional health concerns should be careful about which oils they choose to use, as some may have adverse effects for specific populations. Always be sure to research the particular oil using a reputable source like the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (www.naha.org) and talk with a doctor before using a new oil in your routine.
While yoga has recently become popular as a fitness activity to help with flexibility and bodily control, those who practice yoga and meditation regularly can benefit from the mental aspects of the practice as well.
There are many forms of yoga, but all of them focus on control. For example, one of the first things a new yoga practitioner will learn as part of the practice is to control their breathing. Yoga postures also train control of the body. Eventually, those who continue in their yoga and meditation practice will be able to control their mental state as well. This is where the best benefits of yoga come.
Here are three emotions that yoga and meditation can help control in a positive way.
When we are mad, it can have a dramatic impact on many aspects of our lives. For example, anger can affect your driving. Road rage is a growing concern among drivers in the US and can cause serious problems.
Anger also has a major impact on our health. Being angry has been linked to elevated blood pressure, heart problems, and even headaches and digestion problems. However, yoga and meditation have been shown to help with anger management. Specifically, being able to control breathing can help calm you down when mad and bring you to a place of calm.
Physical activity in general has been linked to a reduction in stress. Exercise decreases cortisol levels in the body, which is the hormone that is released in response to something stressful.
As with anger management, being able to easily control your breathing also helps manage stress. The meditation aspect of yoga can also reduce or even eliminate stress as it helps you distance yourself mentally from stressors and clearly think about solutions.
There are also many yoga poses that have been linked to reductions in anxiety. Specifically, any pose that focuses on centering and breathing can minimize anxiety. Anxiety can also cause physical discomfort and tension throughout the body that can be distressing or even painful.
However, because yoga is gentle and focuses on stretching the body out, it can have a dramatic positive impact on this aspect of anxiety.
Ultimately, yoga and meditation have a much greater impact on health than just the physical aspect. They have been shown repeatedly to have a significant impact on mental health. If you are dealing with any of these, or would just like greater control over your emotions, consider adding yoga and meditation to your routine.