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

11557918553_242c2d054b_z

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

Permalink

Lacking anaerobic exercise? Start jumping!

dance-113021_1280

The benefits of Anaerobic Exercise

Anaerobic exercise is exercise ‘without air’. The first stages of all physical activity is anaerobic in nature, but we generally consider anaerobic exercises to be exercises which is done in bursts at a high intensity. Examples of this are sprinting and lifting weights.

When we think of ‘fitness’, we usually think of aerobic exercise, such as jogging or cycling. These are aerobic exercises which have a tremendous benefit to your cardiovascular fitness, and burn more calories. However, anaerobic exercises are usually forgotten, even though they possess many benefits themselves.

Firstly, they are necessary for becoming stronger and building more muscle mass. If you want to lift heavy weights or run extremely fast, you need to be recruiting your fast twitch fibers, which aerobic exercises do not. Secondly, they also serve to condition your body and increase your endurance, which is vital for almost all sports. Finally, a lot of people forget the benefits of anaerobic workouts as a means to losing weight – they increase your metabolism and make you consume more energy as you become stronger, so you actually end up passively burning more calories and decreasing bodyfat.

What anaerobic exercises can I do at home?

Unlike going for a jog or a cycle, getting anaerobic exercise done is slightly more challenging. Sprinting at home is not possible, and it’s not unusual to feel too embarrassed to do it in public open spaces. Some people opt for the gym and weightlifting, which can be great, but it might be an expensive option, especially if you’re focusing on aerobic workouts.

You need a very big house to sprint at home!

You need a very big house to sprint at home!

We suggest jumping as the best anaerobic exercise, which you can do virtually anywhere, including your own home! To get started, just jumping up and down like a maniac will see benefits, but there is plenty more you can be doing. A jump rope is one idea, but doing this at home can be difficult. You can discover more jump exercises here, some of which will have the bonus of improving your core and leg strength significantly.

Posted in My Blog

Permalink

Health Secrets From Around The Globe

Life is precious and we should do everything to stay healthy. We should not overlook the advice that we can get from the various other cultures around us. Today we will be looking at some foreign secrets for better well being and a healthier life.

Meditation

meditationbenefits

Originally from India, meditation has been proven by medical research to have several positive benefits. Some of these are:

  • Emotional balance – Free yourself from all the neurotic behavior resulting from a mind that is overly concerned with itself.
  • Fertility – Numerous studies have showed a positive correlation between reduced levels of stress and fertility, in both males and females. Meditation is one of the most effective ways of reducing stress levels, and can boost fertility.
  • Reduced blood pressure – By making your body less susceptible to stress hormones, meditation can effectively lower your blood pressure. This is a natural alternative to taking medication, which works using the same principle.
  • Better Immunity  – Studies have shown that reduced stress and a greater state of relaxation make you more resistant to all kinds of illness by boosting immunity.

The Sauna

saunabenefits

The sauna is a great way to relax and lose weight at the same time. It is a purifying experience where you literally sweat your stress out. It is believed that a single session in the sauna can burn anywhere between 200 to 300 calories. The sauna has many other benefits to your health similar to meditation, thanks to its ability to reduce your stress.

Power Napping

nappingbenefits

A lifestyle choice that is quickly becoming adopted by more and more employers in Japan and America is the power nap. Research has shown that sleeping during the day was something common to our ancestors who would sleep for multiple short periods rather than one long period during the night. Studies have also shown that it boosts your concentration and performance by significantly reducing the symptoms of fatigue.

Cycling

cyclingbenefits

Especially popular in Holland, who have dedicated cycle paths almost anywhere, is cycling everywhere. The idea is simple – switch out travelling around in your car for a bike, where you are killing two birds with one stone: getting to your destination and getting a fantastic workout. This is one of the reasons the country is reported as being the healthiest in the world.

Muesli for Breakfast

mueslibenefits

A Swiss morning favorite, Muesli is the healthy option for Breakfast. It contains real fruits and nuts which cover a lot of nutrients and goes a long way in meeting your daily nutritional requirements. It contains no cholesterol unlike many other fatty morning options and is at the same time extremely easy to prepare and eat. The breakfast is also whole grain, meaning energy is slowly released, making sure you feel both full and energized for a longer period of time.

Hot Springs

hotspringsbenefits

Hot Springs are famous for their therapeutic and rejuvenating effects. Many people will fall into a state of calmness and experience reduced levels of stress. Various minerals are contained in hot springs, like sodium bicarbonate and calcium. When bathing, these minerals are absorbed by your skin and your blood circulation increases as your hydro-static pressure increases, in a process similar to that which occurs when exercising. This keeps your heart and other organs healthy.

 

Posted in My Blog

Permalink