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Selecting The Right Mattress For Your Body & Sleep Habits

Choosing the right mattress can make the difference between years of satisfactory sleep or endless nights trying to find a comfortable position. Your body type has a bearing on the type of mattress you should select for best support. Your personal sleep preferences should also be taken into account when selecting the right mattress for your need

Side, Stomach or Back Sleepers

Your sleep position is a significant factor in selecting a mattress. Ultimately, a good mattress should keep your spine in a straight alignment regardless of what position you take. However, many back sleepers find that a firm mattress offers the necessary support of the lower back. Side sleepers need a bit more “give” to allow them a comfortable position that still offers support. For these sleepers, a medium firmness is a good choice. If you sleep on your stomach, a soft mattress will make you fall into it face down too readily, causing a deep curve in the lower back and neck. Choose a medium firmness mattress to allow some support for both upper and lower body.

Broad Shoulders

Individuals who have broad shoulders and are side sleepers will probably prefer a mattress on the softer side. Too much pressure on the shoulders can be uncomfortable, so softer support can be a better choice. The right mattress can be especially important for those with shoulder problems. A firm mattress can allow too much pressure on the shoulder joint, leading to aches and pains upon waking in the morning.

Wide Hips

Similarly, those individuals with wide hips may find that a firm textured mattress places too much pressure on tender hipbones. Older people who are troubled by hip pain may find this particularly uncomfortable. Give considerable thought before committing to the purchase of a mattress. A store with a good return policy may be a good idea for people who may have difficulty finding the right firmness texture for their needs.

Weight Factors

Thin individuals can generally tolerate any thickness and firmness of mattress unless they have other health issues that may come into play. However, heavy individuals generally prefer firm mattresses that are over nine inches in thickness to avoid unnecessary pressure.

Mattress Accessories

Many consumers find that adding one of the mattress accessories that are available can help to make a mattress more comfortable for their particular body type. Padded mattress covers and mattress pads can additional softness when needed and can be removed when the sensitive body part improves. Buyers can choose from a wide variety of products that can help to raise the comfort level of their mattress for a better night’s sleep.

Beat Sleep Deprivation With 7 Natural Remedies

Are you having trouble falling asleep? Insomnia can cause many effects on the mind and body including depression, fatigue, mood swings, inability to focus, and increase in appetite. Before you reach for the over the counter sleep aid, keep in mind that experts caution sleeping pills are not always safe or effective. Here are seven natural ways to fall asleep fast:

Eat a snack

Eating a calming snack about 90 minutes before bed like 1/2 a bowl of oatmeal with slice banana or a bowl of low-fat ice cream can help the sleeping process. Choose a low protein, high carbohydrate snack that will allow your metabolism to slow before bed.

Take Valerian root

This natural supplement prompts your brain to produce neurotransmitters that make you sleepy.

Take a break

Give yourself a massage by rubbing lotion in circular motions on areas of muscle tightness in your body. This promotes healing and relaxation resulting in a blissful sleep.

Enjoy a nice soak

Soaking in a warm bath raises your body temperature, and the cool down experienced after getting out of the bath produces a calming sleepiness. Add Epsom salts or a soothing lavender oil to the bath for a spa like experience.

Bath Soak

Lavender

A lavender scented eye mask or pillow will help you fall asleep in no time. The scent from lavender oil enhances slow-wave sleep, the very deep slumber in which the heartbeat slows and muscles relax.

Herbal tea

Caffeine free chamomile tea is a warm, soothing drink to sip on before bed. It promotes relaxation and peace.

Herbal Tea

Do yoga

As a form of mind-quieting physical activity, yoga does wonders for relaxation. Also, studies show that those who exercise sleep more hours than those who do not exercise. Yoga is the best of both worlds allowing your body to break a sweat and stretch at the same time.

Does Hypoallergenic Bedding Really Work?

Around 20 million people in the US alone suffer from allergies to dust mites and other allergens. My children are two of them. They suffer from such symptoms as breathing problems, sneezing, and hives when they are exposed to certain allergens. Hypoallergenic bedding like mattress covers was one of the first items that my allergy specialist recommended for allergy management. A number of people wonder if hypoallergenic bedding works. I am here to answer that question for the allergy sufferers in the world: Hypoallergenic bedding is quite effective in allergy management for children and adults. It can create the perfect treatment plan when it is used in conjunction with other treatment methods.

What is Hypoallergenic Bedding?

Hypoallergenic bedding consists of items such a pillows and pillowcases, comforters, mattresses, sheets, covers and the like. Manufacturers create this special bedding with the intention of causing the least amount of allergic reactions from a sufferer. Most hypoallergenic bedding is made of synthetic material as opposed to down filled materials that cause allergic reactions. Some hypoallergenic bedding is made of vinyl because vinyl is a material that repels dust mite droppings. Dust mites are located everywhere, and their droppings cause allergic reactions because they settle in the sheets, pillows and covers.

Hypoallergenic Sheets

Hypoallergenic bedding works by creating a barrier between the allergic person and the dust mites. The special material works to reduce the amount of vapors and skin flakes on which dust mites thrive. Eventually, the dust mites die and decrease the person’s chances of getting ill. You can find hypoallergenic bedding in a wide variety of online and physical locations. Most carriers label their special bedding as hypoallergenic. Consumer reviews and comparisons can help you to locate the most successful products for allergies. I purchased my children’s bedding through an online allergy club.

Allergy Proofing the Room

For maximum results, you will want to allergy proof the room. Your additional efforts will fortify the effectiveness of the hypoallergenic bedding. One thing you can do to decrease the amount of dust mites in the room is frequently wash the bedding. You may want to run the bedding through a washer with hot water two times per week to minimize infestation. Replacing old carpeting can help to minimize dust mites. Over time, they become trapped in the carpet. Starting with new carpeting can provide a breath of refreshing air the allergic person. Area rugs are an excellent choice because they can be removed and cleaned with ease.

If you have curtains in the bedroom, you can decrease allergic reactions by installing shades or blinds that you can easily wipe down to remove the dust mites. Cleaning the blinds with bleach several times a week can help to combat those annoying critters. Additionally, dusting is an effective practice that you can perform at least once per month to keep down dust mites. If the allergies are severe, then you can increase your dusting efforts to twice per month or once per week. Hypoallergenic bedding does work wonderfully, but multiple efforts will help you even more.

The Proper Usage & Effects of Aromatherapy

I had heard of aromatherapy in the past, but it was not until my best friend treated herself for depression that I realized its full potential. Aromatherapy can have quite a few positive effects on a person. If aromatherapy is used properly, it can provide relief for a multitude of physical and psychological conditions.  In addition, it’s a great romantic complement to satin bedding and the like :)

What Is Aromatherapy?

Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils and candles for psychological, physical and spiritual wellness. The system works by invoking chemical changes in the brain through the sense of smell. Each oil or candle scent has a different effect on the psyche. My friend alternated between inhaling the oils and applying some of them to her skin.

Physical Effects of Aromatherapy

One of the most beneficial effects of aromatherapy is increased energy. Peppermint is an ideal aromatherapy product for increased energy. It has properties that continuously combat fatigue. Peppermint can be a lifesaver if you suffer from depression. My friend used peppermint in the morning so that she could awaken her mind and keep her body energized for her work shift. Peppermint is also effective for muscle aches and pains. It can be used as a treatment for gym injuries and illnesses such as the flu.

Aromatherapy Oils

Courtesy of Naomi King

The scent of roses is as pleasing as it is beneficial for sleep promotion. Its soothing qualities can help you fall asleep if you are suffering from insomnia or the effects of depression keep you up at night. Additionally, it has properties that can place you in a pleasant mood. Other scents that are notable for their uplifting properties are bergamot, cypress, lemongrass, lavender, jasmine, spruce, orange, rosemary and sage. The key to using aromatherapy properly is finding the scents that you enjoy smelling the most.

Conditions that involve overexcitement and nervousness need aromatherapy scents that can calm the nerves. Examples of such items are chamomile, sandalwood, and neroli. Geranium is also excellent for calming the nerves.

Ginger has been long known for its anti-nausea properties. It can be an amazing assistant with conditions such as the flu. Ginger is also a great element to use during the first trimester of pregnancy where nausea is prevalent.

You can use aromatherapy products as an alternative treatment for allergies and asthma. Eucalyptus is one of the most powerful ingredients for decongestion. It can be a powerful force if you use it in conjunction with other products such a humidifier.

Using Aromatherapy Effectively

As mentioned above, the most common way to use aromatherapy is by inhaling the oils. You can inhale the same scent or create a powerful blend and inhale it as needed. Inhaling the blend four times a day is great way to treat your condition. Alternatively, you can rub the oils on your skin or have someone perform a massage on you with the oils. Aromatherapy baths are great for the psyche as well. You can mix the oils with honey and add the mixture to hot bathwater for a relaxing or refreshing bath.

Insomnia: Causes, Symptoms, & Treatments

There’s no denying how much insomnia (no, not the movie) can impact our daily routine. Whether it’s nodding off at work, taking extended naps, or feeling lethargic all day, insomnia often comes with a plethora of other issues. As you read this article, you’ll learn more about insomnia and how to treat it.

Causes

It’s important to note that there are two variations of insomnia: primary, which is strictly an inability to fall asleep or to sleep soundly through the night, and secondary, which is a type of insomnia induced by another health issue like asthma, heart issues, and so on. For those with acute insomnia, difficulty falling or staying asleep lasts anywhere from one night to a week. For those with chronic insomnia, sleep issues can last as long as several months or up to a year. The National Sleep Foundation states that one of the most common forms of insomnia is stress-induced insomnia. Acute, stress-induced insomnia can be caused by a highly stressful job, an especially jam-packed week with the kids, or major life changes like a wedding or the loss of a loved one. Other causes of actute insomnia can include bodily pain, some medications, and external factors like nearby noisiness. My insomnia was particularly present during the middle of my first pregnancy and battling intense discomfort and pain. For my husband, his encounters with insomnia are naturally worse when approaching a major deadline at work and can least for a few nights. Chronic insomnia is generally caused by more intense stress or severe depression and anxiety.

Symptoms

Insomnia

Courtesy of Carlos Martz

The most obvious symptoms of insomnia include fatigue and lethargy during the day, waking up repeatedly during the night, and an inability to fall back asleep. Other symptoms include grouchiness and difficulty focusing or remembering things.

Treatment

Because getting a full night’s rest is essential in maintaining a healthy, strong immune system, treating insomnia is critical in avoiding illnesses. Treating acute insomnia can often be as simple as tweaking your sleep habits. For example, avoiding late-night snacks and the use of stimulating electronics like your laptop and TV later on in the evening can have a substantial influence on your ability to sleep. My husband and I can attest to this, as we’ve both suffered from insomnia whenever we eat dessert in bed while watching TV right before going to sleep, so it’s best to entertain yourself with a book an hour or two before bed to avoid excessive stimulation. Similarly, choosing the right bedding and sheet sets can be very helpful.  If changing your nighttime habits proves to be ineffective, consulting with your doctor for prescription sleep aids is best for treating acute insomnia. For more severe cases of insomnia, behavioral therapy is often suggested to help break the behavioral habits that may hinder your ability to sleep.

Conclusion

There’s no doubt that insomnia can be detrimental to your energy and health. By simply improving your nighttime habits or consulting with your doctor, you can easily overcome this challenge and enjoy a restful night’s sleep again.