Lifestyle Solutions for a Happy Healthy You!

Posts tagged ‘Family Life’

How to Be Happier Within 5 Working Days

How to Be Happier Within 5 Working Days

  Why wait to be happy until the weekend hits or the next vacation beckons? It’s possible to feel happy Monday through Friday. Let me chalk out a simple Happiness Plan for you. It is almost ridiculously easy to follow, because it requires you to do nothing but one feel-happy thing each day of the week.
Monday: Decide to do your health just ONE favor. Think of something you have been neglecting or not doing for a while. Avoiding exercise, perhaps? No time for the gym, no energy to go jogging either. Fine. How about going up and down the stairs for just 10 minutes today? A few stretches at your desk would work, too. A spot of exercise will make a remarkable difference in the way you feel. Check out this University of Bristol research study, which specifically states how exercising on a working day makes you happier (and more productive at work).
Tuesday: Do some good today. Helping others triggers the feel-good hormone in our own systems. This good deed does not need to be time consuming or expensive–in fact, you need not even step out of office to try and help someone! How about bringing a batch of cookies for your coworkers, paying someone a genuine compliment, offering to help lighten their workload… ideas abound. The important thing is to think of something that will make someone’s day, and then do it! A British study has established that kindness leads to happiness: so now you have a science-backed reason to be nicer!
Wednesday: Today is No Negativity Day! Resolve, this morning, to think positive thoughts and wave away everything that is negative. So, no talking behind someone’s back, no criticizing and complaining, no “can’t and won’t.” Just for today, be someone who makes a space feel happier and more positive just by being in it. Smile more, and while you are at it, let go of the grudges you have been carrying around in your heart.
Thursday: Get close to Nature today. Routine work life has wrenched us away from the beauty of butterflies and flowers, trees and sky. Reconnect! Take a stroll in an open space, perhaps visit a plant nursery, or wake up early to hear the birds chirp and the dawn paint the sky gold.
Friday: Meet up with a friend or five! The weekend awaits, with its gift of rejuvenating pleasures. Tonight, just let your hair down and treat yourself to the company of your friends. A research study done at the London School of Economics measured happiness levels among people when they spent time with their parents, children and friends. The results: people were found to be happiest in the company of their friends. Chart your own happiness plan step by one little step.
By Shubhra Krishan
Writer, editor and journalist Shubhra Krishan is the author of Essential Ayurveda: What it is and what it can do for you (New World Library, 2003), Radiant Body, Restful Mind: A Woman’s book of comfort (New World Library, 2004), and The 9 to 5 Yogi: How to feel like a sage while working like a dog (Hay House India, 2011).

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Would feeling fantastic every day make a difference in your life?  HealthyHighway is a healthy lifestyle company that offers healthy lifestyle solutions for a Happy Healthy You! We help people who are…

  • Wanting Work Life Balance.
  • Needing Stress Relief.
  • Concerned about their health and the environment.
  • Frustrated battling allergies to gluten, foods, dust, chemicals, pollen.
  • Overwhelmed with choosing the best products for their body, home, and office.
  • Unsatisfied with their relationships with the men and women in their life and are ready to transform them into satisfying, happy partnerships.
  • Standing at a Career Crossroad.
  • Preparing to start a family and want a healthy baby.
  • Seeking solutions for aging, more energy, and a good night’s sleep!

Are any of these an issue or problem for you?  Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your needs and how HealthyHighway can meet them?  As a Healthy Lifestyle Coach with an emphasis on allergies and wellness, Leesa teaches her clients to make informed choices and enables them to make needed changes for an optimal lifestyle. What you eat, what products you use ~ on your body and in your home and office, how you talk to yourself ~ it all matters!

Contact me today and Start today to live a healthier, happier life!    Don’t live in Atlanta?  Not a problem.  We do virtual coaching worldwide!

I look forward to helping YOU Live a Happier Healthier Life! Remember, Excellent Health is found along your way, not just at your destination.

Live Well!

Leesa A. Wheeler

Leesa A. Wheeler
Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author
 
ring ~ 770-393-1284
skype ~ healthyhighway
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5 Things I Have Learned About Tackling Stress

5 Things I Have Learned About Tackling Stress

A Buddhist monk once said, “If a problem can be solved, why worry? And if it cannot be solved, what’s the good of worrying?”

Wise words, but admittedly difficult to practice. Problems are inevitable, and they cause stress. And stress can contribute to serious health conditions.

Like everyone else on the planet, I have my stressful days and moments. Finding ways to deal with them has taught me how to sift the useful tips from the less effective ones. Let me share some stress-relief strategies that really work for me:

1. Wait it out.

I can never forget what my father said while battling a bout of flu. “I am enjoying it,” he said, red-nosed but smiling. “It’s nothing but the body’s channels cleansing themselves. Another two days, and I’ll be fine!” This, when he had work deadlines he could not miss.

Another time, when I lay bedridden from multiple fractures, my surgeon gently told me the secret to dealing with the depression: “Think of the pain as a tunnel that you are slowly swimming through. At the end of that tunnel, there is light. Power yourself toward that light.” The image helped me tremendously. Stress will happen. Let it come and go. Hang in there!

2. Walk away.

When it comes to stress, don’t indulge in give-and-take, because stress can be contagious. It rubs off on others around you. And if somebody around you is stressed, the effects can ruin your own mood and day. When I feel a stressful situation developing, I try to move physically away from the scene and situation for a while. I am a book lover, so a trip to a bookstore always calms me. Sometimes, I go watch a movie, or just take a nice walk. If things are really stressful, you might consider a solo vacation. Nature offers a comforting shoulder indeed.

3. Analyze your anger.

It is easy to feel stressed when someone is saying harsh, hurtful words to you. And it is indeed difficult to put yourself in the other person’s shoes at that moment. But if you can teach yourself to empathize, you could let go of the intense negative feelings that stress brings. Remember, when someone says things that are painful for you to hear, it is likely that he is also feeling much of the pain he is inflicting. Here is a good reminder from writer William Arthur Ward:  ”It is wise to direct your anger towards problems — not people; to focus your energies on answers — not excuses.”

4. Use humor.

A good laugh fills your lungs with fresh, oxygen-rich air and releases feel-good endorphins into your system. The result: you feel instantly better. When stress comes knocking, treat yourself to some episodes of Candid Camera, a  Marx Brothers movie, or a stand-up comedy show—nothing works like a hearty dose of laughter. Shared laughter is even better, so take a friend or two along. Your stresses will have no choice but to melt quietly away!

5. Pamper your body.

This is my favorite way to deal with stress. Over the years, I have noticed how easily the body responds to a little TLC. A quick trim and blow-dry or facial massage are enough to take your mind off your stress. Checking into a good day spa or a spa resort over the weekend not only revitalizes your tired body, but also rejuvenates the unhappy mind. You emerge feeling more confident, energetic, and ready to take on the world. Massage, in particular, reduces muscle tension and improves blood circulation. A trained therapist knows and works on the right marma points, thus aligning the body’s healing energies to make you feel better.

What are your own strategies for dealing with stress? Do share!

By Shubhra Krishan

Shubhra Krishan

Writer, editor and journalist Shubhra Krishan is the author of Essential Ayurveda: What it is and what it can do for you (New World Library, 2003), Radiant Body, Restful Mind: A Woman’s book of comfort (New World Library, 2004), and The 9 to 5 Yogi: How to feel like a sage while working like a dog (Hay House India, 2011).

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Excellent Health is found along your journey and not just at your destination. Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your Health Issues or Problems and how HealthyHighway can help YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life? Please complete the information on our Contact Us page to schedule your consultation today! I look forward to helping YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life!

Live Well!

Leesa A. Wheeler

Leesa A. Wheeler

Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author

ring ~ 770-393-1284

write ~ info@healthyhighway.org

visit ~ www.HealthyHighway.org

consult ~ www.healthyhighway.org/contact.html

chews ~ www.Chews4Health.com/Leesa

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Eat 9 Walnuts a Day to Keep Stress at Bay

Eat 9 Walnuts a Day to Keep Stress at Bay
Walnuts are a wonder nut, that offer almost too many health benefits to count. Here is a quick list: Walnuts are a rich source of dietary fiber, antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids. These compounds work together to help you sleep better, reduce hair loss, prevent diabetes, improve complexion and  lower your risk of certain cancers. But did you know: walnuts are an excellent anxiety-reducing food, too. A first-of-its-kind Penn State University study found that walnuts and walnut oil can reduce blood pressure during periods of stress.  In this study, 22 adults with elevated levels of “bad” cholesterol were put on three different diets for six weeks each. At the end of the study, the three groups were put under mildly stressful situations such as making a speech and dipping a foot in a bucket of ice-cold water. Their blood pressure was measured both before these activities and soon after. Here is what researchers found: The group that was given 9 walnuts and a tablespoon of walnut oil as part of their diet had much lower levels of both resting blood pressure and stress-induced blood pressure.
According to statistics provided by the American Psychological Association, more than 77% of Americans admit to regularly experiencing physical symptoms caused by stress. Since stressful situations cannot be avoided altogether, eating a handful of delicious walnuts and including walnut oil in your daily diet seems like a comforting idea.
By Shubhra Krishan

Writer, editor and journalist Shubhra Krishan is the author of Essential Ayurveda: What it is and what it can do for you (New World Library, 2003), Radiant Body, Restful Mind: A Woman’s book of comfort (New World Library, 2004), and The 9 to 5 Yogi: How to feel like a sage while working like a dog (Hay House India, 2011).

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Excellent Health is found along your journey and not just at your destination. Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your Health Issues or Problems and how HealthyHighway can help YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life? Please complete the information on our Contact Us page to schedule your consultation today! I look forward to helping YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life! Live Well! Leesa Wheeler

Leesa A. Wheeler Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author

ring ~ 770-393-1284

write ~ info@healthyhighway.org

visit ~ www.HealthyHighway.org

consult ~ www.healthyhighway.org/contact.html

chews ~ www.Chews4Health.com/Leesa

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Why You Should Eat More Purple Fruits and Vegetables

Why You Should Eat More Purple Fruits and Vegetables

A

basked filled with luscious blue or dark red fruit and vegetables does much more than look good in still life paintings or on your kitchen counter. It contains a wealth of incredible health benefits.

The top benefactor in purple foods is their antioxidant content. The powerful health benefits of antioxidants are only too well known: they neutralize the agents of aging and disease, and keep you looking younger longer. Now consider this: According to the USDA , potatoes with the darkest colors have more than four times the antioxidant potential than other potatoes.  Remember: The darker the fruit or vegetable, the more antioxidants it has.


Prunes, purple cabbage, eggplant, blackberries, black currants, purple onions, concord grapes: all of these have a natural purple pigment that contains flavonoids, including reservatrol, which keeps blood pressure in control and boosts immunity from certain cancers. The skin of a black grape, for example, has this pigment, called anthocyanin. In cranberries, the purple pigment is seen to benefit those suffering from infections of the urinary tract.

There is evidence that purple foods improve heart healthvision, and brain power. Recent studies found that adults who eat purple and blue fruits and vegetables have reduced risk for both high blood pressure and low HDL cholesterol (the “good” kind); they are also less likely to be overweight.

So, with so many wonderful reasons to eat more fruits and vegetables of the purple family, get more of them into your daily diet. And don’t stop at eggplant and berries. Exciting purple varieties of corn, asparagus, figs, potatoes and such are yours for the tasting and enjoying!

By Shubhra Krishan

Writer, editor and journalist Shubhra Krishan is the author of Essential Ayurveda: What it is and what it can do for you (New World Library, 2003), Radiant Body, Restful Mind: A Woman’s book of comfort (New World Library, 2004), and The 9 to 5 Yogi: How to feel like a sage while working like a dog (Hay House India, 2011).

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Excellent Health is found along your journey and not just at your destination. Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your Health Issues or Problems and how HealthyHighway can help YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life? Please complete the information on our Contact Us page to schedule your consultation today! I look forward to helping YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life!

Live Well!

Leesa Wheeler

Leesa A. Wheeler

Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author

ring ~ 770-393-1284

write ~ info@healthyhighway.org

visit ~ www.HealthyHighway.org

consult ~ www.healthyhighway.org/contact.html

chews ~ www.Chews4Health.com/Leesa

enjoy ~ www.Chewcolat.com

follow ~ www.twitter.com/HealthyHighway

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link ~ www.linkedin.com/in/leesawheeler

 Chews4Health ~ www.chews4health.com/Leesa

as-seen-on

Study Shows That Your Daily Commute Can Make You Unhappy

Study Shows That Your Daily Commute Can Make You Unhappy

 

How long does it take you to reach your workplace? And how much does that commute time affect your happiness levels?

Surprisingly, this daily activity can have a major impact on your joyfulness quotient.

Many of us who work in an office commute twice a day at least five days a week. The average travel time to work in the United States is 25.4 minutes, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. In traffic-heavy cities and areas, it takes even longer to reach your workplace. New Yorkers, for instance, spend nearly two hours going to and from work every week day.

Over time, this distance and extra hours begin to make us less and less happy. This is not just conjecture—two  Swiss economists who studied this have found a strong link between commute time and happiness levels.

Alois Stutzer and Bruno S. Frey concluded that people who buy a big house in the suburbs, thinking they will be happier living in a larger space, grew gradually unhappier because of the daily long drive to and from work. They simply did not factor in the pain of a long commute.

So, if you have lately been feeling down in the dumps and don’t exactly know what the reason is, take another look at your location, and how it might be affecting your happiness.

By Shubhra Krishan

Writer, editor and journalist Shubhra Krishan is the author of Essential Ayurveda: What it is and what it can do for you (New World Library, 2003), Radiant Body, Restful Mind: A Woman’s book of comfort (New World Library, 2004), and The 9 to 5 Yogi: How to feel like a sage while working like a dog (Hay House India, 2011).

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Excellent Health is found along your journey and not just at your destination. Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your Health Issues or Problems and how HealthyHighway can help YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life? Please complete the information on our Contact Us page to schedule your consultation today! I look forward to helping YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life!

Live Well!

Leesa Wheeler

Leesa A. Wheeler

Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author

ring ~ 770-393-1284

write ~ info@healthyhighway.org

visit ~ www.HealthyHighway.org

consult ~ www.healthyhighway.org/contact.html

chews ~ www.Chews4Health.com/Leesa

enjoy ~ www.Chewcolat.com

follow ~ www.twitter.com/HealthyHighway

learn ~ www.healthyhighway.wordpress.com

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join ~ www.tinyurl.com/googleplusHealthyHighway

link ~ www.linkedin.com/in/leesawheeler

6 Easy & Effective Ways to Fight Forgetfulness

6 Easy & Effective Ways to Fight Forgetfulness

Do you often find yourself losing keys, forgetting names, and wondering if you took your medicine this morning? Forgetfulness can be frustrating, indeed. But here is a handful of at-home ideas to help you keep your memory razor-sharp.

Smell some rosemary.

The essential oils of rosemary and basil have been shown to increase the brain’s production of beta waves. This increases awareness of your surroundings and clears confusion. Just sprinkle a few drops of the oil on a clean handkerchief and take a deep breath. (Leesa recommends organic rosemary and organic basil!)

Drink more coffee.

Coffee really can be the cup that cheers your memory cells. Research shows that coffee may have a positive effect on long-term memory. (Leesa recommends organic coffee!)

 

 

Exercise.

A Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine study, quoted by Harvard Health Publications, found that physically fit people have less brain shrinkage than less active people. The cells particularly helped by exercise are those that control memory, communication, and learning.

Keep your blood sugar in check.

Keep your blood sugar under control, and you will find your memory improving. This may sound surprising, but a study published in the journal Neurology says that those with high blood sugar are seen to suffer from cognitive impairment. Scientists say this happens because high blood sugar causes structural changes in the areas of the brain that govern learning. Find helpful blood-sugar regulating tips here.

 

 

Get your B & C.

The B vitamin group makes and repairs brain tissue. Foods that endow you with the B vitamins are nuts and seeds, wheatgerm, bananas and chickpeas. Vitamin C has been correlated with mental sharpness, so include more strawberries, citrus fruits, kiwi and leafy greens in your diet. (Leesa recommends Chews4Health!) 

Go musical.

Learning to play a musical instrument develops motor skills and enhances your brain’s ability to focus and analyze.

By Shubhra Krishan

Shubhra Krishan

Writer, editor and journalist Shubhra Krishan is the author of Essential Ayurveda: What it is and what it can do for you (New World Library, 2003), Radiant Body, Restful Mind: A Woman’s book of comfort (New World Library, 2004), and The 9 to 5 Yogi: How to feel like a sage while working like a dog (Hay House India, 2011).

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Excellent Health is found along your journey and not just at your destination. Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your Health Issues or Problems and how HealthyHighway can help YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life? Please complete the information on our Contact Us page to schedule your consultation today! I look forward to helping YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life!

Live Well!

Leesa Wheeler

Leesa A. Wheeler

Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author

ring ~ 770-393-1284

write ~ info@healthyhighway.org

visit ~ www.HealthyHighway.org

consult ~ www.healthyhighway.org/contact.html

chews ~ www.Chews4Health.com/Leesa

enjoy ~ www.Chewcolat.com

follow ~ www.twitter.com/HealthyHighway

learn ~ www.healthyhighway.wordpress.com

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link ~ www.linkedin.com/in/leesawheeler

 

Simple Moments of Happiness

Simple Moments of Happiness

 

Happiness is still a mystery to most of us, but glimpses of it are to be  found in simple moments like these…

  • A fresh-from-the-farm meal, enjoyed in the garden with your family.
  • Popcorn at the movies.
  • Listening to an old song and leafing through the album of memories that it  stirs up in your mind…
  • Throwing “should” to the wind and letting the moment take you away!
  • Time spent with your best friend, even if it is a quick cup of coffee.
  • The sight of butterflies in a garden full of blossoms.
  • A lung full of pure, sweet, mountain air.
  • Children playing in the rain. Children playing anywhere.  Children.
  • A new shirt or dress that makes you feel fit and radiant.
  • The smell of vanilla and cinnamon filling your home.
  • Those moments before bedtime, when you curl up with a beautiful book.
  • A look of love from someone you love.

Really, happiness can be so very simple! A quick gladdening of the heart, a  fleeting but fulfilling emotion…

Please add to the list. I would love to hear about the things that make you  happy!

By Shybhra Krishan

Shubhra Krishan

Writer, editor and journalist Shubhra Krishan is the author of Essential  Ayurveda: What it is and what it can do for you (New World Library, 2003),  Radiant Body, Restful Mind: A Woman’s book of comfort (New World Library, 2004),  and The 9 to 5 Yogi: How to feel like a sage while working like a dog (Hay House  India, 2011).

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Thank you for visiting!  I believe that Excellent Health is found along your journey and not just at your destination. Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your Health Issues or Problems and how HealthyHighway can help YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life?   Please complete the information on our Contact Us page to schedule your consultation today!  I look forward to helping YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life!

Live Well!

Leesa A. Wheeler

Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author

 

ring ~ 770-393-1284

write ~ info@healthyhighway.org

visit ~ www.HealthyHighway.org

consult ~  www.healthyhighway.org/contact.html

chews ~ www.Chews4Health.com/Leesa

enjoy ~ www.Chewcolat.com

follow ~ www.twitter.com/HealthyHighway

learn ~ www.healthyhighway.wordpress.com

like ~ www.tinyurl.com/Facebook-HealthyHighway

join ~  www.tinyurl.com/googleplusHealthyHighway

link ~ www.linkedin.com/in/leesawheeler

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7 Foods that Help You Sleep Well

7 Foods that Help You Sleep Well

“Eat healthily, sleep well, breathe  deeply, move harmoniously.” ― Jean-Pierre  Barral

If you find yourself staring at the ceiling late into the night, try these  foods to help you drift into blissful sleep.

A cup of chamomile tea. For centuries, chamomile has been  harnessed as a herb that alleviates anxiety and promotes relaxation.

A handful of almonds: soak almonds in clean water in the  morning. At bedtime, slide off their skins and munch on them slowly. The  magnesium in almonds relaxes muscles and their protein content keeps your sugar  levels stable while you sleep.

A bowl of oatmeal: Every now and then, I stir up oatmeal for  dinner because it feels so warm and comforting. Only recently, I learned that  I’m actually helping myself sleep better by doing so. The fiber and minerals in  them do a wonderful job of easing the body and mind. Do avoid sugar in your  oatmeal, though.

Half a cup of cottage cheese: the slow-digesting proteins in  cottage cheese/paneer keep your digestive system relaxed all night long.  Besides, it contains tryptophan, the amino acid that plays a key role in  promoting better sleep.

A bunch of grapes: I was surprised to know that grapes are  the only fruit that contain melatonin, the hormone famous for coming to the  rescue of those who cannot sleep. Just munch grapes on their own or stir them  into a bowl of yogurt for a lovely and soothing bedtime snack.

A banana: the secret here is three-fold—potassium, magnesium  and tryptophan, which combine in one wonderful fruit to help you say ‘goodnight.’

Toast: it’s hot, filling and comforting. And surprise, toast  actually helps you sleep well, thanks to its being a trigger for insulin  production, which in turn boosts the sleep-friendly brain chemicals serotonin  and tryptophan.

(Leesa also recommends Good-Night™.   Are you getting enough sleep? Even when you do, are you still waking up feeling tired? Do you toss and turn all night? Does your brain seem to never shut off allowing you to relax?  Finally there’s an all-natural, fast-acting solution to your problem! Fall asleep faster, sleep through the night and wake up refreshed with Good-Night™. Good-Night™ is a fast acting formula that works in harmony with your natural sleep cycle to support a sound, tranquil sleep so you can awaken refreshed and energized without any grogginess.*  Good-Night™  helps relax the mind, combat stress and optimize neurotransmitter production which is crucial to getting a good night’s sleep.* )  (*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.)

By Shubhra Krishan

Shubhra Krishan

Writer, editor and journalist Shubhra Krishan is the author of Essential  Ayurveda: What it is and what it can do for you (New World Library, 2003),  Radiant Body, Restful Mind: A Woman’s book of comfort (New World Library, 2004),  and The 9 to 5 Yogi: How to feel like a sage while working like a dog (Hay House  India, 2011).

How to Recover From a Sleep Deficit

How to Recover From a Sleep Deficit

Economic woes keep many of us awake,

but you can give yourself a bedtime bailout package.

Can’t sleep? If you find yourself looking up at the ceiling at 3 am thinking about your financial future, know that you are not alone. A third of Americans say that they have been losing sleep over the state of the economy and personal financial concerns, according to the results of a poll released last month by the National Sleep Foundation (NSF). The economy has added to the already epidemic number of Americans experiencing sleep difficulties: 72 percent of American adults report sleeping less than 8 hours a night, up from 62 percent in 2001. And 20 percent of adults report sleeping less than 6 hours a night, up from 13 percent in 2001.

Losing sleep does more than make you tired. Insufficient sleep is related to numerous cognitive, emotional, and medical conditions, including impaired concentration and anxiety, depression, obesity, hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, as well as memory and immune dysfunction. Sleep deprivation is a public-safety issue as well, causing tens of thousands of car and truck accidents every year. In the recent NSF poll, 54 percent of drivers said they had driven while drowsy at least once during the past year, and 28 percent said they had nodded off or fallen asleep while driving a vehicle. When sleep-deprived subjects are brought into the lab to perform a driving simulation, they perform more poorly than intoxicated subjects.

WHAT IT MEANS: If you are one of the millions of people who are not getting the sleep you need, there are several strategies you can use to improve your sleep:

1. Stick to a schedule.

Do your best to fall sleep at about the same time each night and wake up at about the same time each morning, weekends included. Your body does best with a regular sleep-wake rhythm.

2. Stay away from food and alcohol.

Avoid eating for at least 3 hours before going to bed. Avoid drinking alcohol late in the evening. While a drink or two might relax you at first and help you fall asleep, the effect can wear off during the night, causing a rebound alertness that can wake you up and make it hard to get back to sleep.

3. Exercise.

Engage in vigorous exercise most days of the week for at least 30 minutes. “Vigorous” means that most of the time, you’re too out of breath to speak more than a few words. If exercising in the evening makes it hard for you to get to sleep, do your workout in the morning or afternoon.

4. Create a restful bedroom.

Make sure your bedroom environment is conducive to sleep. It should be dark, quiet, cool, and uncluttered. We spend so much time in our bedrooms that we tend to overlook the simple changes that could help us get more sleep, such as hanging thicker curtains to block out light, or moving the bed away from a noisy window.

5. Use your bedroom only for sleep and sex.

The moment you get into bed, you want to have a feeling of rest and relaxation that invites sleep. But if you engage in brain-stimulating activities in the bedroom, such as watching TV, sending e-mails, or talking on the phone, you become conditioned to associate your bed with energy and alertness, and that interferes with sleep.

6. Learn how to relax your body and quiet your mind.

Simple relaxation techniques like slow abdominal breathing, progressive relaxation, or guided imagery allow your body to release tension and your mind to settle down so you can ease into sleep. If it’s worry and anxiety that keep your mind from settling down, keep a notebook by your bed and jot down your concerns (and any possible solutions) before you turn out the light. The act of recording your worries so you can tackle them later helps you feel more in control.

7. Don’t worry about falling sleep!

While this might sound like the ultimate catch-22 for someone struggling to sleep, this may be the most overlooked tactic of all. The truth is, you can lessen the struggle by changing the way you think about sleep. Instead of thinking, I’ll never get to sleep. I’ll be a wreck tomorrow, say to yourself, Eventually, I’ll get to sleep. Even if I don’t get a full night’s sleep, I’ll be able to function tomorrow. I always do. Try turning your alarm clock to the side so you won’t be constantly confronted with how late it is.

By Jeffrey Rossman, PhD, Rodale.com

Jeff Rossman, PhD, is a Rodale.com advisor, and director of life management at Canyon Ranch in Lenox, MA. His column, Mind-Body-Mood Booster, appears most weeks on Rodale.com.


Rodale.com is a new original source for daily news, information, and advice on personal and environmental health. Rodale.com focuses on “Where Health Meets Green” topics, providing daily news stories and breaking news along with easy-to-follow, high-impact tips and advice. Rodale.com features a Daily Newsletter, and provides simple, powerful tools including Recipe Finder and Home Remedy Finder to help audiences improve their health and their environment. Rodale.com also includes “Maria’s Farm Country Kitchen,” a personal blog where Editor-in-Chief and Rodale, Inc. CEO and Chairman Maria Rodale is “Cooking Up Trouble, Dishing Out Advice.”

Myths About How to Act Around Someone Who’s Dying

Myths About How to Act Around Someone Who’s Dying

 Myths About How to Act Around Someone Who’s Dying

People often adhere to a code of conduct about the end of life that’s just not rooted in common sense or reality — especially when it comes to how to talk to someone who’s dying, in their final days or hours. Hospice nurse Maggie Callanan, who has attended more than 2,000 deaths, wrote her book Final Journeys: A Practical Guide for Bringing Care and Comfort at the End of Life in order to take on these myths:

Myth: Don’t cry in front of the dying.
They know you’re sad. Having the courage to bare your emotions gives the dying person permission to be candid about his or her own feelings. Your tears are evidence of your love. And they can also be a relief to the person, telegraphing that you understand what’s happening.

Myth: Keep the children away.
People often steer kids away from death so they’ll remember the person in a good light and not be frightened. But most kids do well with simple explanations of what’s happening; facts are usually less scary than their vivid imaginations. By cordoning off a child from a natural part of life, you also deprive the dying person of a beloved, comforting presence.

Myth: Don’t talk about how you expect your life will change after the dying person has passed away.
It’s not like they’ll feel left out. You can be sure the dying person is thinking about your life after his or her death — people are often deeply concerned about this. It’s reassuring to hear that loved ones will look after one another.

Myth: If you don’t deal with death well, it’s OK to stay away.
Some people excuse themselves from visiting a dying person with phrases like, “I hate hospitals” or “I want to remember X the way she was.” This is saying that your discomfort is more important than the dying person’s final needs.

End-of-Life Arrangements: A Resource List

“You have a responsibility,” Callanan says. “If someone has played a positive part in your life, that person deserves your attention as his or her life is ending. I’ve seen too many devastated people dying too sadly, waiting for someone who never came.”

By Paula Spencer, Caring.com senior editor

Caring.com was created to help you care for your aging parents, grandparents, and other loved ones. As the leading destination for eldercare resources on the Internet, our mission is to give you the information and services you need to make better decisions, save time, and feel more supported. Caring.com provides the practical information, personal support, expert advice, and easy-to-use tools you need during this challenging time.

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