Blog Archive - January 2012
January 14, 2012
Can’t remember your PIN number? Forgot where you put your keys? Sleepy and non-productive after lunch? Missed a flight because you fell asleep at the airport? Can’t remember the movie plot because you dozed off too many times when the lights were off? You are getting older but maybe your foggy head is simply the result of sleep deprivation that can be corrected. Take this survey and see.
Check all that are true for you.
_____ You have nightmares.
_____ You need and alarm clock to awaken you – and you put it across the room
_____ You hit the snooze button 2-3 times.
_____ You awaken tired and drag yourself out of bed most days.
_____ It takes 2-4 cups of coffee or tea to get you going in the morning.
_____ You have a hard time concentrating and remembering things during the day.
_____ You eat sugar for energy.
_____ You are often irritable and cranky.
_____ You have a hard time focusing on tasks, problem-solving and being creative.
_____ You fantasize about sleeping and look forward to a good night’s sleep.
_____ You often fall asleep watching TV.
_____ You often fall asleep after heavy meals or after a little alcohol.
_____ You often fall asleep after dinner but cannot fall asleep later in bed.
_____ You often feel drowsy while driving.
_____ You often sleep extra hours on weekend mornings.
_____ You have dark circles under your eyes.
If you checked two or more of these factors, you are probably carrying a significant sleep debt. Pay up now. You don’t need to “pay it forward”, just add 30-60 minutes a day to your sleep time. Set a goal to be free of this debt by the end of February.
Here’s how: Make sleep a priority in your 24/7 schedule and cultivate healthy sleep habits. Drink plenty of water during the day (add at least 16 ounces to your current intake). No caffeine or alcohol after 6 PM. Stop eating sugar at night. Avoid sleep supplements. Turn off the computer, TV or electronic devices 2 hours before bedtime. Schedule your sleep and bedtime and protect it like you do for the other hours of your day. Make sure your bedroom is dark, cool, and uncluttered. Set an alarm for the time you want to awaken. Tell yourself before you sleep that when it rings you will get up. When the alarm rings, get up and get going. Drinking 8 -12 ounces of water immediately upon arising will help replenish your overnight loss and will give you almost instant energy for the morning. If you awake (15-30 minutes) before the alarm goes off, get up – your night is over and the day is waiting for you.
January 3, 2012
The human body is an amazing creation. They all look different but operate pretty much the same. I think there are 4 elements of good health that are missing or fading in our lifestyle today that need our attention. To maximize the functioning of your body so you can look and feel better than ever, try giving it more, more, more of these four elements:
#1 Water – preferably filtered at room or body temperature.
Why? The human body is composed of 75% water and the human brain is 85% water. So, even minor fluctuations in hydration can affect how a person looks and feela. Especially in the winter when the air is dry, there is a significant insensible water loss with breathing and subtle perspiring. The mucous membranes and cilia (the tiny hairs in the nose) need adequate hydration to function properly. Their job is to wave and push dirt, debris and microbes toward the outside of the body so they do us no harm. All body processes are carried out in a fluid medium and the production of antibodies and white blood cells requires water and protein.
How? When you first awaken in the morning, drink 8-12 ounces of water. Leave a glass or bottle next to your bed at night and drink it before you even get out of the bed. It is amazing how much more energy you will have in the morning. A netty pot is a great way to flush your sinuses. Include it in your morning routine, too. (but make sure to use fresh boiled water cooled to body temperature.
During the day keep water available and drink 4 ounces an hour – that is
in addition to coffee, tea or other clear beverages. Drink before you thirst
and never try to quench your thirst with milk or juice or beer. Drink water first,wait and then enjoy other beverages.
#2 Sleep – at least 7 hours (adults) and children and teens need 10 hours.
Why? Your immune system works hard when you are sleeping. Give it a
chance to protect you by sleeping well and long. How? Keep your bedroom cool, quiet and dark. No TV, video games or social networking in the hour or two before bedtime. Studies have shown that besides keeping the human mind engaged, close range exposure to lighted screens can impede internal secretion of melatonin - the body’s master sleep hormone. Also, avoid juice, sweetened sodas and caffeinated drinks before bedtime. The sugar can mess with your blood sugar levels and end up stimulating your brain and awakening you. Some research has shown that adequate sleep at night can curb appetite and cravings during the waking hours - ultimately saving you calories and grocery money.
#3 Probiotics – the good bacteria naturally found in yogurt, kefir,
Sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and also in nutritional supplements.
Why? After taking antibiotics or with poor nutritional intake, the intestines
are depleted of healthy bacteria (like Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium)
that compete with the pathogens (like Salmonella enteritidis and
Clostridium difficile) to keep the population in balance and under control. Probiotics will enhance the body’s immune system and improve your digestion and your complexion.
How? Stay away from yogurt with sugar added or other chemical sweetners. Use Greek and plain yogurt as salad dressing or combine with granola for a snack. The best probiotic supplements have enteric coating so they make it to your intestines and are not killed by the stomach acid. Visit www.brendawatson.com for lots more information on probiotics and digestive health.
#4 Laughter – like a big old belly laugh!
Why? Belly laughing will stimulate “feel-good” chemicals within the body
and also enhance the immune system.
How? Pets and children are good laughter stimulants – just watch them
for a while and even start the laughter with fake laughing. It will turn into
joyful laughing very quickly. Do it in the privacy of your own home. Better yet, share it in public – get a wave of laughter going and spread the benefits to others. And first thing in the morning when you become conscious – smile! Even a fake smile will affect your internal chemistry and can change your day. Try it!