6 Techniques To Get Rid of Brain Fog And Stay Calm All Day

clear fog

There are lots of things you can do to enjoy a serene and positive morning. Try these six calming techniques to improve your mental focus, boost your energy levels and make each morning a lot brighter.

Perform Gentle Stretches

Stretching is a great way to alleviate tense muscles. Interestingly, exercise also helps you get rid of stress. Here’s how to do a simple shoulder stretch using a chair:

  1. Move forward to the edge of the chair (but make sure you still have stability).
  2. Place your arms behind you and lock your fingers around the back of the chair.
  3. Lean forward until you feel a gentle stretch.
  4. Hold this position for 15–30 seconds, or whatever is comfortable.

As you activate your muscles, it purges excess stress hormones and releases calming endorphins instead. These natural painkillers even improve your flexibility and reduce inflammation.

Play Relaxing Music

Slow, gentle music has tremendous power to release anxiety naturally. A soft piano melody or beauty acoustic guitar arrangement can evoke positive emotions and make you think of a gorgeous meadow with flowers. This has a physical effect on your stress hormones, releasing a neurochemical called dopamine that gives you a sensation of happiness and euphoria.


Dr. Oz is shocked…

They may have found the “obesity killer”

Just 10 drops of this can melt up to 56 pounds in just a few months.


Try Easy Aromatherapy

You don’t have to visit a spa to enjoy the soothing power of scents. Aromatherapy can be as easy as placing fresh flowers on your bedside table. Candles and oil diffusers are also popular. Choose a scent that brings to mind positive memories. For some people, lavender, basil and eucalyptus have this effect. Smelling a fresh lemon can help lower your stress, too.

Do a Few Deep Breathing Exercises

Shallow breathing makes your brain think you’re not getting enough oxygen. This triggers a stress response that speeds up your heart rate. The solution? Take a moment each morning to breathe deeply. Here’s how:

  1. Lie on your back in a comfortable position or sit in a chair with your neck resting against the back of the chair.
  2. Close your lips and inhale deeply through your nostrils.
  3. Some people find it relaxing to place their hands on their chest or belly. It depends on your personal preferences.
  4. As you breathe deeply, you should feel the lower part of your chest expand as it fills with air.
  5. Slowly exhale from your mouth, blowing gently outwards.

Filling your lungs with oxygen in this way can naturally start to slow your pulse and make you feel more relaxed. It’s as if you’re letting go of stress with each breath.

Eat a Healthy Breakfast

Certain foods give your brain a nutrient boost. If you’re feeling brain fog frequently, you may be missing essential vitamins. Now’s the perfect time to fall in love with avocado toast for breakfast. Avocados are packed with healthy fats, antioxidants and potassium for increasing mental performance. Walnuts and blueberries are also stellar choices.

Focus on Happy Memories

The emotions you feel are usually directly related to what you think about. If you wake up in the morning with anxiety, try not to dwell on worries. Of course, to get rid of these negative feelings, you need to replace them with something positive. A happy memory with loved ones is the perfect choice.

Before you know it, you’ve forgotten about stress and you’re ready to start the day on with a smile on your face. Some people enjoy reading a favorite book or inspirational quotes in the morning for the same reason.

These Are the Colors You Should Be Eating

Did you know that natural foods get their colors from vitamins? These healthy nutrients that come from plants are called phytochemicals. “Phyto” means “plant.” Phytochemicals protect your thyroid, heart, liver, joints, eyes, and other organs. Just by taking a quick glance at the color of a fruit or vegetable, you can tell exactly what type of antioxidants you’re getting!

The Best Colors for Your Body

1. Red

This is one of the best colors for your health. Intense red fruits and veggies get their color from lycopene and other antioxidants. These superstars help increase your defenses against heart disease, prostate cancer, color cancer and other cancers. If you want to have a strong, energized heart for your entire life, definitely eat more red fruit and veggies.

2. Purple and Blue

These gorgeous colors are a sign that you’re getting lots of cancer-preventing, disease-fighting anthocyanins. People who tend to get urinary tract infections can benefit a lot from eating more blues. These colors also take great care of your brain, increasing memory and concentration while helping prevent strokes.

3. Green

If there’s one color people think of for healthy eating, it’s green. And with good reason — leafy green veggies are packed with vitamin A, vitamin K, iron, folate and fiber. They can prevent osteoporosis, reduce joint inflammation, take care of your gut and help you lose weight! An antioxidant called lutein is so powerful it can prevent age-related eye problems and keep your mind sharp.

4. Yellow and Orange

Do you remember your mother telling you to eat more carrots for your eyesight? She was right. Yellow/orange fruits and veggies contain antioxidants called carotenoids. They rejuvenate eye tissue, keep your vision healthy and improve your immune system. Any time you need vitamin A or vitamin C, turn to yellows and oranges — they’re the best sources.

5. White

In the plant world, white is a color, too. White fruits and vegetables get their color from anthocyanins. These antioxidants are the reason garlic is so good for you. They don’t take the place of antibiotics, but they do help your body fight diseases more effectively, protecting against bacterial, viral and fungal infections. They also lower your cholesterol levels.


Dr. Oz is shocked…

They may have found the “obesity killer”

Just 10 drops of this can melt up to 56 pounds in just a few months.


Eating Your Way Across the Rainbow

Including more colors in your diet gives you lots of vitamins. It also makes your meals look more exciting and appealing:

  • Green: kiwi, lime, cabbage, spinach, romaine lettuce, broccoli, celery, asparagus, green peppers, peas, green beans, avocados

  • Blue/purple: Blueberries, blackberries, grapes, figs, plums, dates and prunes

  • Yellow: Sweet corn, grapefruit, yellow peppers, yellow tomatoes, pineapples and apricots

  • Red: Rhubarb, pink grapefruit, red peppers, beets, radishes, tomatoes, apples, cranberries, strawberries, cherries and watermelons

  • Orange: Carrots, papayas, oranges, peaches, mangoes, pumpkins and sweet potatoes

  • White: Cauliflower, garlic, onions, potatoes, bananas and pears

Trust me, adding more colors to your diet is a smart investment. You can feel the difference right away, from your energy levels in the morning to the quality of your sleep at night.

Tips for Getting More Color

Having trouble getting fresh fruit? Too busy to prepare fresh veggies with every meal? A good compromise is to choose frozen fruit and vegetables. They contain many of the same nutrients as fresh.

Another of my favorite tips is to follow the seasons. This guarantees you the freshest fruits and veggies, and it also gives you more variety of nutrients. Feast on tangy strawberries in summer, juicy oranges in winter, tasty sweet potatoes in fall, and crunchy asparagus in spring!

Which Supplement is Better for Sleep: Melatonin or CBD

According to the CDC, one in three adults does not get enough sleep. The standard requirement for adults is between six and nine hours, with seven and a half being the average. How much sleep do you get every night?

With the stresses of every day, many people find it challenging to fall asleep. That difficulty often leads to the inclusion of dietary supplements or sleep aids. However, some aids are less effective than others, and others can be addictive or dangerous.

Two potential sleep aids that have proven effective and safe are melatonin and CBD. To learn which is a possible solution for you, consider the pros and cons of each.

Providing a Natural Boost To Biological Production: Melatonin Advantages and Disadvantages

Melatonin is a hormone produced in the pineal gland. It is a chemical that helps your body regulate its sleep-wake cycles by telling your brain and system when it is time to rest. Melatonin supplements, then, help to boost your body’s natural production to help tell your brain it is time for bed.

While the sleep hormone is advantageous for travelers and people experiencing jet lag, it might not be the best option for everyone. There is evidence to suggest that some OTC supplements can have adverse interactions with prescriptions, so always talk to your primary care physician before adding melatonin to your nightly routine.

If you want to experience the most benefit from taking a melatonin supplement, you need to take it a few hours before bed. The supplement takes time to work, but unfortunately, once you take it, you will experience drowsiness after a couple of hours, which means you don’t want to get the urge to go out partying. Stay home and sleep.


Dr. Oz is shocked…

They may have found the “obesity killer”

Just 10 drops of this can melt up to 56 pounds in just a few months.


The Versatility and Quickness of CBD: Pros and Cons

If the slow build and restrictions of melatonin bother you, you might want to consider CBD. The natural supplement is still in its infancy as far as learning about adverse reactions, but there aren’t any disturbing or profound findings yet. Nevertheless, to be safe, consult your doctor before using.

One of the significant advantages of CBD over melatonin is that CBD works quickly, typically within 10 minutes. Additionally, the supplement is known to help alleviate anxiety and minor aches and pains.

Because CBD does not contain THC, you can find it at grocery stores and other locations. You can also purchase it online and have it delivered legally. Additionally, you can find it in pills, vapes, gummies, and more, meaning there is an option for everyone.

Which is Right for You

The decision between a melatonin supplement or CBD is a personal choice. While CBD works faster with limited adverse side effects, some people might feel uncomfortable taking it. While a natural hormone produced in the body, Melatonin can interact with prescriptions when found in specific formulations. Before opting for any sleep aid, it is best to consult your doctor and ask their opinion.

Do you have experience with melatonin or CBD supplements? Have you experienced any adverse reactions? Leave a comment below and help keep the conversation going. While this article only addressed these two sleep supplements, do you have any other healthy tips and tricks for people suffering from poor sleep?

The Truth About Celery Juice

It seems like every generation has its own miraculous wonder diets, tonics and treats. I’ve written before about the grapefruit diet that was all the rage in the ‘80s. The 21st century brought us even more health kicks and food fads than ever before: Paleo. Keto. Kefir. Kombucha. The list goes on and on.

Now, celery juice is having a moment. Some folks claim it can cure everything from acne to cancer. Skeptical? You should be. Let’s break down what celery juice can and cannot do.

What Celery Juice Can Do

Chugging a cold glass of celery juice does several things for your well-being. Most of them are good; some of them are not. Here are five things that celery juice can do for you:

Boost Your Nutrient Intake

Celery juice is rich in an assortment of nutrients, including vitamins C and K, calcium, potassium, folate and several others. In fact, juiced celery is filled with more nutrition than a stalk of celery itself since the majority of its fiber has been removed. More on that in a bit, though.

Keep You Hydrated

Because the neon green juice is mostly water, it’s supremely hydrating. It’s also a healthier alternative to sugary drinks such as sodas and fruit juices. A cup of celery juice contains only 5 grams of naturally occurring sugar and roughly 40 calories.

Reduce Inflammation

Celery juice may also be able to reduce inflammation thanks to the presence of flavonoids, which are powerful plant compounds that act like antioxidants. Research suggests that eating a diet that’s loaded with antioxidants can decrease your risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers.

Raise Your Sodium Intake

While celery is high in a host of helpful nutrients, it’s also high in sodium. If you’re on a low-sodium diet, you should probably look for another beverage. Even if you’re not, you should limit yourself to only one glass, maybe two, of celery juice each day to remain within the recommended daily allowance of sodium for most men and women.


Dr. Oz is shocked…

They may have found the “obesity killer”

Just 10 drops of this can melt up to 56 pounds in just a few months.


Cause You To Eat More

As noted above, celery is low in fiber. On the one hand, that’s good because it allows other nutrients to shine. On the other hand, that’s bad because your body needs fiber; it’s instrumental to gut health, healthy blood sugar levels and low cholesterol. It’s also what helps you feel full after eating or drinking. Swap out a healthy lunch with celery juice, and you may find yourself snacking all the way to suppertime.

What Celery Juice Cannot Do

In recent years, the power of celery juice has taken on an almost mythical quality. In reality, it’s vegetable juice. More specifically, here are two things celery juice cannot do for you:

Cure You of Anything

While antioxidant-rich foods and beverages including celery juice may lower your risk of developing certain cancers, celery juice is not a cure for cancer — or anything else. What’s more, the research that suggests it may be effective in fighting diabetes and obesity is still relatively new and limited in scope. Science may one day find that downing a glass of celery juice cures everything from acne to male-pattern baldness, but that day has yet to arrive.

Rid Your Body of Toxins

Celery juice is not, as some diet scams claim, a detoxifier. Going on a celery juice cleanse won’t do anything but leave you hungry, fatigued and wishing you had a Bloody Mary to shove that celery into instead. Your body has its own system for removing toxins. It’s powered by your kidneys, liver, lungs and intestines, not by juice.

The Final Verdict on Celery Juice

Having a glass of celery juice every now and then is a great way to boost your antioxidants and cut down on sugary drinks. It’s not a tonic that will cure what ails you, though. For optimal health, the nutritional song remains the same: Eat whole grains, lean proteins, healthy fats and a colorful array of fruits and veggies — including celery.

Colonics: Does This Odd Practice Really Work?

Let’s talk about a subject that might make a few of us a little squirmy. Colonics (also known as colonic irrigation) is a procedure that involves irrigating the colon using water or a combination of water and other safe liquids. This practice is typically done by a hydrotherapist or colon therapist. Though it may seem strange to allow someone to clean out your digestive system through your rear-end, it’s a fairly common practice that may offer some impressive benefits.

Many people confuse colonics with enemas. These are two very different things. An enema is just a one-time infusion that can be done at home. Colonics involve more than one infusion done in different sessions. Each session typically takes anywhere between 45 minutes and one hour. During the procedure, up to 16 gallons of water and other fluids are pumped into the body through the rectum. I know, it sounds extremely unpleasant, but here’s why I am thinking about giving it a try.

Benefits of Colonics

There are a variety of reasons people choose to do colonics. Here are a few of the health advantages this procedure may offer.

  • Improved digestion. When you remove toxins that can get caught in your digestive system like sludge, you can improve your digestion. One study shows that gastrointestinal symptoms can, indeed, be improved after colonic irrigation. This is specifically in patients who have irritable bowel syndrome. Since IBS can be very challenging to treat effectively, some patients may choose to try alternative treatment methods such as colonics.
  • Weight loss. If you feel like you’re stuck and can’t seem to lose weight no matter what you do, colonics may be able to help. It does this in a couple of ways. It removes weight immediately by getting rid of toxic sludge (i.e. excess waste) caught in your body. It also helps with weight management by improving digestion s your body runs more efficiently and processes food more effectively.
  • Increased energy. Though it seems strange that washing out your colon could lead to increased energy, that’s exactly what some people report after receiving a colonic treatment. This benefit may be due to the release of pent-up toxins inside the body. Once these toxins are physically removed, your body doesn’t have to put so much effort toward trying to push the waste out when it’s sticking to your intestinal walls. Some people who receive colonic treatments claim that they experience improved energy, more restful sleep and better blood circulation.
  • Supports regularity. If you’re like me and struggle sometimes with constipation, you may find that colonics helps. This is one reason why I am considering trying this practice myself. Some people report that cleaning their colons out leads to improved regularity and fewer side effects of constipation (which include fun things like varicose veins and hemorrhoids).

These are just a few of the top benefits people report after receiving colonics treatments. Other touted benefits include improved concentration, better absorption of nutrients, and improved whole-body wellbeing.


Dr. Oz is shocked…

They may have found the “obesity killer”

Just 10 drops of this can melt up to 56 pounds in just a few months.


How the Procedure Feels

Colonic irrigation may seem like a highly unpleasant procedure. However, those who do it regularly explain that it really doesn’t hurt. Instead, it causes mild side effects such as minor cramping and a feeling of fulness in the lower abdomen. These feelings typically subscribe as soon as the treatment is complete. The tube is small enough that it only causes minor discomfort when it’s inserted and removed.

Given the fact that the procedure isn’t painful as I first supposed and that it can offer a variety of health benefits, I’m seriously considering adding it to my list of things to do this month. At the very least, I’m interested in learning more about this ancient procedure and its potential effects on the human body.

Kegels May Have Some Unintended Side Effects

When you get to be a woman of a “certain age,” you may start to notice that things don’t seem to work quite right downstairs. You might notice that you need to run to the bathroom more often because your bladder isn’t quite as effective at holding things in anymore. Or you might discover that your “wind” just sneaks out no matter how hard you try to hold it in. Don’t worry, you’re not alone in these things! Many women, including myself, experience these issues as we age. And most of us have probably heard that Kegels are the solution to our

Kegel exercises involve the repeated contracting and relaxing of the pelvic floor muscles. Doctors sometimes recommend Kegel exercises for women who want to improve their sexual function as well as their bladder and bowel function. The pelvic floor muscles support the rectum, uterus, small intestine and bladder. Just as with any other muscle in your body, your pelvic floor muscles need to be exercised regularly in order to maintain their tone and strength. That’s where Kegel exercises come in. But before you start a daily Kegel regimen, you should know that the pelvic floor exercises may have some unintended side effects as well.

Intimacy Consequences

One of the reasons ladies do Kegel exercises is to help improve the quality of our intimate moments, right? But what if I told you that overdoing your Kegel exercises can actually cause sexual intercourse to be more painful? I know, I know, it sounds counterintuitive. But the reason excessive Kegels can make intercourse painful is because they can cause your vaginal muscles to get too tight. So if you want to find the right balance, try doing just 10 Kegel exercises at a time, two to three times per day.

Bladder Pain and Leaking

Wait, aren’t Kegel exercises supposed to prevent bladder leaking? I can almost hear you asking me that. And yes, when they aren’t done excessively, Kegels can help you hold your urine in where it belongs. However, too many Kegels can cause your pelvic floor muscles to become too short. When this happens, it can lead to consistent bladder pain and may cause you to leak urine. You may also have difficulty letting all of your urine out when it’s actually time to go.


Dr. Oz is shocked…

They may have found the “obesity killer”

Just 10 drops of this can melt up to 56 pounds in just a few months.


Constipation

Too many Kegel sessions can lead to soreness in the tailbone and lower back areas. It can also lead to constipation because the muscles lining your pelvic floor are just too tight and short to function properly.

Charlie Horses

OK, ladies. Think about the last time you had a Charlie horse in your foot, thigh or anywhere else. Now imagine experiencing that kind of pain in your lady bits. Are you done cringing yet? You should know that excessively tightening the pelvic floor muscles can lead to Charlie horses in places where Charlie horses should never occur.

How You Can Avoid These Unpleasant Side Effects

Now that I’ve probably scared you out of ever wanting to do another Kegel exercise in your lifetime, I want you to know that’s not my intention. While too many Kegels can lead to any of these unpleasant side effects, it is quite possible to do Kegels safely. The key is to go easy on those muscles and don’t try to do 200 or more contractions in a single setting. Instead, do a few contractions here or there throughout your day.

Think of strengthening your pelvic floors as you would strengthen any other area of your body. Do it in small sets, with rest days off. If you perform your pelvic floor exercises wisely and with moderation, you’ll be able to develop a functional, strong pelvic floor without the pain or discomfort that comes with any type of muscle overuse.

Are “Worry Lines” Really Caused by Stress?

Many people know them as worry lines. Others call them frown lines or 11s. Whatever name you give them, forehead wrinkles are easy to spot. What causes these deep creases?

Worry Lines Aren't Just Because of Worrying

Some people will tell you that worry lines mean you’ve been frowning too much. That’s not really true. Yes, worrying can make you crease your brows, but so do many other facial expressions.

For example, squinting while you’re reading a book or looking at a bright screen can do the same thing. Even smiling makes certain parts of your skin wrinkle a little. In other words, wrinkles are caused by all of your facial expressions, not just the frowns.

Those funny faces you made to get a laugh from your little baby? Tiny wrinkles. That surprise anniversary party? That’s right, extra wrinkles. If you’ve ever felt angry, sad, scared, happy or overjoyed, you’re going to get some wrinkles as part of the deal.

The Main Cause of Wrinkles Is Aging

The truth about wrinkles is that your facial expressions are only a minor part of the cause. Any wrinkles you have are going to form along the same unique lines that appear when you frown, smile, or act surprised. But the real reason those wrinkles stick around is because of skin changes caused by aging.

Healthy skin has an essential protein called collagen. Collagen keeps skin firm and elastic, like a rubber band. In your early 20s, collagen levels are through the roof, so your face feels exquisitely smooth, supple and fresh.

As we get older, the body slows its production of collagen. Fine lines usually start to appear by the late 20s because of this. Even people in their early 20s can get wrinkles if they spend a lot of time in the sun, because UV rays – you guessed it – hurt your collagen levels.


Dr. Oz is shocked…

They may have found the “obesity killer”

Just 10 drops of this can melt up to 56 pounds in just a few months.


But... Stress Speeds Up Aging

Even though worrying isn’t the main cause of frown lines, it’s still a good idea to avoid anxiety as much as possible. Scientists are discovering that too much stress can speed up your body’s aging process. When you’re feeling stressed, it releases a hormone called cortisol into your bloodstream.

Cortisol breaks down collagen. In other words, chronic stress can trigger premature wrinkles. A lot of other things caused by worrying are bad for skin, too, such as not getting enough sleep and forgetting to drink plenty of water. When you’re exhausted, skin looks dull instead of vibrant.

5 Things That Help With Worry Lines

Some wrinkles are just a part of your emotion-filled life. You may not be able to erase worry lines completely, but you can make them less visible.

  • Exercise: Doing exercise naturally improves cortisol levels, making you feel happier, keeping skin healthier and fighting inflammation.

  • Spa visits: If you ever wanted an excuse to go to a health spa, this is it. It’s not just the pampering, beauty treatments and massages that make your skin have a healthy glow again. It’s also the benefits your whole body gets from reducing stress levels.

  • Moisturizing creams: One of the best (and most overlooked) ways to take care of forehead wrinkles is to apply moisturizer every night. Plus, massaging your facial muscles with skin cream feels heavenly.

  • Homemade masks: Use plain yogurt, lemon juice, honey and vitamin E for wrinkles. This mixture cleanses and lightens your skin so wrinkles aren’t as noticeable.

  • Antioxidants: Include red fruits in your diet and benefit from the skin-protecting effects of antioxidants.

Three Strategies for a Better Bladder

Do you feel like you always have to "go"? Bladder problems put a serious damper on the fun for many women after 60. If you're bugged by a constant urge to hit the ladies' room, experience embarrassing leakage or lose sleep at night because of your bladder, try these strategies to support the healthy function of this important organ.

Change Consumption

First of all, drink lots of water. While that may seem counterintuitive, fluid flushes the bladder of infection and toxins. Try to get six-to-eight 8-oz glasses each day, but ask your doctor about water intake if you have heart or kidney disease.

Cut back on soda, coffee and other caffeinated beverages, which irritate the bladder and can increase the frequency and urges. Some women also find that limiting chocolate, carbonated beverages, citrus fruits, tomatoes, spicy foods or alcohol decreases uncomfortable bladder symptoms.

Eating fiber-rich foods prevents constipation, which can negatively impact bladder health. Add fresh fruits and veggies as well as whole grains to the menu so you stay regular.

You might also want to try timing your fluid intake. Avoid going over 64 oz of water a day and try to break it up into smaller amounts. Front-load your fluid intake in the morning and limit beverages before bed if you often wake up to urinate.

Medications can also affect the health of your bladder. You may notice urinary symptoms if you take antidepressants, antihistamines, sedatives, muscle relaxants, diuretics, heart medications, or drugs for high blood pressure. Consult with your doctor; he or she may be able to provide another option.

If you are overweight or obese, changing your diet and exercising to lose extra pounds often resolves bladder symptoms. Smoking can also damage the health of your bladder, so look into cessation programs if you use tobacco.


Dr. Oz is shocked…

They may have found the “obesity killer”

Just 10 drops of this can melt up to 56 pounds in just a few months.


Time Your Trips

When you have an overactive bladder, your brain signals you to empty it even when it's not necessary. Fortunately, toilet training isn't just for tots! You can train your bladder so you feel the urge less frequently. Try these steps.

  • Write down each trip to the bathroom to go number two for several days. Look for patterns in when and how often you urinate.

  • Look at your notes and figure out how long you can usually go before you have to go. Extend that interval by 15 minutes. For example, if you usually head to the loo every 90 minutes or so, try to make it to the 105-minute mark. When you succeed, extend the time by 15 more minutes the following day.

  • Eventually, you should be able to wait two to four hours between bathroom trips. Try to wait when you feel the urge but you're not scheduled to urinate.

The more you practice this simple technique, the easier it will be to control your bladder and spend less time in the bathroom.

Maximize Muscle Strength

Strengthening the muscles that make up your pelvic floor can boost your bladder health and control urinary symptoms. Have you done your Kegels? To perform this exercise, squeeze your pelvic floor as if you were trying to stop your urine stream. Hold for three seconds, then relax for three seconds several times in a row, several times a day. If you aren't sure you're doing this move correctly, talk to your doctor.

In addition to exercising the pelvic floor, getting regular physical activity improves the health of your organs including the bladder. It also limits constipation and reduces extra weight, both factors that contribute to bladder problems.

Too many women write off urinary symptoms as a normal part of aging. These tips may improve your bladder health and help you reduce your lavatory visits.

Why a Consistent Sleep Schedule Is Crucial for Good Health

Tell me if this sounds familiar: You’re in bed, curled up with a good book by 10:15 one night. The following night, you’re up past midnight playing board games with the family or watching “just one more” episode of your favorite Netflix drama. The next night, you start dozing on the couch at 8:30 but don’t actually crawl into bed until 11:30. Whoops.

If your sleep schedule is a bit of a mess these days, it’s time to get things back on track. Consistent and plentiful sleep is fundamental to your wellbeing, and it may be easier to achieve than you think.

How a Regular Bedtime Can Improve Your Health

Going to bed and waking up at roughly the same times each day is vital to your cardiovascular health. In fact, if your bedtime varies significantly from one night to the next, you may be doubling your risk of heart disease. That’s what a recent study from Harvard found when researchers observed the sleep schedules of over 2,000 men and women for six years.

Inconsistent sleep — both in terms of when you go to bed and how many hours of good sleep you get — can also increase your chance of suffering a heart attack and increase your odds of developing metabolic syndrome, an unsavory pack of health problems that boost your body’s likelihood of cardiovascular disease.

Maintaining a regular sleep schedule decreases your chance of developing some of aging’s other heavy hitters as well, including:

  • High blood pressure

  • Obesity

  • Diabetes

  • Stroke


Dr. Oz is shocked…

They may have found the “obesity killer”

Just 10 drops of this can melt up to 56 pounds in just a few months.


How To Clean Up Your Sleep Schedule

When you’re ready to commit to better sleep, the good news is that there are plenty of ways to do so.

Keep Cool

A cooler bedroom is conducive to quality snoozing. The lower your body temperature, the faster you’ll reach REM sleep, which is the restorative slumber that helps your body recover from a long day. Studies show that the ideal overnight temperature for your bedroom is between 60- and 67-degrees Fahrenheit.

If you can squeeze a warm bath in before bed, too, go for it. While it seems counterintuitive, the warm water actually lowers your body temperature by increasing your circulation.

Banish Blue Light From the Bedroom

If you’re scrolling through your phone or tablet right before bed, you’re not doing your shuteye any favors. For starters, reading the news or work emails will do little to quiet your mind before rest. What’s more, these devices emit blue light that negatively affects sleep quality.

To cement your commitment to excellent sleep, refrain from using screens in the hour leading up to lights out. If you want to read, opt for an e-reader that doesn’t give off blue light or cozy up to a good old-fashioned book.

Avoid Alcohol

Contrary to what your friends claim, a glass of wine or two before bed is not a sleep aid. Beer, wine and spirits before bed may make you drowsy, but they also disrupt your circadian rhythm and diminish melatonin production, both of which lead to sub-par sack time. In fact, drinking in general isn’t great for your sleep.

That doesn’t mean you have to swear off Chardonnay forever, but you should imbibe intelligently. Drinking two or three times a week is fine for most, and the earlier in the evening that you can switch to water or tea, the better. In addition to more restorative sleep, you can also look forward to feeling more energetic and mentally sharp the following day.

Setting yourself up for a successful night of sleep takes discipline, but the health benefits you’ll reap are enormous. Don’t think of sticking to your sleep schedule as an obligation; think of it as a way to pamper yourself. Before you know it, you’ll be looking forward to retreating to your cozy sanctuary, even on the weekends.

5 Ways To Alter Emotional Eating Patterns

Healthy eating habits are challenging to develop. People struggle for years trying to figure out a nutritional path that works for them. However, the problem is not always physiological; many people struggle with unhealthy eating patterns related to stress and emotions, meaning their habits are more psychological. While breaking emotional eating patterns can be more complicated than other nutritional issues, it is not impossible. There are at least five strategies that can help you curb emotional eating behaviors.

1. Learn To De-Stress

Food can become a coping mechanism, and some foods can make us feel better or happier because they are tired to positive memories or elicit chemical reactions in the body. Instead of curbing food intake on the nutritional level, it is better to find ways to relieve stress and anxiety as an emotional eater. These two emotions lead to unhealthy eating.

Exercise and meditation are two options for alleviating stress hormones in the body. Exercise releases endorphins into your system that can make you feel better, and meditation, when performed correctly, can help you cope with your anxiety in a healthier way.

2. Find a Healthy Distraction

While distractions are not always a good thing, when it comes to emotional eating, they are. However, instead of television or other sedentary activities, try something healthier. Take a walk. Go out with friends. Play a game, or do anything else except eat.


Dr. Oz is shocked…

They may have found the “obesity killer”

Just 10 drops of this can melt up to 56 pounds in just a few months.


3. Prepare a Meal Plan

Fast food is becoming the meal hub of America. With busy schedules and minimal work-life balance, people often choose the quickest and the assumed cheapest meal options. As an emotional eater leaving meal time up to chance is about the worst thing you can do because it allows unpredictability into your schedule.

One of the best options for an emotional eater is meal planning. Create a strict schedule of all your meals for the day, knowing precisely what you are having for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You can also include a couple of healthy snacks. Creating a plan means there is less flexibility in your schedule. Without unpredictability, you will probably find you have less uncontrollable cravings because you know when and what to expect to eat.

4. Avoid Craving Routes

What is your kryptonite? Chips? Donuts? Candy? Most people latch on to one specific food as a comfort during emotionally trying times. If you know that you are drawn to salty or sweet things, try to avoid routes that literally take you past those options. If you pass a donut shop on the way home from work, take another road.

While it is best to avoid temptations altogether, avoidance is too difficult for some people, leading to more stress. If you find that avoidance is too challenging, consider allowing yourself an indulgence as an occasional treat, but stick to serving size.

5. Practice Self-Acceptance

Many people who struggle with emotional eating also struggle with self-deception, often viewing themselves negatively. Negative self-talk is not only disruptive; it is destructive. If you find that you have negative feelings about yourself, consider altering your mindset. Through deliberate practice, a person can change their perceptions. Try reciting positive mantras in the mirror. It might seem strange at first, but eventually, it can help alter your mindset.

Emotional eating is not only a nutritional problem; it is psychological. Resolving the issue means getting to its root and finding other techniques and behaviors, like above, to curb unhealthy habits. Do you, or have you struggled with emotional eating? If so, leave a comment below about coping strategies that work for you.