Stress is one of the most disruptive and grueling things that can happen to a person. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, stress is the leading cause of disability in the United States. The effects of stress can wreak havoc on a person’s physical and emotional health and even lead to death.
Several factors can contribute to stress, such as work, family responsibilities, money problems, and health concerns. The National Institute of Mental Health states that stress can affect people differently, depending on their personality and coping skills. Some people may become irritable or angry, while others may become withdrawn or depressed.
The physical effects of stress can be just as devastating as the emotional effects. Stress can lead to headaches, muscle tension, stomach problems, and insomnia. It can cause heart attacks, strokes, and immune system problems in extreme cases.
Stress can be a very destructive force in a person’s life. Learning how to deal with it effectively before it causes too much damage is essential. Here are a few signs to watch out for to check if your stress is already visibly damaging you.
Signs of Aging
One of the most common signs of stress is premature aging. When a person is under a lot of pressure, their body goes into “fight or flight” mode. This causes the body to release a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol has several adverse effects on the body, including breaking down collagen. Collagen is what keeps skin looking young and elastic. When it breaks down, the skin starts to wrinkle and sag.
Another sign of premature aging caused by stress is graying hair. Just like with skin, stress can cause the breakdown of collagen in hair follicles. This can lead to hair that is dull, dry, and brittle. It can also cause hair to lose its color and turn gray prematurely. Hair loss might also be a problem, especially when stress is combined with other factors like poor diet or illness. Fortunately, you can get the best hair loss treatment for men when you consult with a qualified hair loss specialist.
Weight Gain or Loss
Another common sign of stress is weight gain or loss. When a person is stressed, their body goes into survival mode and starts to store fat. This is because the body thinks it might need extra energy to deal with a stressful situation. For some people, this can lead to weight gain. Others may lose weight because they do not eat as much when stressed.
Changes in appetite, either overeating or undereating, can also be a sign of stress. People under a lot of stress may find themselves snacking more often, or they may not feel like eating at all. Depending on the person, this can lead to weight gain or weight loss.
If you notice that stress is already causing your weight to fluctuate, you should try to find ways to relieve your stress. This might include exercise, relaxation techniques, or counseling.
Changes in Sleeping Patterns
Stress can also cause changes in sleeping patterns. People who are stressed may find it hard to fall asleep, or they may wake up frequently during the night. They may also wake up early in the morning and not be able to get back to sleep. This can lead to fatigue and exhaustion, making it even harder to deal with stress.
If you notice that your sleeping patterns have changed, you should try to find ways to relax before bedtime. This might include reading, taking a hot bath, or listening to soothing music. It would help if you also avoided caffeine and alcohol before bed, as these can make it harder to fall asleep.
Changes in Mood
Another common sign of stress includes mood changes. People who are stressed may become more irritable, anxious, or depressed. They may also have difficulty concentrating or making decisions. If you notice that your mood has changed significantly, you should try to find ways to relieve your stress. This might include exercise, relaxation techniques, or counseling.
If you notice that you are always in a foul mood, you can try to find ways to change your mindset. This might involve looking at the positive side of things, practicing gratitude, or setting realistic goals. It will be challenging to determine if your mood swings will change, but you can ensure stress won’t be a factor of it too much.
Stress can have several adverse effects on your body, both physically and mentally. Learning how to deal with it effectively before it causes too much damage is essential. If you notice any of the signs listed above, you should try to find ways to relieve your stress. Do not let it control your life. You can overcome it.
With the dangers of sleep deprivation on our physical and mental health, getting a proper night’s rest is more important than ever. But if your body isn’t used to falling asleep and staying asleep on it’s own, then you may need a little help. The good news is that there are some natural sleep aids you can use to make sure you’re getting the rest you need and deserve.
The world we live in and its current economy have many people working different jobs. Moreover, the life we all live is now restricted to a lot of screen time, staying awake for long periods at odd hours, and living on non-stop coffee and energy drinks. However, many people notice but never try to fix it because all of this just ruins your sleep routine. The quality and quantity of sleep are at their lowest point because many people hardly get enough sleep.
One of the essential things we can do to maintain good health is proper sleep. Getting a good enough sleep is essential as sleep helps your body and brain function appropriately during the day. To have a productive day, you have to stop living on those two-hour naps and get proper sleep, which the recommended time is at least 8 hours.
Sometimes, this habit of not getting enough sleep continues until it becomes something you can’t stop. So, by the time you want to sleep for enough hours, you might have difficulty sleeping. People who experience insomnia and other sleep problems often use synthetic medicine and remedies to solve this. However, some of these drugs have unbearable side effects. So, what other alternatives are available? Thankfully, many natural sleep remedies and aids have zero effects. You will learn about a number of the different natural sleep aids you can use in this article.
If you have been on the conquest to find a natural remedy for your sleep problems and insomnia, you will have heard about Melatonin. As similar as it sounds to Melanin, Melatonin is a hormone that your body produces and releases naturally, especially at night. This hormone signals to your brain that it is time for you to sleep.
The time of the day is a significant influencer of the production and release of this hormone as the melatonin levels in your body rise naturally in the evening and fall in the morning. The use of melanin supplements has gotten quite popular for many reasons, especially after jet lag, when the melatonin cycle has been disrupted. There are supplements of this hormone available for sale. Many research sites, such as NCBI and PLOS, have proven that Melatonin reduces the time you need to fall asleep and improves the total sleep time in the process.
Ginseng is a potent herb used in herbal medicines. Many companies and experts who produce natural herbs and drugs stand by the potency of this herb and its effectiveness for many illnesses. One of the positives that Ginseng is known for is improving immunity and promoting sleep.
In a study conducted in 2013, people with sleep problems were affected positively as they experienced better sleep after taking the red Ginseng extract for a week. Ginseng is known for its abilities to fight stress, raise energy levels and strengthen the immune system. However, Ginseng comes with some side effects like upset stomach, headaches, dizziness, etc.
The recommended dose is 800mg to 2g of powdered Ginseng per day to avoid some of these symptoms and improve your sleep.
With CBD’s increasing popularity, many scientists are on the lookout for all the ways it can be used to benefit human health. One of the ways that CBD can be effective is by relieving sleep problems. As CBD is used for different purposes, researchers further tried to find out its facts on sleep. Several people have insomnia because their cortisol levels increase at night. Some of the studies conducted earlier stated that using CBD in high dosages may improve sleep.
Another herb that herbal experts stand by, Valerian, can be found in Asia and Europe. It is used commonly as a natural treatment for symptoms of menopause, anxiety, and depression. At the same time, in Europe and the United States, Valerian root is one of the most used sleep-promoting herbal supplements. Reviews have shown that all the users have seen that their sleep disorder symptoms and their sleep quality improved after using Valerian.
However, some studies say that the results are dependent on the participant’s perception of quality sleep instead of objective measurements. At the same time, it can’t be used for too long due to safety concerns.
Known for its soothing fragrance, Lavender is a plant found on almost all continents. The plant has purple flowers with multiple households uses when it’s dried. The gentle fragrance has proven to serve as a sleep enhancement smell. Many studies have shown that inhaling the scent of Lavender oil shortly before sleep might even be enough to improve sleep quality. Many sleep spays and bath solutions consist of a large amount of Lavender.
Getting enough sleep is very important as you need it to be functional all through the day. You can only work effectively after getting enough sleep. If you have trouble sleeping, these herbs can be the next thing to try out.
Lisa is a full-time content marketing specialist. She has been closely following the CBD Healthcare and Medical Industry trends for quite some time. On her off days, she likes to spend her time at the nearest animal shelter, or be nose deep in a novel.
Trouble falling asleep? You’re not alone! Whether you’re dealing with insomnia, restless syndrome or other sleep disorder keeping you up at night, it’s important to craft a proper sleep schedule and bedtime routine to help fight off sleep deprivation. Yoga has many benefits, but it’s especially great to unwind with before bed as it helps relax your body and mind while improving overall sleep quality. Here are a few bedtime yoga poses you can incorporate into your bedtime routine.
Child’s pose, also known as balasana, is a simple pose that helps promote relaxation and calmness while relieving tension in the back and shoulders. This is the perfect pose to engage in after a long day. Start by kneeling on the floor with your toes together and hips should-width apart. Slowly push your hips back and rest your chest in between your thighs.
Then, rest your forehead on the ground and stretch your arms forward. Hold this pose for three to five minutes or longer if you’d like. Take slow and steady breaths through your nose as you hold this pose. If you feel comfortable, try slowly rocking your head back and forth. This helps relieve any tension you may be feeling in your brow. To ensure you’re comfortable in this pose, wear a comfortable pair of yoga leggings so you’re able to feel the stretch and aren’t restricted by your clothing.
Cat and Cow Pose
Though it has an interesting name, cat and cow pose is extremely effective for relieving tension in your spine, shoulders and lower back while also promoting mental relaxation. Begin on your hands and knees with your wrists lined up with your shoulders. Inhale into cow pose by bringing the top of your head and your tail bone up to the ceiling. Then, exhale into cat pose by tilting the crown of your head down and arching your spine.
Focus on drawing your belly button in toward your spine while you’re in the cat pose to allow for a deeper stretch. Repeat the sequence five to 20 times, remembering to take slow and deep inhales and exhales as you perform the movements.
Also known as savasana, corpse pose is the best way to end your bedtime yoga routine, and best of all, it can be done from your bed. Corpse pose is great for lowering blood pressure and heart rate, relieving tension in your body and promoting relaxation.
To begin this pose, simply lie on your back with your legs straight in front of you. Relax your arms at your sides with your palms facing up. With your eyes closed, take slow deep belly breaths and allow your body to relax completely. Hold this pose for 10 to 15 minutes, or however long you feel is needed. If you have trouble quieting your mind before bed, try putting on some soothing music or engaging in meditation while you hold the pose.
Although sleep doesn’t always come easy, unwinding with some bedtime yoga can help you relax so you can get a good night’s rest. For more yoga poses you can do before bed as well as tips for crafting a perfect sleep schedule, check out the infographic guide below.
Corey Doane is a digital content creator who helps Adidas create helpful and compelling stories worth sharing. Her background in digital marketing and creative writing has led her to cover unique topics ranging from business to eco to lifestyle.
Sleep is essential to your body, and a lack of it can cause health issues. For this reason, being sleep deprived is a big deal for your body. This post will help you understand the effects of sleep deprivation. Reading this article will let you know how it affects the body and some ways to address sleep deprivation. Don’t let the lack of sleep ruin your health condition.
Various factors can deprive you of a good quality of sleep. That can include poor sleep hygiene, lifestyle choices, work obligations, sleep disorders, and other potential conditions concerning your health. Given these points, you have to address them instead of cope with it. Here are the effects of sleep deprivation on your body.
Various Effects of Sleep Deprivation
Lack of sleep may not seem a big deal, but that is not the case at all. Little did you know that losing sleep can cause a wide range of adverse effects. Aside from that, it can take a toll on different aspects of your body and mind. Below are some effects of lacking sleep:
You experience a change in energy.
In this case, you often feel tired and lethargic, which means you lack the strength to move and perform your duties. That includes when you are at work, home, or school. Moreover, you crave something sweet, caffeine, or naps the whole day.
Lack of sleep can incur mental health problems.
Losing the right amount of sleep leads to mood swings and irritability. Aside from that, you find it hard to deal with and manage stress. As a result, you can become depressed or anxious. The conditions can also worsen, resulting in extreme cases like hallucinations and delirium.
It weakens your immune system.
Your body will find it difficult to defend itself against diseases due to a weak immune system. Lack of sleep can deteriorate it, making you more prone to colds, infections, and many more.
Your brain can become impaired.
The lack of sleep can also have an impact on your brain. Your brain will have reduced creativity and problem-solving skills. Also, it can affect your motor skills, making you at risk for accidents.
Your appearance may change due to a lack of sleep.
It can result in premature skin aging and weight gain. Furthermore, it can also result in acne breakouts. In this case, you can use herbal soap for acne to help clear your skin while addressing your sleep deprivation.
Lack of sleep can increase your risk of developing serious health issues.
Since your immune system is weak, you become vulnerable to many diseases. Some of them are stroke, diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and certain cancers.
These effects are only a few of what you can acquire if you continue losing the amount of sleep you need. What’s worse is that your conditions can worsen over time. Given this point, it is best to address it if you have sleep deprivation.
Ways to Address Sleep Deprivation
You can get yourself out of this sleep problem, and you only have to make a few changes in your lifestyle habits. Below are some ways to put your sleep back on track:
You should create a bedtime routine and follow a consistent sleep schedule. It is best to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.
You also need to set boundaries in your work and social life. Let them know you prioritize sleep, and you preserve the full time of rest you need every night.
Manage your stress, and you can see positive effects. Learn how to handle stress healthily to improve your sleep at night.
Reduce overthinking and calm your anxious mind. To solve this problem, avoid screens, work, and stressful conversations before bedtime.
Do regular exercises to improve your mood and ease various symptoms of sleeping disorders.
Avoid caffeine intake four to six hours before bedtime. It is best to watch what you eat because it can disrupt your sleep at night.
Seek professional help if you think your sleep disorder is a result of a medical issue. Doctors will provide you with a different way to address the cause.
You have found out how sleep deprivation can affect you. It has various effects that can put your health at risk. On the other hand, this post also shared how to address the condition. The bottom line here is you should not lack the amount of sleep. This way, you can also secure your overall health and prevent the adverse effects of sleep deprivation
Healthy sleep patterns and habits are crucial components of a healthy lifestyle. Unfortunately for those dealing with a cancer diagnosis, getting healthy and consistent sleep doesn’t always come easy, and can even continue into survivorship. In fact, sleep problems such as insomnia affect 70 percent of cancer patients as well as 68 percent of cancer survivors.
Cancer patients experience a variety of physical symptoms as well as psychological symptoms. Chronic pain, which affects 75 percent of cancer patients, is persistent pain that lasts longer than three months. It can be brought on by tumors pressing against nerves and organs or can be caused by nerve changes from treatment or surgery. This pain can be super uncomfortable and can interrupt a normal sleep schedule. There’s also a multitude of symptoms that can be brought on by cancer treatment, causing patients to fall into a cycle of inconsistent and uncomfortable sleep.
In addition to the physical symptoms, many cancer patients and survivors experience mental health issues, such as anxiety, depression and stress which can keep them up at night. According to the National Cancer Institute, approximately 15 to 25 percent of cancer patients experience depression. It’s normal for cancer patients to experience intrusive thoughts and feelings like fear of dying, anxiety around money or life plans and even self-esteem issues. All of these changes both emotionally and physically can really take a toll on one’s mental health. When it comes to sleep, it can be difficult to shut these negative thoughts off, leading to an increase in the development of insomnia.
Aside from cancer patients developing sleep problems, there have also been studies exploring how lack of sleep can lead to cancer development. Those with existing medical conditions, such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) are actually 15 percent more likely to develop cancer than those without. OSA occurs when the muscles in your throat relax when you sleep, causing a temporary pause in your breathing.
Studies have shown that those with jobs that involve shift work are also more susceptible to developing cancer because of the disruption of the body’s normal sleep-wake schedule. Our bodies have a biological clock that controls how we function when we’re awake and when we’re asleep. If this is disrupted, it can cause irregular sleeping schedules. One study found that night shift workers had an elevated risk of certain cancers because of the disruption of their body’s natural 24-hour rhythm. Ultimately this disruption can cause changes to cancer-related genes and increase your risk.
Healthy sleep hygiene is something we should all strive to have. This involves the sleep habits and patterns that contribute to an overall healthy and most importantly consistent sleep. Whether a cancer patient, survivor or anyone looking to improve their sleep hygiene, the following sleep tips in the visual below can help you develop healthy sleep habits that will minimize your risk of developing sleep problems and cancer.
It seems that more and more of us in modern life are struggling to get one of the most instinctual requirements for health: enough quality sleep. As adults, we need between 7-9 hours of sleep per night. We used to manage this, as mother nature set us up with built-in mechanisms to help us fall asleep with the rhythm of the sunrises and sunsets. Over the years, the amount of sleep we are getting has been declining, yet nothing has changed in us physiologically. Mother nature doesn’t suddenly require us to get less sleep, so what’s going on? What’s happened in our recent history to make us so bad at sleeping?
Stress, Screens, and Schedules
We used to sleep routinely with the rise and fall of the sun. The term ‘midnight’ literally refers to the middle of the night, except nowadays it’s more like the beginning of the night for many of us. Thanks to electricity, we don’t have to fall asleep and wake up with the cycle of the sun anymore. We can sleep and wake up whenever we want to, or whenever our schedule allows us to. Many of us have stressful jobs and stressful home lives to contend with. Add the stress on top of our ability to choose when we sleep, along with more and more screen time and we have a recipe for less and less quality sleep.
Screens and Sleep
When we look at the decline in the overall amount that we sleep, and compare that to the increase in screen time over the years, we start to see a correlation. Screens are by no means the sole reason for our decline in sleep time, they do however play an important part in the deterioration of our sleep hygiene.
We mentioned that we used to wake and sleep with the cycle of the sun. This is because our body produces and releases a hormone designed to get us sleepy: melatonin!
Melatonin is released by the pineal gland when it is time to sleep. Our body knows it’s time to sleep thanks to darkness. When the sun sets, and we don’t have any artificial lights in the way, our body releases melatonin and prepares us for rest. When the sun rises, the pineal gland stops releasing melatonin so that we can wake up.
It makes a lot of sense that our bodies would have this built-in mechanism for sleeping at night. As animals, we are adapted to be active during the day. Our vision is improved during the daytime, which used to be much more important for our survival, as we could hunt and gather in the day and rest at night in the dark. So the term ‘midnight’ used to mean the middle of the night! The sun would set at around 8pm and would rise at around 4am, and this was around when we would fall asleep and wake up. But then, we created electricity, and we were able to choose when we experience light and darkness. This introduction of light meant that we were influencing our body’s production and release of melatonin without realizing it. Essentially, our modern world is the reason we’ve become so bad at sleeping.
The Harm Caused by Blue Light
Artificial light stops the production of melatonin, just like natural sunlight, and just like the light emitted from your phone screen, tablet screen, and computers. Even the Kindle which is designed as an alternative to books emits a small amount of blue light (better than screens, but will still have an impact on your melatonin release).
The blue light emitted from our screens essentially tricks the brain into thinking it’s daytime, so we don’t produce melatonin, so we don’t get sleepy, and so we end up laying in bed scrolling endlessly through social media on our phones waiting to feel tired enough to fall asleep: it’s not going to happen! Being addicted to our screens can make us bad at sleeping.
We need at least a couple of hours away from screens and bright light for our body to produce enough melatonin to get sleepy. And melatonin doesn’t just help us fall asleep. Research is showing that melatonin could have a role to play in the quality of our sleep too, helping us stay asleep in different sleep stages.
If you want to test this out for yourself,
try letting the sunset tonight without turning any lights on in your living space. You’ll probably notice yourself becoming tired the darker it becomes. A good way of encouraging the production of melatonin is to keep the lights dim in the evenings. Even turning off some of the lights in your home to minimize the light in the evenings can help in the production of melatonin.
Stress and Sleep
Why can’t we sleep when we’re stressed? Because we’re in fight, flight, freeze mode and we need the body to be in rest and digest mode. We experience stress as a survival trait. We need to feel stress in order to be motivated to change our situation to be safer. If we didn’t feel stress, we would blissfully wave at a bear stampeding towards us instead of appropriately, running away, preparing to fight, or freezing out of pure shock.
The body needs to feel a healthy balance of stress and calm so that it knows how to survive in potentially dangerous situations, and so that the body frequently rests and digests. When our sympathetic response is active (fight, flight, freeze), our body stops any jobs that are non-essential, like digesting and resting. When we’re undergoing stress, the body has one object: KEEP ME ALIVE. Save whatever nutrients I currently have by closing off my cells, not letting anything new in but also not letting any precious nutrients out. Little does the body know that it’s going a bit overboard in its stress response… we’re not stressed because of survival challenges, we’re stressed because my boss criticized my work project.
We need to activate our parasympathetic response (rest and digest) multiple times per day to make sure the body stays good at doing the things it needs to do during rest to thrive, like digesting our food and recovering.
It’s, unfortunately for many, not good enough to live with stress and then ‘destress’ on the weekends or on holiday. The body needs to rest and digest multiple times every day. If we don’t leave room for our parasympathetic response, we end up with chronic stress and poor mental health, and it becomes that much more difficult for the body to be good at resting and digesting.
The trouble in the modern day is that we experience stress in a very different way than we used to. Our body can’t differentiate stress from arguing with a loved one vs stress from being chased by a bear. We need to actively tell our body ‘Hey, it’s cool, I’m fine, just an argument with a loved one, we got this.’ Luckily, the body has some pretty nifty built-in mechanisms for encouraging the parasympathetic or sympathetic response.
Practice Deep Breathing
What happens to our breath when we’re stressed? What happens to our breath when we’re relaxed? When we’re stressed, our breath is short, rapid, and shallow. When we’re relaxed, our breath is long, slow, and deep.
Not only does our breath inform us as to how we’re feeling, but we can also use our breath to influence how our nervous system is responding to a situation.
If we have time to intentionally breathe deeply, then the body knows we’re in a safe situation and aren’t being chased by a bear. The action of breathing deeply sends the message to the fear center of the brain that we are safe, and in turn, the parasympathetic response happens.
You can practice deep breathing anywhere at any time. Simply take a deep breath in through the nose, and a long slow breath out through the mouth. You can breathe in and out through the nose if you prefer! Keep the body relaxed as you breathe slow, deep breaths. Doing this multiple times a day will give you the parasympathetic response multiple times a day, essentially training the body to get really good at activating this response and staying there.
Schedule and Sleep
In the modern-day, we all have schedules to contend with, and a lot of the time our schedule directly conflicts with our body’s natural circadian rhythm. So our schedules have a lot to do with why we’re bad at sleeping. The circadian rhythm describes our body’s natural sleep-wake cycle. If you have ever worked a shift job, you’ll know the struggle of sleeping and waking at different times every day and often at times that don’t feel natural.
Some of us create our own sleep schedule, staying up late or waking up crazy early, regardless of our body’s natural circadian rhythm. It is much easier for the body to wake and sleep at the same time every day. The body gets into its own routine of when to release certain hormones and start certain functions. By waking and falling asleep at the same time every day, we’re essentially helping the body stick with its natural rhythm. However, not everyone has the luxury to be able to sleep and wake up at the same time every day.
Whatever your schedule is, if it’s a sporadic one, a great goal to aim for is getting between 7-9 hours of sleep per night, even if it’s at different times every day.
The Things to Remember about Sleeping in 2021
The way that society currently functions in a lot of places in the world seems to actively discourage a healthy relationship with sleep. We’re stressed and on our screens a lot these days, especially since the pandemic, with more people working from home and more people fearful of their job security. We set expectations for ourselves that make us bad at sleeping and lead to unhealthy sleep schedules and habits.
The fact of the matter is, in order to thrive, whether that’s at work, at home, as a parent, as a friend, as an individual, we need to get enough quality sleep. For many of us, that might mean examining our current lifestyle and questioning what we value, and what we want to start with in terms of improvements to our sleep routine.
We can’t do it all at once. Once you identify the areas of your sleep that you’d like to improve, pick one small item from your list to focus on until it turns into an automatic habit that you don’t need to think about anymore, then you can focus on the next item on the list. It’s not a habit until it’s automatic.
Gabie Lazareff is a certified health and yoga coach and experienced wellness author. Writing for Somnus Therapy, the online sleep therapy platform, Gabie is educating readers about the importance of sleep not just to survive, but to thrive.
Your baby is a beautiful new addition to your life. At night, your baby needs lots of sleep though, and so do you. There is often a great deal of disagreement between parents when it comes to the best ways for babies to sleep. Inexperienced parents are often desperate for guidance in this area, and experienced parents have a variety of different tips to offer. Here are just a few baby and newborn sleeping tips that may help you to develop a better sleep routine if you are currently struggling as a sleep-deprived new parent.
Develop a Regular Nighttime Sleep Routine
A regular sleep routine is important for people of all ages looking to improve their sleep habits. Try to put your baby to bed at the same time each evening or at least around the same time each evening. You can also regularly give your baby a bath before bedtime, or develop other regular routines that will help your child to realize that it is bedtime and wind down for the night. One of the best baby and newborn sleeping tips is to start getting them into a good routine from the moment you bring baby home.
Use Relaxing Music to Help Your Baby Sleep
Relaxing sounds and relaxing music are easy to find on music and video streaming apps. White noise machines and radios also offer options for a gentle sound that may help a baby to fall asleep and stay asleep. Research has been done about classical music and baby development and experts on the topic generally suggest that it is a good idea to expose a newborn to classical music, especially at bedtime.
Co-sleep Safely with Your Baby
There are many different options for new parents to select from when it comes to choosing a newborn baby bed. A crib is a classic option, but some parents find that co-sleeping helps their baby to sleep through the night better. There are beds for newborn babies that can allow both of you to sleep safely and securely without any worries if this is an option that interests you.
Breastfeed at Nighttime
A hungry baby will not be able to sleep through the night well in most cases. If you breastfeed your child, it is a good idea to do so soon before putting your newborn to bed. A full tummy will prevent him or her from waking up as quickly as to scream for another nighttime breastfeeding. The physical closeness while breastfeeding will also relax your baby. Even if you do not regularly or exclusively breastfeed throughout the day, you may want to try it at night to help with your baby’s sleep.
Read to Your Baby or Tell Stories
It is never too early to read to your baby. Babies and young children learn by example and early reading habits are best encouraged by reading to your baby at a young age. The sound of your voice is comfortable, familiar, and relaxing for your baby as well. Even if they do not yet understand the content of books and stories, these things can help them to fall asleep at night feeling positive and relaxed. Be sure to read in a gentle, calm, and even tone of voice so that you do not startle or wake a baby that is starting to doze off.
Avoid Exposing Your Baby to Digital Screen Time and other Stimuli Before Bed
It is generally considered a bad idea to put your newborn baby in front of the TV in order to get them to fall asleep. Too much screen time does not benefit the neurological or other development of a newborn baby. It is a better idea to use other tactics like calming music, gentle massage, and story time.
Joyce Kimber is an entrepreneurial writer. She always finds new ways to improve her work performance and productivity. Connect with her on Twitter via @joyce_kimber91.
This past year has upended many aspects of our day-to-day life, from our work to our routines of seeing friends and family on a regular basis. The uncertainty and stress, along with constantly changing news, has caused the anxiety of this past year to manifest itself in different ways for many of us. From increased online shopping to late-night doom-scrolling, many people have been unprepared to live in an extended period of trauma.
One of the ways that this uncertainty has manifested itself is anxiety-induced insomnia, especially for those that have never had sleeping issues before. This phenomenon, also known as “Coronasomnia,” is the persistence of sleep issues (such as trouble staying asleep or falling asleep) due to pandemic-related stressors. This includes everything that the COVID-19 pandemic has altered, including:
The safety of loved ones
Your own health and safety
Loss of sleep, especially due to anxiety-related factors, can further disrupt areas of your life. Fatigue and disrupted sleep schedules can impact workplace productivity, and can lead to increased feelings of depression.
Though there’s no cure for anxiety or anxiety-related insomnia, there are a number of things you can do to try and get a handle on your sleeping habits to hopefully alleviate your anxiety symptoms at bedtime. Committing to healthy bedtime habits can help you get into a routine for bedtime, that will hopefully keep anxiety at bay and let your body know it’s time for sleep.
Here are a few ways you can prioritize sleep to keep coronasomnia away when you should be catching some zzz’s.
1. Read, Don’t Tweet
This is for the people that pop onto Twitter or Instagram “just for five minutes” then end up scrolling away for three hours. We all know that blue light has harmful effects on our eyes and can make it hard for us to sleep, so fight the temptation entirely and grab a book instead of your phone. Reading is a great way to relax at the end of the day and lets your brain gradually shut down and get ready for bed.
If you need another hobby or something cute to remind you to read, try a coloring page bookmark to relax you at the end of a long day and give you something to look forward to every time you open your book.
2. Move Your Body
It may sound cliché, but it’s true — moving your body and/or stretching before bed can help tucker you out for the day, as well as help you get better sleep altogether. If you’re the type that gets hyper or more energized after working out in the evening, try shifting it to working out earlier in the day, or just by doing a few stretches before getting in bed for the night.
3. Stay Away from Alcohol and Caffeine
Especially in times of uncertainty, it can be easy to turn to a little liquid courage to ease our minds and take some of the weight off our shoulders, leading to a bad case of coronasomnia. Avoiding caffeine is a no-brainer, as this gives you energy (which is likely the last thing you want if you’ve been having some sleep issues). While alcohol can make you sleepy, it’s also been linked to poor sleep quality and duration.
If you want something besides water before bed, try a calming cup of Sleepytime herbal tea with no caffeine. To spice it up, you can add some printable “positivi-tea” labels to the end of your tea bag so you’re greeted with a happy reminder every time you take a sip.
4. Write It Out
Stress and anxiety can eat you alive, and keeping it all bottled up is one of the worst things you can do. If you find your mind racing and heart pounding when you should be counting sheep, you may want to think about journaling each night before bed. Studies have shown that journaling can be good for mental health, as you’re no longer keeping everything inside that’s causing you stress or anxiety.
Try looking up some journaling prompts if you don’t know where to start, and if you want to try it out before buying a journal and committing try some printable bedtime journal sheets. These can be printed as many times as you need, so grab a pen and start writing — you may be surprised how much better you feel when you can get all your thoughts on paper instead of leaving them trapped inside your head.
Sleep issues are no joke, especially during such a turbulent time as the one we’re in. Through prioritizing your mental health and doing what you can to get into a sleep routine, you’re doing the best thing for you to keep sleep issues or coronasomnia at bay.
Emily Borst is a digital content creator who creates compelling stories worth sharing. Her background in writing has helped her cover unique topics, including sharing her passion for health and wellness. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, reading, and eating her way through Austin, Texas.
If you were not getting enough sleep before having kids, it likely hasn’t become easier since. No matter what stage or situation you are in, you worry about your children. When you have kids, your priorities change, and you may find yourself ruminating more often before you fall asleep each night. Poor sleep can interfere with your way of life. Take stock of the signs you may need more sleep that can be noticed by everyone around you.
Your appearance may suffer if you’re not getting enough sleep. While general signs of a lack of self-care could be a sign of depression or another health condition, you may need to get more sleep at night to improve the look of your eyes and skin. The most common physical signs of sleep deprivation are:
Dark undereye circles
Red, puffy eyes
Being Dependent on Your Alarm Clock
No one enjoys being startled awake—especially mothers of newborns. Most people need at least seven hours each night, and if you’re a friend of the snooze button, you may require more. Try to find your sweet spot by going to bed half an hour earlier each night until you wake up feeling refreshed. Some chores can wait until tomorrow.
Of course, no one likes lying awake at night either. It is normal to take 10 to 20 minutes to fall asleep, but if something—such as pain or the temperature of the room—is causing you to stay awake, you may need a new mattress. Your mattress can greatly affect your sleep, and the same style doesn’t necessarily work for everyone.
Getting Sick Often
Good sleep keeps your immune system in check. If you experience periods of high stress followed by dips in your general health—such as a cold or triggers to a preexisting health condition—it could be because you’re not getting enough sleep. One of the simplest things you can do to improve your immune system and avoid illness is to get good sleep.
Drinking Excess Caffeine
A cup of joe is a good way to begin the day. If you’re a postpartum mother who loves Starbucks or your local coffee shop, you’ve likely been looking forward to the day when you can get back to your favorite drinks. During the months of your pregnancy, your tolerance to caffeine may have decreased, so drinking the same amount as you did before you were pregnant may be adding to what is keeping you up at night.
Pro Tip: Doctors consider it safe for breastfeeding moms to drink two to three cups of coffee each day, but that still might be too much caffeine if you want to get a good night’s rest.
Losing Your Focus
The last thing any mother wants is to make a mistake involving their baby. During sleep, the brain processes information it picked up throughout the day. If the brain doesn’t get enough time for this process, it won’t reset and prepare you for the next day. Therefore, you might be more likely to hold on to things if you’re not getting enough sleep.
Other focus-related complications that can stem from sleep deprivation include:
Trouble completing tasks
Difficulty making decisions
Making poor decisions
Poor mental and physical health are not necessarily signs of sleep deprivation. If you have switched your mattress and given yourself adequate time to sleep at night, you could have a more serious reason for your sleep troubles. If you are noticing these five signs you may need more sleep, talk to your doctor to avoid unnecessary sickness and brain fog.
Christina Duron is a writer living in the Chicagoland area. Her passion for writing and mental health help create thought provoking and engaging pieces and hopes to use them to empower mothers and women to embrace the beauty of motherhood.
Being a parent comes with countless responsibilities. Juggling everything from work to relationships while focusing on your family’s needs takes a lot of energy, and it can leave you feeling drained at the end of the day. If you suffer from allergies, your symptoms might make finding the energy to complete everyday tasks even more challenging. It’s called allergy fatigue, and you’re not alone. A lot of allergy sufferers experience low energy levels and “brain fog” when regularly exposed to allergens.
Allergy fatigue is a very real problem. Other allergy symptoms like itchiness, congestion and breathing problems can make it impossible to get a good night’s rest, and the histamine your body produces when exposed to allergens can make you even more tired.
The first step to preventing allergy fatigue is finding the source of your symptoms. That can be pretty hard when you have a million things making you tired every day, so it can help to pay close attention to your other allergy symptoms and what triggers them. To do this, try starting an allergy log. Simply jot down your symptoms and the things you are exposed to throughout the day, and look for links between the two.
If you’re having trouble finding the source of your symptoms on your own, you can take an at-home allergy test to help you get to the bottom of it. Visiting an allergist who specializes in diagnosing and treating allergies is also a good option, especially if your allergies are severe. You might discover that you’re allergic to something you never even thought of.
Limit Exposure to Allergens
Once you find out which allergens are causing your fatigue, the next step is to find ways to limit exposure. For outdoor allergens, like pollen and mold, you can track daily allergen levels and see when they’re at their highest. You can find this information online or on most weather apps. Try to limit your time outdoors as much as possible on high exposure days, and move family activities indoors whenever you can during allergy season.
Limiting your exposure to indoor allergens can be a little trickier, but it is possible to allergy-proof your home. For allergens like pet dander and dust mites, dusting furniture, vacuuming carpets and washing bedding regularly can all help keep allergen levels to a minimum.
Consider Allergy Medication
Allergy medication can help relieve symptoms for both indoor and outdoor allergens, and there are plenty of affordable, over-the-counter options. However, you’ll want to make sure to choose one that doesn’t make you drowsy. Grab one that says non-drowsy on the label, or ask your doctor to help you find a medication that works best for you.
How to Improve Your Sleep
Trying to sleep with allergies can be a nightmare. Sneezing, coughing, itchiness and the general discomfort caused by allergies can prevent you from getting the quality sleep you need to feel energized during the day. Luckily, there are plenty of simple steps you can take to stop your symptoms from keeping you up at night.
Elevate Your Head
Propping your head up with an extra pillow or two can help relieve congestion and prevent mucus from building up in your sinuses while you sleep. This is also a good tip to pass on to your family during cold and flu season.
Air purifiers improve air quality by filtering out airborne allergens. Adding one to your bedroom can be a great way to improve your sleep and keep you from coughing and sneezing throughout the night.
Tips For Staying Alert
As a busy parent, allergy fatigue probably isn’t the only thing making you feel drained. Plenty of other things can make you tired throughout the day, and it’s important to address them whenever you can. These quick tips can help to feel more energized as you tackle your day.
Dehydration can make you feel tired and sluggish. To prevent this, try to drink at least 6-8 glasses of water throughout the day. Keeping a water bottle with you can help you remember. If water isn’t really your thing, try infusing it with herbs or fruit to add some natural sweetness. Staying hydrated will help you to feel energized, and it could even boost your mood!
Get Some Exercise
Whether you are stuck at a desk all day or spend the day bustling around the house, squeezing in a few minutes of exercise can help to boost your energy levels. It doesn’t have to be a lot. Going for a quick walk around the block or doing some stretches at your desk can release endorphins that boost your energy levels.
Take Short Breaks
Taking breaks throughout the day can increase focus and reduce fatigue. If you find yourself wearing down while grinding away at a task, take a few minutes to make yourself a cup of tea or listen to a relaxing podcast. A break also provides a good opportunity to check in with your body. If you’re feeling drained, try eating a healthy snack or taking a quick nap. Focusing on your family’s needs is important, but don’t forget that yours are important too!
Michaela Wong is a content creator and graduate of San Diego State University. She writes in a variety of industries ranging from health and wellness to interior design.