Tips for Better Sleep During Pregnancy

It’s nothing unusual to experience trouble sleeping during pregnancy. Many changes, both physical and mental, occur in this period and make it harder to sleep. There are three key things that affect your ability to sleep:

  1. Hormonal changes which can shift your sleep pattern
  2. Physical changes such as a larger abdomen and irritable skin
  3. Higher levels of stress and anxiety


All these things combined can lead to sleepless nights. However, there are several things you can do to ensure that you maximize your chances of sleeping undisturbed during the night. Good Night Maternity has listed a few things on how to sleep better during pregnancy:

  1. Avoid LED screens on laptops, tablets and phones at bedtime. These screens reduce melatonin production making it harder for you to fall asleep.
  2. Avoid carb heavy foods right before bedtime. Snacking before bed is very tempting during pregnancy, but the temptation must be resisted. Not only can it make sleep more difficult, it increases the chances of experiencing acid reflux or heartburn during the night.
  3. Exercise during the day. Although you can feel permanently fatigued during the day, you should still be setting aside time for some exercise. Not only does this benefit your health, but it makes sure you are actually tired when it comes to bedtime. Likewise, don’t nap too much during the day.
  4. Don’t drink too many liquids before bed. Although you want to be properly hydrated, you equally don’t want to feel the urge to urinate as you try to fall asleep. The urge to go to the toilet can be higher during pregnancy, so don’t drink too much.
  5. Prepare the bed properly. Feeling restless in bed is made worse if the sheets are crumpled or the duvet is too hot. Also, your skin is extra sensitive, so make sure the sheets aren’t irritating you. Preparing the bed in advance can make you feel at ease when you tuck yourself in.
  6. Have a warm bath before bed. A bath can help relax you, and as your body cools down you will start to feel sleepier, making it easier you to fall asleep.

If you can’t sleep and find yourself tossing and turning in bed, trying to force yourself to sleep can have the opposite effect. You should instead wake up and walk around a little, maybe doing some household chores that don’t require too much effort for a few minutes. This can help take your mind off things and bring an end to the circle of frustration you find yourself in when you can’t fall asleep.


Posted in Health, My Blog


Tips For Healthier Bones


As you age, your bones will thin and become less dense. Unfortunately, this means you are more susceptible to injury. Areas commonly effected are close to joints, such as your knees, shoulders and ankles.

Although you can’t stop the degradation of your bones entirely, there are ways to slow the process down and prevent more serious disease such as osteoporosis.

Here are some expert tips on making sure your bones stay as healthy as possible:


Eat calcium-rich foods to Boost calcium intake

When people think bones, they typically think calcium. You should be eating plenty of calcium rich foods such as bony fish and broccoli. Leafy greens, almonds, calcium fortified foods are some other examples, while dairy is probably the most commonly associated with calcium.

Take calcium supplements

It is generally advised to consume 1000mg of calcium a day. However this is for healthy, younger people where their bones are not at high risk. Since calcium is generally not harmful in larger amounts, you should consult your doctor about taking supplements, which are usually ‘high power’ and provide a substantial boost. Remember that large dosages of calcium cannot be absorbed by your body so it’s important to take supplements spread over your day.

Start putting your bones under stress

If you want to keep your bones healthy, you should make sure they are regularly put under stress. You’ve probably heard about the people in space having to conduct hours of exercise a day to ensure their bones do not deteriorate significantly. An obvious example of an exercise which involves this is weightlifting, but there are hundreds of examples, from jogging, soccer, basketball, aerobics and pretty much anything which will impact your bones. This of course assumes your bones are completely healthy, otherwise contact your doctor for further advice on the best exercises.

Ensure you’re getting sufficient Vitamin D

Calcium needs to be complemented by the doctor’s favorite, Vitamin D: the vitamin will ensure your calcium is actually used properly, by making sure it gets absorbed by your body. You can easily boost vitamin D intake by munching on shrimp, calcium-strengthened foods like breakfast cereal and orange juice, sardines, egg yolk and tuna, and also consider going with a vitamin D supplement. Since Vitamin D is so important, and is more likely to be in short supply than calcium, most health experts recommend getting your vitamin D levels checked out by your doctor, who can then advise you depending on your results. Also, don’t forget that Vitamin D is also produced by your body when it is under direct contact from the sun. Around 15 minutes of direct exposure a day is recommended, which does not require much time outside!

Stop those bad habits!

Tobacco consumption has been shown to negatively impact bone density. Furthermore, drinking alcohol also reduces bone mineral density. These bad habits have other health implications, so they should be avoided.

Smoking has many side-effects, and damaging your bones is one of them!

Smoking has many side-effects, and damaging your bones is one of them!


Make an appointment with your doctor and have your bone mineral density tested

Did you know that doctors can actually measure your bone density? Although a lot of people assume that their bones are healthy because they feel OK or assume they are bad because of an ache, the best way to be sure is to get it checked by a painless X-Ray procedure known as the ‘DXA’. It will put a number on your bone mineral density and determine your risk of more serious conditions like bone fracture and osteoporosis. Remember that if you’re a woman the chances of bone issues are higher, so you are even more advised to get yourself to your doctor for a checkup.

Increase your bone density with Vitamin K2

Vitamin K is primarily recognized for clotting your blood, as a means to stop your blood becoming too thin, however it additionally aids the physical body by making healthy proteins for healthy and balanced bones. The specific method by which vitamin K adds your bone wellness is vague, but it’s results are not. Studies by experts on girls revealed that vitamin K had various impacts: one revealed that vitamin K slowed down bone turn over, yet it really did not have any sort of impact on bone mineral thickness, while the various other located the opposite.

An additional research study particularly contrasted the impacts of vitamins K and also D on calcium absorption in rats, as well as it ends up both vitamins function well as a group: vitamin D promoted calcium absorption in the bowels, while vitamin K minimized the quantity of calcium secreted by the physical body. There are some people claiming it is some what of a ‘super’ vitamin, while others are skeptical about its benefits, but results are generally positive and it is contained in foods you should be eating anyway, like spinach, broccoli and kale.

There are two types of Vitamin K2, which are MK4 and MK7. MK7 is generally cheaper, but there is some evidence to suggest the lab produced MK4 variant is more effective. You can find one article comparing the two here.

Posted in Health


Don’t let tinnitus drive you crazy! Some tips to relieve its symptoms

Ringing in your ears can be extremely bothersome and annoying, even more so if you are a keen listener of music and take pleasure in listening to music at a louder volume. If you experience a buzzing sound in your ears and it’s driving you crazy, there are some things you can do. Here, we’ll discuss a few things you could be doing to deal with this condition, which is known as tinnitus.

Tinnitus can drive you crazy, but there is hope

Tinnitus can drive you crazy, but there is hope

Firstly, make an effort to decrease the stress in your life if you are dealing with tinnitus. Just like many health conditions, excess anxiety can make the symptoms of tinnitus even worse. Examine your lifestyle and try to find potential causes of unwanted stress, and then take steps to tackle the problems.

Your diet is another thing you should be looking into. While it might sound a little far-fetched, particular foods, like those that have a high salt content or use artificial sweeteners, are known to make symptoms worse. Ask your doctor about which foods you are eating could be harming your hearing.

Before seeing your physician, do some research to help them evaluate the cause of your ringing in the ears, as there is usually something responsible for the problem – a common example is TMJ disorder. A few doctors are simply not properly notified about the variety of existing treatment alternatives that do exist, as ringing in the ears is always treatable and often curable.

If you smoke, you need to stop. Cigarette smoking narrows all your capillaries. When the blood vessels that bring blood to your ears and head are narrowed, it can make ringing in the ears even worse. You will be able to deal with tinnitus better if you quit. Not only that, however your health in general will be much better, which helps any other health conditions you have.

The ringing in your ears caused by tinnitus can keep you up late in the evening, however technology can mitigate the grievance. There are lots of white noise generators which provide a range of sounds for you to pay attention to, from a rainstorm to nighttime in a forest, which can drown out the noise in your ears.

Wash, dry and fold. Not only will doing the laundry keep you hectic, however the constant noise from the clothes dryer silences bothersome tinnitus buzzing. For those who deal with ringing in the ears, retraining themselves is a required part of helping themselves. By doing a basic home task like laundry, they learn to neglect the agonizing sounds in their head.

If you suffer from ringing in the ears, you can discover fantastic relief in relaxation strategies if you take part in them a few times a day. Lowering your blood pressure and alleviating anxiety can help to reduce the volume of the noise in your ears, therefore helping you to rest, especially at bedtime.

Some people find relief from tinnitus by using background noise to ‘drown out’ the ringing sound. This could be from listening to your MP3 player, or just having some noise in the house from household appliances like the washing machine. You can also buy ‘white noise’ CDs which are known to make you feel more peaceful, and will make the ringing in your ears less noticable.

If you are among the unlucky individuals that experience tinnitus and are witnessing worsening symptoms with time, you may want to have your blood pressure checked. High blood pressure has shown to be among the causes for making symptoms worse. Then, if you do find that it is higher than it should be, there are plenty of ways of reducing your blood pressure, so look into it!

It can be very hard to suffer from tinnitus all by yourself, so consider joining an open tinnitus group

It can be very hard to suffer from tinnitus all by yourself, so consider joining an open tinnitus group

To remain positive in the face of your condition, look for an open group that deals with tinnitus.  It can be challenging for people to understand exactly what you’re going through if they do not have ringing in the ears themselves. Some of these groups will have discussions about treatments that worked for themselves, which may or may not help you, but are definitely worth checking out. If you can’t find a local support group,there are plenty of tinnitus support groups online.

Finally, remember that tinnitus is not something that goes away easily. Some people have it for years before it gets better, and most cases of tinnitus actually disappear without the sufferer doing anything themselves. Don’t fall into the trap of spending huge sums of money on treatments with questionable evidence, as sometimes time is actually the best form of treatment.

Posted in Health


Lose Weight with the Paleolithic Diet

It is difficult to characterize it as a new idea, since proponents of this popular diet say it has existed since the dawn of man, but as the paleo diet continues its rise to prominence as one of the best ways to lose weight, and remain healthy at the same time, this timeless diet deserves a fresh look.


Some typical foods you’ll find in a paleo diet

What is the paleo diet? How can a person safely lose weight while employing its method? Known by some as the ‘caveman’ diet, the idea is simple. Eat as much as you want, as often as you like, but eat only the foods that would have been available to histories early hunting and gathering humans. So you want bacon and eggs, and a slice of an apple for breakfast. That’s no problem. Those foods would have been readily available to early humans. However, go easy on the milk, cereal and refined sugar. There is no way that such a meal would have been eaten by primitive people.

Use the same approach for the other meal. Tuna salad, folded into a crisp lettuce leaf makes for a delicious lunch. Or, for supper, why not try a juicy piece of roast beef, garnished with spinach and bell peppers.

However, for health and weight-loss leave off the buns. Calorie heavy breads are a defiant diet buster, and the grains used to make these foods are not as healthy as more natural paleo ingredients.

But, how does the paleo diet work. That’s simple. Early humans consumed a diet heavy in such foods as foul, fish, eggs, and fruit. To supplement these basic ingredients, the used natural oils (coconut, avocado, or olive), nuts and plentiful vegetables. Only when human culture evolved did that diet change, incorporating fatty foods and grains. But when human culture emerged, the human metabolic and digestive system did not. Today, unlike humans from the paleo era, we have grown obese and lazy. Thanks to modern dietary choices, conditions such as heart disease plague humankind. The paleo diet seek to return adherents to that simpler, healthier diet.

Here is how it works. The healthy ingredients which make up the paleo diet are not, in themselves, fattening. Imagine this. It is possible for someone to eat as much green, leafy vegetables as is desired, and never gain weight. That person never experiences hunger, always feels energetic, and doesn’t suffer with cholesterol problems, high blood pressure, or other heart conditions. The other foods which make up the paleo diet also confer these benefits. Foul, fish, fruits, and vegetables all work to maintain good health and proper weight for anyone using this diet.

As this gluten free diet continues to capture the imagination of the public, expect a resurgence of excellent health in the population. The advent of modern agriculture didn’t provide the boom to the human life span as some believe. Just remember this, eat as much as you want, but stick to the foods that the cavemen enjoyed: chicken; nonfat red meat; eggs; fish; fruit and non-grain vegatibles. Soon you will be enjoying a much healthier, and slimmer lifestyle.

Posted in Health