Category Archives: Guest Posts

6 All-Natural Ways To Get Rid Of Headaches And Sleep Better – Guest Post

Please enjoy this wonderful guest post! – Michelle

A throbbing headache is a real nuisance and can even put you out of action for a few hours. The obvious answer is to take a painkiller, but there are loads of natural remedies you can try instead. They’re cheap, quick, and effective. At least one of them is bound to work for you.

  1. Yoga: We all know that yoga is one of the most relaxing activities out there, and it’s a powerful headache cure. The combination of deep breathing, muscle relaxation, and improved circulation is a winning recipe! Research published in the International Journal of Yoga shows that it can even help treat migraines.

Try this: Sit on the floor or in a chair. Straighten your spine and lengthen your neck. Position your right hand on the left side of your head, just behind your ear. Apply gentle pressure and tilt your head to the right. Hold the position for around thirty seconds then repeat on the other side.

  1. Other types of exercise: Almost any type of workout can cure a headache. Even a brisk walk will help. Research shows that when you exercise, your body releases all-natural painkillers called endorphins. Movement also helps stretch the muscles in your neck and back, which eases tension headaches. Add uplifting music for an extra stress-busting effect.
  2. Self-massage: Professional massage, especially if you get it regularly, is a good way to treat and prevent headaches. Unfortunately, not many of us can afford to pay for our own 24/7 masseuse! Luckily, you can learn to ease pain yourself.

Try this: Place your thumbs near your ears, on your cheekbones. Apply pressure to your temples using your fingertips. Apply more pressure – but not to the point of pain – and rub in tiny circles along your hairline. Do this for a few minutes.

You can also try some DIY reflexology. Reflexologists believe that our feet contain a map of our bodies. Stimulating pressure points on the foot can help relieve pain. Rub these three pressure points to relieve headaches:

  • The outer edges of the top of your feet, halfway between your smallest toe and your ankle;
  • The area between your first and second toes;
  • The lower half of your big toe.

Press on each point for approximately 60 seconds.

  1. Water: Do you drink enough water? It sounds silly, but lots of us actually forget to stay hydrated. The bad news is that even mild dehydration can give you a nasty headache. Get at least nine glasses per day and stay away from dehydrating drinks like coffee and alcohol. Don’t forget that food contains water too. Stock up on cucumbers and watermelon!
  2. Magnesium: According to natural health experts, taking 200-600mg magnesium every day can prevent headaches. It lowers levels of chemicals in your brain that transmit pain signals.
  3. Aromatherapy: Essential oils relieve tension, improve blood flow, and reduce pain perception. If you have a headache, simply smelling the right essential oil can help you feel better within minutes. Here are a few of the most popular:
  • Lavender: Scientific research shows that sniffing lavender oil helps 71% of migraine sufferers feel better. Put a few drops on a tissue and inhale for around 15 minutes.
  • Peppermint: You might think peppermint is energizing rather than soothing, but it quickly gets to work on headaches. Dilute it with a carrier oil and rub a few drops on your forehead and temples. (Remember, never apply undiluted oil to your skin.) It will soon stop that uncomfortable throbbing feeling.
  • Rosemary: Rub it onto your skin to melt away muscle tension in your head, neck, and shoulders. Rosemary is also good for promoting healthy sleep, so it’s perfect to apply just before turning in at night.
  • Eucalyptus: This oil is a fantastic decongestant, so it’s perfect for sinus headaches. It quickly opens up nasal passages and encourages detoxification.

With so many natural treatment options around, you don’t have to live with headaches. There’s plenty of scientific evidence that these remedies are safe for most people. However, if your headaches are severe or you notice any other symptoms, make an appointment with your doctor. When it comes to your health, it’s always best to err on the side of caution.

 

Author Bio

Clara Masters

 

 

 

 

 

Clara is an entrepreneur and content marketer. In a former life, as a corporate business executive, she relied on yoga, reflexology and other alternative practices to fight stress, anxiety and find balance. At Massageaholic.com she’s on a mission to bring massage therapy closer to those who want to live a balanced, healthy life, connecting body, mind and spirit. You can follow her on Facebook and Pinterest.

Top Tips For Sleeping On A Plane – Guest Post

Do you always dread the thought of flying abroad because you can just never get any rest on the plane? Even if it’s a short-haul flight, travelling can be very tiring (both mentally and physically) and it’s important to use the time on your flight to rest and hopefully get some sleep. From before stepping on the plane and choosing your seat when booking, to dressing comfortably, avoiding distractions and giving yourself enough time to wake up, there are plenty of ways to help you sleep on a plane – it just takes a little preparation and thought beforehand. In this guest post, Paul Swann at SleepPro outlines some of the best ways to help you try and get some shut eye on a flight.

Choose your seat wisely

Prepping for a comfortable and restful plane journey starts before even stepping onto the airplane! When it comes to booking your flights and choosing your seat reservation, you might want to save money at the time and opt for convenience rather than comfort however you may just regret that decision later on.

Your seat location could be one of the most important factors in how well or how poorly you sleep on a flight. A window seat can help to give you a nice flat surface on which to rest your head, and window seats can be particularly beneficial during night flights! Another factor to think about is which side of the bed you sleep on at home. For example, if you sleep on your right side of the bed at home, opt for the right side of the plane.

Dress comfortably

Whether you take to the skies regularly or you’re prepping for a flight and haven’t experienced the joy of cabin pressurization for a while now, learning to dress comfortably will hopefully aid in a more restful journey and help you to get some shut eye.

Whether it’s a short or long flight, most people will take the opportunity to try and get some rest for the travels ahead. Due to cabin pressurization, our bodies swell and it can become uncomfortable if you’re not used to it. Therefore, dressing in comfortable and loose-fitting clothing will be beneficial. I wouldn’t recommend freeing your feet completely (as that wouldn’t be very courteous for other passengers) however packing a pair of comfy socks will work wonders for your feet.

Avoid distractions

Listen to soothing music

Your normal music selection might do the job but to fully prepare for your flight, you should add some soothing music or a dedicated sleep playlist to your listening device. As well as creating a soothing and calm atmosphere, this can really help to tune out any distractions and aid in a peaceful sleep.

Stay away from the light

Just like you should avoid any digital devices or screens before bed at home, the same goes for your flight. The light from any digital screens can trigger your brain and inhibit your melatonin levels – a chemical that effectively tells you that it’s time to go to sleep. If you need to distract yourself by doing something, try reading a book or magazine, filling out some crossword puzzles, colouring book (you can get adult versions too), or playing a travel-sized game.

Eating and drinking the right things

From skipping caffeine both pre-flight and during-flight, to avoiding salty foods which can cause bloating, your drink and food choices can go a long way when trying to get some sleep. Try to avoid the temptation to have a cup of coffee or a soda, and try to stick to just water or juice to ensure you stay well hydrated.

If you’re used to having a soothing cup of tea in the evening at home, there’s nothing stopping you from doing the same on your flight. Opt for chamomile, honey, lavender and peppermint blends of tea for the best results.

Give yourself enough time to wake up

If you manage to actually get some sleep (which hopefully you will after reading this preparation guide), there can be nothing worse than waking up on a plane with those bright lights, bustling noise around you, and with the horrible beeping sound of the seatbelt sign. So do yourself a favour and give yourself enough time to wake up and feel alert in time for landing.

If you are one of the lucky ones and can rest easy on a plane, make sure you leave yourself enough time to wake up and avoid the shock. Try setting an alarm 1 hour before you’re due to land, as this should give you enough time to wake up, have some water and have a quick freshen up in the toilet.

Author Bio:

Paul Swann is MD at SleepPro. With over 35 years  experience of thermoplastics, Queens award winner for innovation, multi-patent holder,  and product design guru, Paul Swann is considered a leading industry expert in sports mouthguards design, Snoring and Apnoea treatment using MAD’s and has a passion for developing products that provide affordable solutions.

New Moms and Dads Don’t Sleep Enough: How to Fix it

Please Enjoy This Guest Post

It’s no secret that parents of newborns don’t get enough sleep. Both moms and dads suffer from a lack of sleep with a new baby.

In a recent survey, only 5 percent of parents with babies under six months of age get at least eight hours of sleep at night.

Rather than a full night’s sleep, parents of newborns are likely to get a fragmented night of sleep that doesn’t add up to enough rest to face the day well rested. For 43 percent of new parents, sleep comes at an average of one to three hours of uninterrupted rest at a time. That’s not enough to get the deep, restorative sleep you need to feel rested.

The lack of sleep that parents of newborns experience can result in extreme daytime fatigue and a decline in cognitive and physical function. In fact, 30 percent of parents with newborns fall asleep at work.

What Makes Newborn Sleep Difficult

Newborns need care around the clock, including when you’re sleeping. There are many reasons why babies cry and need help at night when parents would otherwise be sleeping.

Parents need to tend to feedings, diaper changes, colic, and other needs for babies at night.

But even when babies aren’t actively asking for help, parents of newborns may be too anxious to sleep. The survey indicates parents with infants often lose sleep worrying about providing a good life for their children or taking care of housework.

How Newborn Parents Can Get More Sleep

Parents of newborns should understand that sleep will be difficult for the first few months. Many babies start sleeping through the night by six months, so sleep difficulties won’t last forever. In the meantime, you can take steps to support healthy sleep for all: mom, dad, and baby.

  • Accept offers of help. If friends and family offer to help when the baby comes home, let them. Typically, offers are genuine — and at this time, you need all of the help you can get. You’re not likely to get offers to stay up all night with the baby, but daytime help can make it easier for you to get the rest you need. Let someone babysit while you take a quick nap during the day, accept dinner, or let them take care of housework such as dishes, laundry, or vacuuming so you can rest later instead of worrying about chores.
  • Take shifts with your partner. Nighttime parenting doesn’t have to be an all hands on deck situation. One partner can take care of baby’s nighttime needs for a few hours; then the other can take over. Consider four-hour shifts, such as 11 p.m. to 3 a.m., and 3 a.m. to 7 a.m. Shifts can be helpful, allowing one partner to get four hours of uninterrupted sleep at a time instead of choppy sleep that’s less restorative. To make this work, breastfeeding moms should pump ahead for nighttime feedings, and the resting partner should consider sleeping in a separate bed where they won’t be disturbed by the baby or their partner getting up to tend to its needs.
  • Take one night on, one night off. Similar to shifts, switching one night on and one night off with your partner can help you both get restorative sleep — although not at the same time. With this arrangement, one partner tends to all of the baby’s needs for one night while the other sleeps. The next night, it’s the other partner’s turn. This option can make it possible to get a full night of sleep every other night instead of endless nights with fragmented sleep. As with taking shifts, breastfeeding mothers should pump for nighttime feedings on the nights when they’re not getting up with the baby, and the sleeping partner should sleep where they won’t be disturbed.
  • Teach your baby how to sleep. Although many babies will sleep through the night by six months of age, it is possible to help them develop healthy sleep habits from birth, which may encourage better sleep for everyone. Maintaining routines is the best way to support healthy baby sleep, including a consistent bedtime and naptime, as well as predictable patterns throughout the day. Keeping familiar routines can help signal to your baby that it’s bedtime or naptime, and time to start getting sleepy. It’s also important to help your baby distinguish nighttime from daytime with noise and light cues, allowing household noise and daylight in the day, but keeping baby’s bedroom quiet and dark at night.

 

Sara Westgreen is a researcher for the sleep science hub Tuck.com. She sleeps on a king size bed in Texas, where she defends her territory against cats all night. A mother of three, she enjoys beer, board games, and getting as much sleep as she can get her hands on.

Are Headaches Keeping You Awake At Night?

Please enjoy this partnered post

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As a society, it’s fair to say that we aren’t getting enough sleep – for reasons entirely within our control. Whether it’s to do with using bright screens at night, the pressures and strains of modern life, or just the occasional worry on our minds, a lot can impact the quality of an average night’s shuteye.

But it’s even more frustrating when you have to spend those sleepless hours in pain – which many people who suffer nighttime headaches experience. Perhaps your head pains are stopping you from going to sleep; maybe they are waking you in the middle of the night. Regardless, it’s a problem you need to fix. Stop those headaches occurring, and you should be able to feel refreshed, invigorated, and in better shape come morning.

Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why you might be getting headaches at night – and reveal some solutions.

Stress and tension

We all seem to lead more stressful lives than ever these days. And if you go to bed in a state of heightened tension, not only will it be difficult to drop off, but you are also more likely to wake up with a headache. The problem will only worsen, too. Exhaustion often triggers migraines as you sleep, and can even exacerbate them, meaning you end up in something of a vicious circle. You get a headache and can’t relax, and end up exhausted – and you get more headaches the next night, and the next, and so on. If stress and tension are causing your problems, it’s vital to seek help. Your doctor may prescribe you something for you if you are anxious, and some time off work could also be useful, but the real treatment lies in talking out your problems. A therapist or counselor could be the answer – once you start to get things out in the open, they will be able to suggest a few coping strategies.

Migraines

As anyone who suffers from migraines will tell you, they can be incredibly painful, and wake you up at any moment. However, often you will find that migraines have particular triggers, so the first step to getting on top of things is to identify what is kickstarting the headache. It could be anything, so be aware of what you are eating before you go to bed, and also check your bedroom for chemicals. If you can’t find the source of the problem or the headaches increase in voracity, there are a couple of options available. See if you can schedule an acupuncture session. While acupuncture is still classed as alternative medical treatment, research suggests it can be very successful when it comes to headaches and migraines. However, it’s best to go and see your doctor first, who may well provide you with some pharmaceutical treatment for your migraines.

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Cluster headaches

Of all types of headache, the variety known as cluster headaches are, perhaps, the worst. They cause excruciating pain and are sometimes known as ‘suicide headaches’ because of their veracity. They are called cluster headaches because they tend to occur at specific times of the year, which varies from person to person, and also happen at regular times of the day. If you get one during the daytime, it’s bad enough – but if they are waking you at night, it could be hours before you get to sleep. There are no cures for cluster headaches, although they can be managed when it comes to dealing with the pain. Some people take pure oxygen in a tank to ease their booming heads, while others can take sumatriptan – a steroid-like drug that opens up the blood vessels and relieves the severe and restrictive pain.

Hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia is a state that your body gets in when you have very low blood sugar. Once it occurs, it means you basically have not enough sugar in your body to function correctly, and the results can be quite extreme. You might experience terrible night sweats, for example, and, of course, it can also lead to quite nasty headaches. If it happens more than once, there’s a good chance you need to have a small, balanced snack before bedtime. Whole wheat crackers with a little cheese – not too much because of the nightmares! – and perhaps a small portion of fruit is all you need.

Hydration

Just as you can get headaches after being dehydrated in the day, so you can experience the same at night. Of course, there is a delicate balance to strike between having enough water and too much – and you don’t want to switch your night time headaches for constant trips to the bathroom – so focus more on topping up your water levels throughout the day. And never go to bed feeling thirsty – when you feel like you need a drink, you are already dehydrated. You should aim to drink around eight average-sized glasses of water every day, and even more if you partake in any exercise.

Cut out the alcohol

It should go without saying – but unfortunately, it needs underlining! If you are drinking alcohol before going to bed, the chances are that you will end up dehydrated, and perhaps even develop a hangover while you sleep. A bedtime tipple every once in a while shouldn’t do you too much harm, but you really need to make sure that it doesn’t turn into a habit. In fact, if you do start relying on alcohol to calm you down at night when you don’t have a drink, your body will scream for it. And guess how that might present itself? That’s right – a nasty headache keeping you awake at night. So, take it easy on the alcohol, and if you do have a drink or two, make sure you top up with water before going to bed.

Ultimately, the headaches that wake you up at night might feel terrible, be incredibly painful, and start impacting your life. The good news is that it is highly unlikely anything severe or unmanageable wrong with you. With a little thought and a few lifestyle changes, you should be able to eliminate the problem. Good luck!

 

No Sleep: Finding Peace and Quiet in a College Dorm

Please enjoy this partnered post

Your student years should be all about getting that degree while managing your own finances. For many, the only road to this is through the infamous dorm room. Messy roommates, shared bathroom facilities, and food mysteriously disappearing from your fridge, the college experience can be tough on those who enjoy their privacy.

Image source: Pexels

It doesn’t have to be a nightmare, though, and with these brilliant tips, you’ll be able to speak up and find the peace you need to sleep and study. It will help you to become a better roommate as well while you’re at it, making your dorm-life a bit more manageable.

You don’t have to roommate with a friend

Cohabitation is complicated stuff, people, and the ones who manage it without any trouble are probably bottling up their frustration inside – or they’re just really calm people. They say you don’t truly know a person until you’ve lived with them and, although it may be true, it applies more to people’s negative sides.

Living together means that you’ll see their best sides as well as their worst – and they’ll see yours too.

It’s why we tend to get more annoyed at our siblings, parents, and partners when we live with them, compared to our friends who we see when we’re out and about. Take some time to consider if living with one of your close friends is the best idea; besides, you’ll be able to find and form great friendships with the strangers you end up living with as well.

It will be a lot easier to speak up and set boundaries from day one when you’re moving in with someone you don’t know – and their stingy attitude or loud music habits won’t catch you off guard. Read more about this in thoughtcatalog.com, by the way, if you need more convincing.

Don’t bring all your stuff

College is the perfect time for finding yourself and your own sense of style. By leaving most of your precious belongings behind, you’re allowing for this to happen while also limiting the chances of a messy roommate spilling ketchup all over your Edgar Allen Poe collection. Make a few investments, first of all, and get a decent mattress by looking at mattress.review; your bed is your sanctuary in the dorm, so treat it well.

Balance the relationship

One of the most important things you can do for yourself while living in a college dorm is to establish boundaries when it comes to your relationships. This applies to your roommate as well as the others living in the hall; respect each other’s privacy, find friends outside of the dorm as well, and make sure guests follow the rules when you have visitors.

Even though a roommate is great to have when you both need to navigate this new landscape, it’s important not to lean on each other too much. When you’re new to all of this, it’s almost too comforting to have someone who can keep you company and guide you through campus. Just keep in mind that it’s a balancing act and, even though you’re good friends, your roommate might not want your friends to sit on her bed and browse through her books.

Taking advantage of kindness and friendship is the kind of thing that leads to resentment later on.

The time you spend in a college dorm is a fantastic way to prepare you for absolutely nothing later in life. You’re not going to live like this again, waking up to smoke alarms going off as someone once again had to smoke in their room, stealing your leftover pizza, and doing shots in the kitchen.

This experience is for now only, and that’s why it’s so beautiful; in a few years, you’ll have your own space again, so enjoy the chaos while you can.