Does sleep keep you sane?

sleep

The average adult requires 7 to 9 hours of sleep to ensure they are able to function well the next day whether at work or in school. Sleep helps to revitalize the body but in order to have a great nap, you need to have a steady bed, a good mattress and (preferably) the best goose down comforters .
The above combination will help provide your body with the necessary comfort and elevation needed. Below are benefits of sleep to your psychological well being.

Helps to improve your memory

While you sleep, your mind stays busy allowing you to have sweet dreams and in other instances, nightmares. Studies have shown that if you want to learn something and be able to commit it to memory, practice it when sleeping. Be it Spanish or a new tennis swing or a new trick, practicing it while you sleep helps to improve your memory. This process is called consolidation.

Helps to spur creativity

Are you painter, musician, actor, writer or poet? Having a great sleep helps to bring your creative juices to your finger tips. Combination of consolidation that helps to improve your memory and great sleep helps to reorganize and restructure memories and ideas.
This helps to spur creativity and allow an artist to come up with a master piece.

Helps to improve grades

Check out this video on deep sleep improving your intelligence:

Young children and adults who are still studying need to have a great sleep before facing the next day. Why? This is because sleep provides a chance of rest to your mind and body as well. A well rested individual will stay alert and concentrate in their studies during class.
Lack of enough sleep usually results in students napping in class and losing concentration which means important information will fly by. This will reflect poorly in their exams. Next time your are facing your finals, ensure you have a great sleep using goose down pillows to rest your head and your mind will be focused allowing you to pass well.

Helps to sharpen one’s attention

When adults fail to rest well at night, they become sleepy during the next day as opposed to children who usually become hyperactive. This usually results in children being inattentive and impulsive. Sleeping the required 7 to 8 hours helps to sharpen the attention of a child and allow them to grow normally and interact with other children well.

Helps to reduce stress

Stress and sleep go hand in hand therefore depriving yourself the required 8 to 9 hours of sleep will lead to being tired therefore losing attention to what’s happening in the surrounding. Tiredness kicks in which eventually is followed by stress. Stress leads to several complications especially where cardiovascular health is concerned.
To eliminate stress, it is important to rest your head on goose down pillows and ensure you sleep the required 8 hours.

 

Ecigarettes? A Healthy Alternative for Smokers?

A lot of people claim to smoke because it relieves their stress. I wanted to discuss a potentially healthy alternative to the old school cigarette.

E Cigarettes

Electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes as they are more commonly known are a relatively new product that has been released and marketed as an alternative to conventional tobacco cigarettes. E-cigarettes don’t produce smoke meaning that they can be used anywhere. The real question now is if e-cigarettes are a safe and healthy alternative.

ecigarettes

E-cigarettes are battery operated devices that are designed to look very similar to normal cigarettes, including an end that glows as you inhale, but provide a different way to receive nicotine, which is the addictive drug found in tobacco. They work by heating up a cartridge inside the device that contains liquid nicotine, flavours and other chemicals into a vapor which is inhaled. As these devices heat up liquid they are considered smoke less but the user still does exhale vapor. The primary ecigarette brand in the USA is kangertech, and a social lites are a popular brand for ecigarettes in Australia and Britain.

 

E-cigarettes still contain nicotine in the cartridges so they are still addictive just like conventional tobacco cigarettes. When you stop using them, the withdrawal symptoms are the same as other cigarettes such as irritability, depression, restlessness and anxiety and it is still not recommended for people with heart conditions or problems. As e-cigarettes haven’t been widely available for very long, the consequences of long term use is not yet clear. Different studies have suggested that they may not be as harmful as conventional cigarettes while others say that there still big risks in using e-cigarettes instead.

 

The big difference between e-cigarettes and conventional cigarettes is that e-cigarettes don’t contain any tobacco but it is important to keep in mind that it’s not just tobacco that causes cancer. Many of the same chemicals that are used the in the production of regular cigarettes are still contained in e-cigarette cartridges.

 E cigarette Risks

E-cigarettes have been found to have detectable levels of known carcinogens and toxic chemicals to which the person is exposed to when using them. These same carcinogens and toxic chemicals are also found in conventional cigarettes so there’s no reason why e-cigarettes will react any differently over long term use.

 

On the other side, e-cigarettes can be seen as a safer alternative simply because they contain no tobacco. As no tobacco is burnt, e-cigarettes are free of the tar that is toxic and responsible for the damage to people’s lungs. There is also the consideration that there is no danger of secondhand smoke as well.

 

Aside from the obvious physical difference between conventional and e-cigarettes and the effect that it has on the body, there is also some evidence to suggest that it may be a segway between smoking conventional cigarettes and quitting smoking altogether. One study has found that people were 60 per cent more likely to succeed in quitting smoking completely if they used e-cigarettes over other more traditional methods such as patches or gums.

Final Thoughts

The ultimate verdict is still not decided on whether e-cigarettes are a healthy alternative to smoking due to the fact that they haven’t been used for long enough to build any evidence one way or the other. Some evidence does suggest that they are slightly better for your overall health due to the lack of tobacco. They may also be used as a tool to break their nicotine addiction. In saying that, quitting smoking is still the healthiest option above anything else!

ecigarettes as a smoking alternative

stress music

Free Your Mind: The Practice of Using Music To Releive Stress

The practice of using music to relieve stress is nothing new to us. History shows us several examples of how rulers in ancient times had musicians available to them in court to play for them when they felt the mood. These first stress relievers were called bards or minstrels. Listening to someone play for you is just one way you can use music to help relieve stress.

There have been several studies done on music and stress relief. There is very little doubt that music can be used to positively affect a person’s mind or mood. Different types of music can bring about different reactions. Slow and soothing instrumental music can help a person relax and unwind from a tough day. Music can also be used to induce a positive frame of mind, it just involves playing different music.

The practice of using music to relieve stress has proven so effective it has expanded into it’s own medical discipline, called music therapy. Many major hospitals and medical centers around the world have devoted at least some of their resources to this type of therapy. They employ musical therapists who use various types of music and musical instruments in an attempt to help emotionally troubled patients break out of their shells. So far the results have been pretty encouraging, there are even new dj mixes by some prominent artists that attempt to use music in this fashion and promote their albums as healing.

So how does it all work? Well the human brain is a pretty complex organ, one we don’t quite fully understand yet. Scientists and researchers theorize that when music is played it may increase the production of endorphins and other chemicals like it in the brain. When these endorphins are present, a person’s mood will improve and their body will relax. This effect has been documented in many of the studies done on using music to relive stress and is pretty much considered to be fact by the experts.

So what kind of music helps relieve stress the best? The answer is pretty much up to the individual. Studies have shown that certain types of music can be more relaxing than other kinds. Many people favor Native American music, others like the sounds of the ancient Celt instruments. Another popular choice involves using the sounds of nature like thunder and falling rain combined with some soft instrumentals.

The choices mentioned above are just suggestions if you are having a hard time relaxing. You don’t have to use those kinds of music if you don’t want to. You should listen to something you like, it can be from any musical genre. People can unwind just as easily with a soothing country song as they can with the sounds of thunder and lightning. Sometimes the emotional impact of the song is just as important as its tempo. A song that takes you to a good place inside your mind can definitely help reduce your stress.

Music can be a very powerful thing. The practice of using music to help relieve stress and solve other emotional problems is beneficial to our society as a whole and should be encouraged wherever possible. Music makes people happy, music makes people sad, it makes people think. That can only be a good thing. Music can help relieve stress, but it can do so much more than that. Give it a shot, turn on your favorite song right now and see how it makes you feel.

Physical Exhibitions of Psychological Stress

It’s quite easy for one to get lost in this driven, workaday world. Thoughts of deadlines, bill payments, and various other situations the average citizen deals with on a regular bases clouds the minds of the first world. This coupled with the plethora of issues facing modern society such as unemployment, the soaring of tuition fees for colleges and universities, and rising living costs results in an increased level of mental stress for the common person. Psychological stress, in shorter terms, is the sensation of pressure or tension, which is surprisingly a naturally occurring phenomenon. Minute amounts of ‘positive’ stress is even considered as healthy, and is said to aid muscular performance, self-motivation, adaptation, and reaction to the surrounding environment.

 

Despite this, not all stress is considered beneficial, and like most things, an excess amount of it can be dangerous to a man or woman. The human body has little in the way of telling physical and psychological stress apart, which means that the effects of an overdue credit card bill can even mirror what one experiences in a life or death struggle. Considering that the amount of stress exhibited in said scenario is extremely high, for one to face this amount of mental strain on a regular basis is rather troubling.

 

Thankfully, many of the signs of unusually high amounts of stress are easily discernible. The more obvious symptoms include, but are not limited to: headaches, weight problems, lack of sleep, irregular digestive activity, an increased frequency of colds and other common illnesses, a higher level of blood pressure, and a lower amount of energy. Vaguer warning signs exist as well in the forms of depression, mood swings, and the inability to focus. Of these symptoms, the one that sees the least amount of attention is the grinding of teeth during the night.

teeth grinding

The medical term for teeth grinding is bruxism, and is normally not an issue if it does not occur regularly. However, an excess amount of stress can result in an increased amount of teeth grinding during sleep, and if left untreated, tooth damage can occur. High amounts of bruxism can also result in other oral complications, even going so far as to cause permanent hearing damage. The most difficult part about diagnosing bruxism is the fact that it occurs while the subject is unconscious, meaning that without a second party to witness the event, many never realize the issue until it’s too late. Regularly visiting the dentist is critical in maintaining oral health, and is highly recommended if one suspects that they grind their teeth at night.

Being Mindful of Stress

Many of us experience feelings of stress whether at work or in our private life. However not everyone realizes how much of an impact it can have upon their effectiveness at work.

Stress reduces our ability to concentrate and can make our interpersonal relationships with clients and colleagues difficult. It can leave us with a constant feeling of tiredness and perhaps even a desire not to be at work.

This can become a vicious circle where the need to work fuels stress which feeds the need to be away from work which causes feelings on concern and more stress.

Many people turn to their doctor for help with stress hoping that medication with solve the problem. Others turn to solutions such as alcohol.

The former can have side effects such as leaving you lethargic and the latter in the long run only increases the anxiety associated with stress. If neither of these methods work then what is the solution? There are three things that can improve your stress levels when at work and when not at work.

When at work

Having experienced the feeling of stress even travelling to work I know the importance of planning your day. It is best to do this the day before so that you go home each evening with a plan for the following day which hopefully allows you to switch off in the evenings.

Secondly take breaks during your day. Do not stay at your desk or in your office when you get a break. Even if it is just 10 minutes try to get outside, have a brief walk, see if you can find something to take your mind off things for a few moments. People watching is fine, sitting on a bench reading something light is also good. Make sure you have a proper break for lunch and once again do not stay in the work environment.

Any enlightened boss will know that a stressed worker is less effective so talk to them about the cause of your stress. If their is a particular aspect of your work that creates the most stress discuss it with them and see if you can agree a way to lessen you anxiety about the task.

When not at work

If at all possible try and leave work at your workplace even if it means staying a little longer to finish something so that your free time is your time. Exercise is excellent for combatting stress. Walking is absolutely fine and the method that I use. A half hour walk in a local park works wonders. Other people prefer to run, others to play a competitive sport such as squash or badminton. You will feel better because you have left work at the workplace and you have engaged with something different.

 

Finally try to plan to make effective use of your weekends and free time. Plan something for each weekend. If you just sit at home then your mind will drift back to your problems. Sunday nights are difficult for everyone but even more so if you are stressed. Find yourself a “Sunday evening” activity that will allow you to relax, enjoy the whole weekend and get to sleep. I know I love to bust out my best ping pong paddle and give my son a whooping every week to relieve my stress!

So to recap, plan your days, take regular breaks and leave work at the workplace. When away from work find activities that give you some exercise and allow you to switch off.

 

Facts About Stress

Life can be beautiful but problems will be a part of our existence. In a perfect world, we want to live problem free, stress free and trouble free. The truth is that problems and how we deal with them plays a major role in every day living. We learn how to deal with each situation.

Stress levels can be measured by how a person handles it. One person can deal with stress much different than the person next to them.

It’s been reported that a problem like financial hardship creates stressful situations in a house hold which leads to arguments and disputes. Couples can feel the tremendous affect and can begin distancing from each other increasing the stress level. The distance and disconnect from your partner or significant other is just another situation added to the first problem of financial hardship. It’s like a domino effect.

Financial hardship can tie into an addition to the family. A new baby at a time when a person is more financially challenged can be extremely stressful.

Kelly Mcgonigals talks about how to make stress your friend here in this video:

Everyday stress can also be caused by not having enough time. This alone creates a stressful situation when a person feels that there’s just not enough time in the day to complete their tasks. Spending more time at work, less time a home, or speeding to get to their destination. This situation again, can add to family stress. Not being able to manage our time can develop into a bigger and more stressful situation.

Coping With Stress

The manner in which people cope with stress can be a stressful situation in itself. It’s been reported that people develop bad eating habits increasing stress levels due to health reasons. Overeating increases weight gain due to this unhealthy habit creating a health risk and adding to stress levels. On the other hand, if a person starves during stressful situations it’s also a health risk.

In a situation where a person spends thousands of hours on the Internet at work and home, an attack on their computer can be devastating. In 2014  a file-encrypting ransomware program called CryptoWall infected over 600,000 computer systems. The cryptowall virus held 5 billion files hostage from computers creating a very stressful situation for those infected. The threat had been out since 2013 but had been overshadowed by CyrptoLocker. People lost money after being asked for ransom money to release files. The ransom ranged anywhere between $100 and $500. This is money that a victim may or may not have.

The day to day stress and the inability to deal with that stress can create mental health problems. A person can develop social anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, drug addiction and even personality disorder. A person struggling with stress can also begin experiencing depression, anxiety, relationship problems and even learning disabilities.