sleep and health

Sleep Your Way to a Healthier Weight

Cutting calories and working out are well-known ways to lose weight. Recent research shows, however, that another factor could significantly affect weight loss: sleep. Here are the ways that better sleep can lead to a healthier weight, and how to achieve it.

Avoids overeating

Missing your ZZZ’s can cause decreased levels of leptin, the hormone that gives a sense of fullness or satiation. This can increase appetite, often resulting in overconsumption. Similarly, levels of the hormone that makes you feel hungry, grehlin, increases when you are sleep deprived. This combination is what causes most tired people to eat an additional 300 calories a day than those who are well-rested.

Leads to better food choices

When people are tired, they’re more likely to reach for the easiest, tastiest food available, often in the form of high-fat snacks loaded with carbohydrates. This “eating for pleasure” sense is heightened in the afternoon for those who are sleep deprived and can lead to significant weight gain over a prolonged period of time.

Helps process sweets faster

Sleep deprivation can cause the food processing parts of your cells, the mitochondria, to shut down. This means that the sugar in your comfort foods just sits in your blood, raising your blood sugar levels. Your mitochondria are also what regulate your metabolism, or the number of calories burned for energy every day. Getting sufficient sleep can help maintain healthy mitochondria, and therefore, prevent weight gain.

To get better sleep…

Pay off your sleep debt. Most Americans don’t get the recommended eight hours of sleep every night, but it can be mostly made up over the next few nights. Over the weekend, go to bed at your usual weekday time, but then sleep until your body naturally wakes up the next morning. You will probably sleep for longer than usual, but it should go a long way in calibrating your sleep schedule.

Make sure you’re supporting these efforts with the best sleep essentials possible. Use a high-quality mattress and top it with pillows that are soft but supportive to help prevent waking up in the middle of the night.

Happy Guide: 6 simple lifestyle changes for health and happiness

There are a thousand problems with just one solution: lifestyle.
 
Poor lifestyle over years and decades causes all kinds of health problems.
 
Drugs and other medical interventions aren’t a long-term solution because they don’t address the underlying causes. A lifestyle problem needs a lifestyle solution!
 
Being happy and healthy is NOT complicated, and health-seekers are being bombarded with unnecessary and misleading information.
 
It makes me so sad to see people trying all kinds of expensive pills, patches and potions in an attempt to correct symptoms of not living well.
 
The only true solution is to see the “happy and healthy” finish line clearly and then manage the “change” period carefully, so there’s no resistance and no feeling of denial.
 
My half-brother Michael Kinnaird went through a living hell for 13 years. Desperate for answers, he searched for a simple guide to being happy and healthy. Every one, without exception, was complex, unclear or incomplete.
 
To cut a long story short, he ended up writing it himself. It’s a simple one-hour guide that I’m delighted to say is transforming lives. It’s called Happy Guide.
 
You can read the first chapter “The Happiness Secret” for free, on our home page.
 
And because The Zeit seems to be very much on our wavelength, we’ve agreed to offer a half-price discount on the eBook version to all its readers, for the next 7 days!
happy-guide-look-inside
 
Visit Happy Guide   (use code zeit at eBook checkout for 50% off) 
This is not an affiliate link, The-Zeit get’s no commission.
 
 
To your health and happiness!
James Riddett

Before You Ever Let Someone Stick Their Tongue Down Your Throat Ever Again

tongue guide

Tongue colors & shapes. A guide to help you. Photo courtesy of  Emperor’s College of Traditional Oriental Medicine

People, you need to take your tongues seriously. I don’t mean like the way Miley Cyrus does. I mean she was recently sued for nearly killing someone with it according to a report by Rolling Stones.

What I am talking about is even more serious.  Did you know that you could see how fit or healthy you are just by examining your tongue?

Traver H, Bloem of breakingmuscle.com explains: “TCM believes the tongue is a microcosm of the entire body and will reflect its excesses and deficiencies. Being directly related to the stomach by proximity and availability, the tongue acts as a very good reflection of our digestive systems. If your tongue’s neighbor the stomach is having problems, it’s most likely going to spill over into your tongue’s life.” Continue reading

3 Steps to Successful Stress Management

 

Stressed woman

You can cope with stress if you have the right tools. Image by africa

Previously I talked about “The Crippling Effect of Stress on Your Organs”. We discussed the negative physical effects caused by stress ranging from heart problems to multiple sclerosis (MS).

Managing stress is all about taking charge of your life and your attitude towards dealing with problems.

Today we are going to look at the 3 steps that will help you manage and even overcome stress so that you don’t have to worry about the damage that stress can do to your body.

Step 1: Identify Source of Stress

Young woman pondering

The first step is successfully identifying the source of your stress.
photo by stock images

Let’s face it; identifying the source of stress in our lives is easier said than done. We can easily overlook our own negative behaviour such as stress-inducing thoughts and negative attitudes. Continue reading

2 Alcohol Health Benefit Myths Busted!

glass of red wine on carpet

The evidence about the possible health benefits of alcohol has always been uncertain .
Photo by Grant Cochrane

According to popular belief moderate alcohol consumption may provide the following health benefits:

  1. Reduce the risk of developing and succumbing to heart disease
  2. Possibly reduce the risk of ischemic stroke

The evidence about the possible health benefits of alcohol has always been uncertain and alcohol may not benefit everyone who drinks it. Continue reading

drunk alchoholic

5 Common Issues Children of Alcoholics Face as Adults

It is a club most never ask to join, but there is a solidarity among members that is hard to find anywhere else. Given a choice, most who belong wouldn’t have chosen the path that brought them there. Not only do they still carry the emotional, and sometimes physical, scars of that journey but some have been cursed to repeat the journey in their own lives.

drunkenAdult children of alcoholics (ACOA) spend most of their childhoods struggling to make sense of the insanity that is alcoholism, only to find out as adults that they still don’t have all the answers. Even more frustrating is the awareness that for all the promises that they were *never* going to be like *them* when they grew up, they often find themselves back in the vicious cycle of addiction.

One in four children under the age of 18 are exposed to alcoholism in their family, and those children are four times more likely to face their own addictions as adults. They are also more likely to marry someone dealing with alcoholism, either their own or with a similar family history. For some it can be a double-edged sword because they will either become the alcoholic, or marry one. Even if they escape the addictive personality, they are sometimes drawn to partners who will treat the as badly as they saw their parents treating each other.

Copycat Behaviors

Parents model many of the behaviors that children learn from, and that includes how to treat other people. If, for example, a son grows up seeing his alcoholic father or mother berate and belittle the other parent, he learns from their example how to 1) berate and belittle others; 2) what constitutes “acceptable” behavior in a relationship, especially if the other parent never stands up for themselves. It can create conflicting emotions as an adult because they will either look for someone they can bully, or try to find someone who will bully them.

Controlling Walls

child-of-alcoholic-hiding

As children, they saw or experienced painful behaviors from the alcoholic and so as adults, the walls they build are comprised of rigid routines, inflexible predictability, “no one will ever treat me like that,” and “I will never do that.” It is their way of controlling what they couldn’t control as children, and it helps to make them feel safe again.

When someone breaks one of their boundary rules, changes plans, or they feel  out of control in other ways, there can be a sudden reaction of anger and anxiety. Relationships can be swiftly and uncompromisingly ended. It is often “all or nothing” or “my way or the highway.”

Role Reversals

In some single parent homes where the parent is the alcoholic, children may roles reverse and it is the child that takes care of the parent. Often if there are multiple children in the home, the oldest child becomes the parent for all of them, because there were no other options. As an adult, an ACOA may become overly responsible, taking responsibility for things that are out of their control such as problems they didn’t cause or other people’s feelings.

Isolation as a Wall

alcoholicWith a childhood that was often filled with neglect, abuse, rejection, or feeling unloved, unwanted, and alone, ACOAs can have a hard time trusting others, making it hard to develop lasting relationships because they can’t bring themselves to open up to others in an effort to protect themselves from getting hurt again. They may not even know how to trust themselves, or honestly know who they are. They may have hidden their own emotions for so long, going along with what others wanted just to keep people from knowing them.

Approval Seekers

ACOAs want to be liked, loved, accepted and approved after childhoods filled with everything but those needs. They want to avoid conflict, and so they do whatever is necessary to make everyone happen, even at the sacrifice of their own desires. Hand in hand with people pleasing, ACOAs can also be perfectionists. In another effort to avoid conflict and criticism as a child, they sometimes had unattainable goals of perfection which may carry into adulthood.

A Brighter Future

While these are just a few of the traits that Adult Children of Alcoholics may have learned as coping mechanisms, there is hope for change. Counseling, or (free) groups like Al-Anon and ACOA, can provide help, direction, support, materials, and just the knowledge that you are not alone in your struggles. Sometimes the road to recovery begins with a  welcoming hug.


Jennifer Landis is a tea-drinking, yoga loving, clean eating blogger, writer, wife, and mother. You can find more from Jennifer at her blog, Mindfulness Mama.

Medical Procedure Estimate Tool

No Surprise Medical Bills – Medical Procedure Estimate Tools

You deserve to know the cost of caring for your health.

Amino @AminoHealth recently launched new health care cost estimate tools that you will be interested in.

See cost estimates for ~50 medical procedures and services nationwide (USA) across dermatology, diagnostics, men’s health, orthopedics, preventative care, surgeries, and women’s health.

Amino tools now let you:

  • Compare cost differences in your region based on your insurance.

  • Calculate what you might pay from your own bank account with an out-of-pocket cost calculator.

  • View and compare cost estimates for individual doctors–and book an appointment with the doctor of your choice for free through Amino.

As part of their  launch campaign, they created an exclusive infographic that will walk you through the complexities of estimating health care costs.

Estimate_Health_Costs_Infographic

Launch the health procedure cost estimate tool