Infradian Rhythm: Your Guide to a Perfect Cycle

Infradian Rhythm: Your Guide to a Perfect Cycle

Most of us have heard about the circadian rhythm, the 24-hour biological cycle of the human body responsible for regulating sleep patterns. However, on the other hand, Infradian cycles are less known. If spoken in basic terms, Infradian rhythm cycles last for about 24 hours and are naturally occurring cycles in the human system. However, it is vital to note that this cycle only happens in females and has started to get noticed by doctors. The circadian cycle ensures a boost in our mood and memory, a healthy abdomen, and promises protection to our immune systems.

Although the circadian cycle is relatively more known and famous, doctors, experts, and psychologists have now begun discussing the Infradian cycle. It is said to be as equally important as the circadian cycle. One definite way to ensure that your body is doing well overall is to listen to the biological rhythms being created. No doubt that taking care of yourself is the key to unlocking the full potential of fitness and health.

In this article, we will be focusing more on the Infradian cycle and why it has such a massive impact on women’s health.


An Overview of the Infradian Cycle

The Infradian cycle is connected to the menstrual cycle and displays how the female body goes through different changes in a month. The Infradian cycle remains for more than a day, and the menstrual cycle is an example of it. Women’s bodies go through changes because of the hormones, their fluctuation, and their overall activity. Such changes could shift metabolism, stress and anxiety, and sleeping patterns. Due to the Infradian cycle, a woman may feel exhausted throughout the day; go to war with the premenstrual signs.

If you happen to be someone with a problem with their monthly flow, then the Infradian cycle can help such people out. Using the concepts of this cycle, a woman can understand and learn how to manage her cycles. Hence, it is best to learn how to monitor the cycle, as with its assistance, you can come across the best eating options and exercise regimes over the course of a month. Four distinct phases lead until the monthly cycle begins. The first phase is the follicular phase that occurs after 7 to 10 days. The second phase, known as the ovulatory phase, occurs in 4 days in the middle of the cycle. The third phase is luteal, which occurs in the 10 to 14 between the ovulation and the monthly period. The fourth and final stage is menstruation which sums up the 3 to 7 days of the period.


Disruption in the Infradian Cycle

A disruption in the Infradian cycle can cause the following factors stated below to affect your daily life.


Exhaustion

Fatigue and tiredness are two other words for exhaustion. Due to some interference in the Infradian cycle, there may be a drop in the levels of one’s energy. Thus, constantly feeling lethargic can harm one’s productivity and function properly throughout the day.


Mood Swings

Tiredness, lack of sleep, and period pain can create havoc on mood swings for some women. Anxiety and stress can also be behind such unwanted mood swings in some cases. They tend to experience feeling down and not doing their best. Since these symptoms arrive without any defined range, it can also target their general mood and make it more accessible to high levels of hormone fluctuation.


Eating Issues

An upset Infradian cycle can make you feel full or sick of food or give birth to extreme food cravings. This is an alarming sign as it can raise the affected person’s chances of eating junk food with an immense amount of sugar and salt. In addition, you could refrain from eating basic meals. This, in turn, can impact or harm your mental and physical health. After all, the secret of living a healthy life is to have a delicious diet that contains all the needed vitamins and minerals in the body.


Weak Immunity

While the luteal phase is still in action, it gets a lot for the immune system to bear due to the rise of progesterone (a hormone) levels. So despite the antibodies being formed in the follicular phase, the immune system is bound to fall weak, vulnerable to infections, or even disease can attack as well. That is why it is essential to boost our menstrual health by taking some practical and active steps.


Understanding One’s Infradian Cycle

Getting to work with one’s Infradian cycle is about understanding each cycle’s unique traits of its own. Tracking your period closely for a few weeks will offer you a better sense of how long each phase lasts and how your overall mood remains.

As you slowly discover your monthly cycle and how it works, you can finally start making a diet, sleep schedule, social plans, and exercise regime. Therefore, you must take the initiative and set a daily routine based entirely on your personal rhythms and choices.


Conclusion

Remember, if you wish to set your Infradian rhythm, you must take it as equally imperative as your circadian cycle. Once you identify the patterns explicitly linked to your menstrual cycle, you’ll be able to pinpoint your problems, stick to the solutions, and experience a decrease in your severe mood swings. As a woman, you should know how vital your Infradian cycle is. Factors such as stress and anxiety, intake of contraceptives and birth control, obesity, chronic diseases such as diabetes, bodyweight problems, and PCOS can heavily affect your menstrual cycle. This can further cause more problems.

Pay attention to the signals your body sends if you happen to notice any irregularity in your period, its symptoms, and adjust the plan you or your health care professional has designed and act on it accordingly. Find peace and stability in your life by regarding your Infradian cycle.

Yoga Poses to Strengthen Your Core Muscles

Yoga Poses to Strengthen Your Core Muscles

Yoga has cemented in its legacy of being an effective tool to lose weight, strengthen muscles, and, most importantly, bring the feeling of peace and tranquillity overall. Some individual poses aren’t as slow and meditative as some people state. Instead, they help make the muscles in the abs and core more muscular than ever, along with balance.

Some people who aren’t that involved with yoga practices claim that yoga poses are composed of easy exercises that solely promote relaxation and nothing more. To some extent, this statement is true, as some forms or types of yoga, such as facial yoga poses, are easier to perform. However, some yoga poses can target such muscles you never knew existed. The diverse styles of yoga can make one break sweat in buckets. The core area in the human body is located between the pelvic region and the diaphragm. The core area’s main job is to protect and safeguard the spine. It also holds the spine in place—all the muscles in the area coordinate to achieve balance.

However, you must perform a total body strengthening exercise as it is essential for overall fitness, health, and especially for all the weaker areas in the body. However, doing region-focused exercises aid in correcting muscle imbalances that work on your more vulnerable areas. 

Nevertheless, in today’s article, we will look at some of the yoga poses that strictly focus on your core muscles and strengthen them as well.


The Boat Pose

If you happen to be a beginner, the standard yoga poses to enhance your core muscles is the boat pose.

Step # 01:

The first step for any yoga poses that you will perform is an exercise mat. Next, you must sit and have your legs extended out in front of you.

Step # 02:

Sit up to lengthen the spinal cord (spine), and start leaning back while trying not to bend your knees. It would be best if you kept leaning back until you could lift your legs off the floor and make a V-shape.


Step # 03:

Try to keep your legs lifted, and stretch your hands out to the knees to maintain the position. Hold the posture for 3 to 5 minutes. Remember to take deep breaths and engage your muscles while exhaling.


Benefits of Boat Pose

The V-shaped boat pose is a great starting point to build the core muscles. This pose is a stationary pose that improves stability and mobility. It’s OK if you can’t have your legs entirely straight in the first go. Since most of us work from our tables and desks, it leads to tight hamstrings.


The Plank Pose

The plank pose is one of the fundamental yoga poses perfect for developing arm and core strength. Yoga poses that target the abs especially are quite heating which helps in raising one’s metabolism and the body’s digestive system.


Step # 01:

Get down on all your fours, ensuring that your shoulders are in the proper lining with your wrists, with your elbows bent on the floor, and resting on your forearms.


Step # 02:

You must make sure that your hips aren’t too lifted; instead, they should also be in line with the rest of the body. A straight line should form starting from the head towards the heels. Keep your arms and core engaged and tight.


Step # 03:

If you wish, you can straighten your elbows as the weight will now shift on your hands and come in a high plank position. Maintain the pose for 30 seconds to a minute if you happen to be a beginner; however, you can go longer if you have enough strength.


Benefits of Plank Pose

Plank poses are beneficial for tightening the core and losing weight overall but are highly effective in toning down the unwanted belly fat and thigh fat. If you do other plank poses, such as the side and the twisted plank pose, you’ll achieve core stability and a good body shape a lot earlier.


The Bridge Pose

Apart from the abdominal exercises, you must pay equal attention to back exercises. Therefore, you can build your back muscles, starting with yoga poses such as the Bridge Pose.


Step # 01:

You can start this yoga pose by lying on your back with your knees bent. You should align your knees to be directly over your feet for good support.


Step # 02:

After transferring the power to your hands, use all your strength to lift your hips off the floor. Once you are mid-air while maintaining the pressure in your hands, form a 90-degree angle.


Step # 03:

Now that you have held the position, remember to take deep breaths and maintain the posture for a minute. Once you get used to the yoga pose, you must extend the number of seconds you hold the posture.


Benefits of Bridge Pose

The bridge pose is an excellent yoga pose to perform after having a long day of just sitting at your office or study desk. Since the muscles in the back are being put to work, your spine is getting stronger, supporting the core.


The Warrior Pose

The warrior pose, also known as the victorious warrior pose, is just a variation of the typical yoga pose, the side-angle pose.


Step # 01:

Take your right foot and stretch it in front of the left one. Your knees would be bent, and your left leg would be right behind it. You’ll find yourself in a lunge position.


Step # 02:

Now that your torso is in the left position, put your arms over your feet; parallel to your legs. You can lift your hands in the air starting from the right one.


Step # 03:

It would help if you lifted your hands over your head, creating a V-shape while holding the posture. By doing so, all the core muscles will be automatically activated. Focus on exhaling as you should highlight your abdominal contractions. Breathe and maintain the pose for two minutes to three.


Conclusion

Even though performing yoga poses may seem like a piece of cake, they aren’t. When carrying out core exercises, it’s wise to pay attention to the flow and movements. While these poses may look simple to do, if you happen to be pregnant, sick, or injured, then you should talk to your doctor before doing any of the poses. Whether you are getting started in yoga or have been practicing it for years, incorporating yoga poses that work specifically for the core will maintain overall fitness and prove fruitful for your yoga practice too. Having a robust core not only improves your posture but it ensures that you can go on to do challenging poses such as the tree and crow pose.

Hence, research a bit on the internet before including it as your exercise regime. Remember to follow all the instructions to make the most out of your time and achieve a high-functioning spine.

Phantom Pain: What Phantom Limb Syndrome Is and How to Deal With It

Phantom Pain: What Phantom Limb Syndrome Is and How to Deal With It

Phantom pain is described as the feeling of pain after a certain body part (specifically an arm or leg) has been cut off from the body. The degree of pain tends to vary from person to person. Though it is practically not possible and has been regarded more as a psychological problem, doctors have discovered that it might have something to do with the vital functions of the brain and spinal cord.

However, this article will focus on phantom limb syndrome, how to deal with it, and how to understand the important details that contribute to it as a condition. If you happen to have an amputated limb and still feel pain, you must discuss it with your doctor. Pinpointing the exact problem to a doctor or a health care professional will help diagnose the issue. In addition, since one can go through the same symptoms as phantom pain and phantom limb syndrome, giving the correct history will help your doctor develop an equally proper plan.


Therefore, let’s learn more about phantom pain and phantom limb syndrome.

Phantom Pain Syndrome and Pain

Phantom Pain Syndrome refers to the sensations that a person; who has had their limb amputated feels. The limb is missing, yet the pain is real and affects people accordingly. Most people who have their limbs removed claim that they sometimes feel as if the removed limb exists. They feel this way because the brain gets messages from the nerves located at the missing limb. Phantom Pain Syndrome or phantom limb pain is characterized as a medical condition. Patients suffering describe their pain as lasting for a prolonged time and that the prescribed medicine or treatment option has little to no effect on it.

Yet, the bright side for people suffering from Phantom Pain Syndrome or phantom limb pain is that it is manageable. Around 8 out of 10 people who experience this condition go through phantom pain.

Apart from phantom pain, there is another type known as Residual limb pain. If the patient is experiencing residual limb pain, that means the degree of pain afflicts the remaining area of the limb where it was amputated. Affecting around 7 to 10 people who go through limb loss, residual limb pain has a medical reason such as pressure on the nerves of that area and fatal nerve damage.


Symptoms of Phantom Pain

Being aware of the symptoms of phantom pain is just as important as getting to know about the causes. Most people have shared what phantom pain feels like. Phantom pain often feels like burning or aching, throbbing, stabbing or tingling. These symptoms could either be fleeting or continuous.

The pain is said to commence a week after the amputation. However, at times patients believe that the limb exists or is still attached and functions just fine. These are some of the main characteristics of phantom pain that portray themselves accordingly.


Causes of Phantom Pain

Now that we have an overview of the symptoms, Phantom Pain Syndrome and Pain, let’s discuss its causes and know why it occurs.

Phantom pain typically happens after a limb loss. Though the exact causes are unclear and not defined properly, it is said to result from some mix-up or emerge from the brain and spinal cord during imaging procedures – such as MRI and PET of the areas of the pain that are connected to the amputated arm or leg, display neurological activity when a person is suffering from a phantom pain episode.

Once the limb has been cut off from the body, ranges of the spinal cord and brain no longer receive any messages and thus adjust to it in its bizarre ways. Due to these attempts, pain is triggered as it is the body’s way of indicating something is wrong. Therefore, the brain tries to rewire itself and adapt to the new changes.

Several other risk factors are known to trigger the existence of phantom limb pain. People who haven’t had a limb removed can also develop phantom pain. Experts have claimed that people, who have had pain in the limb that has to be amputated, are most likely to feel it after the procedure. This is because their brain clings to the memory and keeps sending the pain signals, even after the limb has been removed. Residual pain limb, as discussed before, has phantom pain too. It has also come to notice that residual limb pain is caused due to an abnormal growth on the bruised nerve endings (neuroma) that tends to result in agonizing nerve activity.

More causes could be traumatic amputation, such as an accident, or the type of anesthesia used during the process. Nonetheless, some emotional factors come into play, for example, stress, depression, anxiety. Such factors can keep phantom pain alive.


Treatment of Phantom Pain

The treatment plan for phantom pain begins with over-the-counter medicines such as Acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and others. Your doctor can even recommend antidepressants; however, it is important to discuss the dose and consumption of your medicines.

Another widely adopted option for phantom pain is non-drug remedies. Some of the options are Mirror Box-in this technique, mirrors are used to show that the limb still exists. This helps in relieving phantom limb pain. In addition, doctors use spinal cord stimulation to stimulate the spinal cord by inserting small electrodes (that pass a small current) to ease the pain.


Conclusion

Lastly, the risk of developing phantom pain is high if you’ve had your limb amputated; doctors recommend regional anesthesia days before the actual process. This reduces pain significantly and diminishes phantom limb pain.

Apart from the treatment plans mentioned, acupuncture, brain stimulation, and nerve surgery are available options that your doctor or a healthcare professional might recommend. It’s essential you know what you’re getting yourself in. Hence, it would help to talk to your doctor about all the variations you have been going through. Making the correct diagnosis will help you recover from your problem soon. It’s not a sign of worry if you suffer from Phantom Pain Syndrome. Since 8 out of 10 people have had their limb amputated, there will be an option that will fit your case. Hence, you must not panic and see your doctor immediately if you are going through any of the symptoms stated in this article.

Dizziness When Lying Down: Should You Be Worried?

Dizziness When Lying Down: Should You Be Worried?

Dizziness is often described as lightheaded, dizzy, or out of balance. It is defined more as a condition as some people experience spins or things moving in their surroundings. We all feel dizzy from time to time, and usually, it is not a sign of concern. In most cases, dizziness occurs when there is a drop in one’s blood pressure. However, this solves on its own when people lie down.

At times, feeling dizzy can go unnoticed, and sometimes it can make you lose your balance which is primarily a severe condition. But, feeling dizzy even when you lay down could indicate or point towards something serious. This alarming condition is known as vertigo.

However, this article will discuss the symptoms, types, tips, and when you should reach out for professional medical help.


Causes of Dizziness

Since feeling dizzy is a common condition, there are many causes as to why dizziness occurs, and they vary from person to person. Apart from the common causes such as the drop in blood pressure, dehydration, and anaemia, vertigo related dizziness can also be blamed on benign positional vertigo.

If you’re trying to figure out why you feel dizzy even when you lie down, then aside from vertigo, inner ear problems affect the balance. Drinking alcohol and in-taking tobacco can also make you feel lightheaded since they heavily influence the sensory organs.

Another one of the causes of dizziness is labyrinthitis. Labyrinthitis is an ear infection that attacks the hearing and maintains balance. This again leads to vertigo.


Benign Positional Vertigo

Now that we have discussed the common causes and definitions of dizziness, let’s learn more about Benign Positional Vertigo.

Benign Positional Vertigo is defined as one of the most typical causes of vertigo. It is known as the sudden sensation that makes you think you are spinning or your environment is spinning. It can cause episodes of mild to intense dizziness. Not only that, but it can be ticked off due to various positions of the head, e.g. Getting up, lying down, tilting your head either up or down, or turning over your place.

Though anyone can undergo this uncomfortable situation, Benign Positional Vertigo mostly strikes in people who are 50 or 50+ in age. Moreover, women are at a higher risk of developing Benign Positional Vertigo and people who experience any head injury, as that can mess up with other important organs.


Causes of Benign Positional Vertigo

There is mostly no cause for Benign Positional Vertigo, called idiopathic Benign Positional Vertigo. However, disorders that create havoc in the inner ear, damage from ear surgery, and migraines have been characterised as some of the rare causes of this condition.

Since BPV is concerned with the ear’s inner area acting up, it is also important to be aware of it. Located inside our ears is a small organ named a vestibular labyrinth. It has three loop-like structures known as semicircular canals that carry fluid and refined hair-like detectors that monitor the head’s rotation.


Another structure, i.e. otolith organs, monitors the head’s movement such as down, up, left, right and more. The otolith organs have crystals that make us responsive to gravity. Sometimes, these crystals become detached. Once this happens, the crystals are free to move into the semicircular canals, especially when lying down. As a result, the semicircular canal becomes sensitive to the head positions it usually reacts to, making a person feel dizzy.


Diagnosis of Benign Positional Vertigo


BPV can impact your hearing, create speech problems and cause headaches. To ensure that you indeed have an issue of Benign Positional Vertigo, your doctor will perform a test or manoeuvre known as the Dix-Hallpike test.


In this test, the health care professional or doctor will hold your head in a specific position while asking you to quickly lie down on your back on a table. In addition, they will also check for any abnormal eye movements, ask you a certain set of questions related to the problem itself and conduct a physical exam as well.


A handful of other tests include a CT scan of the head, an MRI, a hearing evaluation, an electronystagmography (ENG) to record the eye movement, an electroencephalogram (EEG) to measure the brain’s stable activity. In addition, the doctor may recommend other tests for you to run if needed.


Treatment of Benign Positional Vertigo


A few treatment options that a doctor might ask you to get according to the severity of your symptoms.


Epley Manoeuvre


Some doctors consider Epley Manoeuvre as the best option when it comes to the treatment of Benign Positional Vertigo. It’s regarded as the most effective because it can be performed at home without requiring any equipment. The therapy is used to treat canalithiasis. If the patient doesn’t observe any movement, it is most likely that the doctor will ask them to repeat the procedure and note any significant changes in a diary or journal.


Canalith Repositioning Procedure


A healthcare professional or a doctor will perform the Canalith Repositioning Procedure in their office. It is a series of positions to aid the particles from the fluid-filled semicircular canals into a small bag-like open area known as the vestibule. Usually, the patient is bound to see a difference after one or two treatments, but if not, then your doctor may recommend any other treatment option.


Medication


The doctor can prescribe medications to help you relieve the spinning sensation that causes discomfort. These can range from sedative-hypnotics or sleeping pills/aids. However, medications are not the most effective option for treating vertigo and are least recommended. It is best to go through your doctor before taking any pills to avoid putting yourself at risk of other damaging diseases.


Conclusion


Though BPV can affect a person’s day to day activities, productivity and mood swings, the good news is that Benign Positional Vertigo is treatable. However, it may take a few years for all the signs to fade properly.


If you find your symptoms of dizziness severe and can’t seem to figure out the reason, then a trip to the doctor’s office may save you from dangerous complications. Though dealing with Benign Positional Vertigo is uncomfortable, with time, it becomes manageable.


				
					
10 Best Exercises to Relieve Stress

10 Best Exercises to Relieve Stress


Stress – quite a familiar word these days, isn’t it?


Whether it’s work, kids, or your partner – everything contributes to stress. And undoubtedly, it can be tiring and mentally exhausting. It sucks out your energy to finish the rest of your day or commence with a new one.


All of us have a different coping mechanism when it comes to stress. It could be gaming, gardening, painting, or talking to your friends.

However, the ideal way to beat stress is – that’s right – EXERCISE! 


Let’s look into the ten best activities that you can regularly do to relieve stress.


How Can Exercise Relieve My Stress?


Exercise can help you put stress aside in numerous ways. But, in order to understand how it does, it’s essential to know what’s happening in your body when you’re under pressure.


The neurochemical basis of this phenomenon is quite simple. Stress stimulates the release of cortisol (the stress-causing hormone) and adrenaline (the fight-or-flight hormone). These hormones are the ones driving your stress and are the main culprits behind your anxious behaviour and inability to perform well.


Moreover, exercising also causes the release of endorphins that are known as happy neurotransmitters. Therefore, when you exercise, there’s a significant decrease in the levels of these hormones. Conversely, as their levels increase, you feel better about yourself and in control of the situation you’re stuck in.


Beat The Stress With These 10 Exercises!

 

woman taking stress

 

Now that you are fully aware of stress – it’s about time you took back the charge. Stress does not only ruin your ability to get done with the tasks, but it also makes you doubt yourself and your capabilities.


To avoid problems, it’s best to knock the stress with the following exercises:


1. Brisk Walking


Let’s begin with the easiest one of them all – walking. But we walk every day, right? So why are we still stressed then? Well, brisk walking and just moving from one corner to get a task done is different.


Brisk walking allows you to use your muscles better but prevents you from tiring out. It’s known that people with a proper walking regimen can cope with their stress better and are healthier as well, both mentally and physically.


Brisk walking is the ideal way to get started on this mission of beating stress.


2. Tai Chi


Tai chi is a series of self-paced fluid body movements and heavily promotes serenity through various moves. Originally tai chi was an ancient internal Chinese form of martial arts used for meditation, health purposes, and more. However, it is also known to increase flexibility and calm those stress levels down. 


Tai chi puts minimal pressure on the muscles and joints, making it accessible to all ages. So if you are looking for something refreshing, then tai chi might be for you!


3. Pilates


Pilates is also a physical fitness system developed in the early 20th century. It aids in the treatment of depression and anxiety. However, it is not solely designed just to strengthen the muscles and improve body balance.


If you wish to build a self-care routine, you expect a noticeable change after reinforcing this in your life. You’ll feel your mental state sharpening and experience better performance.


Concentrating on your breathing and good thinking will definitely switch the stressed mode into a better one. 


4. Yoga


Yoga is an activity that we hear most fitness gurus talk about. The main reason is that yoga consists mainly of postures and can gradually increase your joints’ flexibility.


Yoga focuses on meditation and breathing techniques which can help one distress. Studies have shown that people who consistently perform yoga have a higher chance of lowering stress levels.


Not only that, but you’ll also be able to lose some of those pounds as yoga is an effective tool for weight loss.


5. Dancing


Suppose there is one thing that almost everybody enjoys doing is; dancing. Dance often has categorised movements, and specific choreographies help us detect the mood of each form.


For many people, dancing serves as a perfect way to relieve their stress. This is because dancing helps the brain release endorphins- chemicals that act as natural painkillers. It also improves our ability to sleep, meaning reduced stress levels.


So the next time you feel stressed, hit your jam and dance the stress away!


6. HIIT Workout


HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) is a combination of high-intensity bursts of cardio exercise followed by long or equal rests.


An example of a HIIT workout would be 50 to 90 seconds of squats after warming up, followed by slow jogging. Along with lower risks of heart diseases, it reduces signs of stress, anxiety, and various other problems associated with stress.


7. Swimming


Swimming is the best form of exercise on this list. Since you need to move your body against the water’s resistance, it proves to be an all-rounder activity.


Furthermore, it keeps your heart rate in check, lowers the chances of stress, and keeps you active throughout. Swimming is definitely the perfect stress relief exercise if you love water in general.


8. Kickboxing


Kickboxing is about combat that mainly includes kicking and punching. It also helps you release endorphins and reduce anxiety and stress levels.

On top of that, you’ll notice your waistline shrinking!


9. Outdoor Activities


Outdoor activities such as biking and walking may seem insignificant, but they largely contribute to one’s stable mental health.


Being in the fresh air is most likely to result in increased blood circulation to the brain, release of good hormones such as serotonin – which are responsible for making you feel happy, and just an overall sense of well-being. 


10. Qigong


Qigong is also an ancient Chinese healing exercise that includes proper breathing and meditation. Mainly referred to as Asian yoga that has been around for thousands of years.


It involves slow movements that the Chinese and Asia recognise as a healing and rhythmic practice that cultivates balance and brings energy.


Trails have indicated that qigong is effective when it comes to dealing with pressure and stress. It enhances your health all over and maintains blood pressure.


Conclusion


It’s OK to stress because – let’s get real for a while – it gets a lot of our tasks done. But stressing about everything, even the minor problems, is not healthy at all. 


You can either pick one exercise and start with that or try a combination of these exercises. Making a plan, and dedicating a particular slot to these exercises, can help you curb the stress.


Moreover, if you’re starting a fitness program to beat stress, it’d be best to consult a professional and get their opinion as well.

 

9 Reasons Why Good Sleep Is Important

9 Reasons Why Good Sleep Is Important


The universal truth about sleeping is that we all love it. 


However, sleeping on time and making the most of it is different from sleeping whenever you want to. In order to have a healthy lifestyle, it’s incredibly vital to sleep well.


A lot of things fall into their proper places if you’re sleeping well. But unfortunately, the concept of good/healthy sleep isn’t too popular these days. 


So allow us to change your mind by giving ten reasons why good sleep is essential – let’s get into it!


How Does Sleep Work?


Sleep is divided into multiple sleep cycles, with each cycle lasting from 70 to 120 minutes. Specifically, sleep consists of four integral stages:


  • Stage 01 (1-5 minutes): Beginning of your sleep; it eventually transitions into stage 2
  • Stage 02 (10-60 mins): Further decrease in the brain’s activity
  • Stage 03 (20-40 mins): A marked reduction in the brain’s activity accompanied by the relaxation of the body’s muscles. This stage allows your body to recover from the tiredness of the day.
  • Stage 04 (10-60 mins): Also known as REM sleep – this stage is the most critical part of your sleep, as it focuses on improving your memory and learning capabilities.

Good Sleep: A Superhero That’ll Turn Your Life Around


Well, now that you know how sleep works, let’s take a look at how it can turn your life around.


1. Improves Concentration & Productivity


It’s natural to feel in sync with your body after a good sleep. This is so because sleeping well allows your body to recover from the previous day’s tiredness. Once this is achieved, you are bound to concentrate well the next day and boost your productivity.


On the other hand, a poor sleep of 4-5 hours doesn’t let the REM cycle do its job. Thus, feeling sluggish and tired is inevitable.


2. Keeps You From Getting Depressed


One of the reasons behind the fast-paced progression of depression is the lack of good sleep. While we cannot establish a direct link, it’s understood that feeling exhausted and not exercising due to poor sleep can lead to mood-related symptoms.


Furthermore, not sleeping well disrupts the function of serotonin. It’s the hormone that stabilises our mood and promotes a feeling of well-being. Therefore, fluctuating levels of serotonin can disturb the circadian rhythms leaving you vulnerable to depression.


3. Greater Athletic Performance


Athletes love a good sleep as much as they love sports. It is because a goodnight’s sleep leads to enhanced athletic performance.


According to a study, poor sleep can lead to problems, inaccuracy, and strength. Therefore, athletes need to ensure that they have a proper sleeping schedule and sleep for adequate hours to improve their competitiveness and endurance.


4. Makes Your Immune System Function Better


Giving your body a chance to recover fully is incredibly essential. Not doing it might leave you susceptible to various infections, and rightfully so.


According to experts, good sleep leads to the production of cytokines. These proteins are required by the body to fight off the attacks of microorganisms and keep you healthy.


In addition, if you’re not letting sleep work its restorative magic, then you’re inviting harmful foreign bodies to invade your body.


5. Good Sleep Ensures Lower Weight Gain Risk


Sleeping well at night keeps multiple things in check. One such is a group of hormones known as leptin and ghrelin that regulate appetite. If these hormones work in a balanced environment, you don’t have a chance of gaining unwanted weight.


However, disturbed sleep patterns can cause weight gain due to the disruption in these hormones.


6. Decreases Risk Of Heart Disease


Our hearts never stop beating and pumping blood. But this doesn’t mean that they don’t slow down to take a rest. During sleep, the heart slows down and recovers from the day’s job to ensure that its performance, the following day, is up to the mark.


If you don’t sleep well and deprive the heart of this crucial recovery period, you’d be welcoming heart diseases with open arms. To back up this claim, research has proven that individuals who don’t sleep well have a 20% higher risk of suffering from cardiovascular diseases.


7. Maintains Healthy Levels Of Blood Sugar


You’d be surprised to know that there is a pretty solid connection between sleep and type 2 diabetes.


When you don’t sleep well and deprive yourself of the regular hours invested in sleeping, it causes insulin resistance. Because of this, the blood sugar doesn’t get taken up by the cells – hence causing an increase in its levels!


Apart from maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle, sleeping well is also a vital factor that can help you stay fit.


8. Sleep Reduces Stress


This doesn’t need much explanation because it’s pretty self-explanatory.

Many experts have discussed this in detail and have declared that good sleep means good brain function. And when your brain is functioning correctly, you’re most likely not to get stressed.


According to various studies, poor sleep has made people more sensitive to negative stimuli and thus more prone to develop stress and anxiety.

So, when you feel like your brain is melting – please, go to sleep.


9. Sleep Improves Your Memory


Who knew that the way to memorise your course better was to sleep? And literally, all of the undergraduates or even postgraduates do not get a goodnight sleep.


The link between sleep and memory is quite simple. If your brain is tired, it will get incredibly challenging to focus. This could lead to inadequate attention to a topic and thus impaired memory.


How To Sleep Better?


Now that you know the importance of sleeping well, you should try your best to improve it. Here are some of the things you can do to sleep better:


  • Find the ideal pillow for yourselves
  • Fix a specific time to go to bed
  • Don’t consume any caffeinated drinks at least 2 hours before bed
  • Quit using your laptop/cellphone/tablet before sleeping
  • Make sure you have a comfortable mattress
  • Improve the bedroom environment to optimise your sleep

Conclusion

 

woman waking up in the morning

 

In order to benefit from sleeping, it’s vital to prioritise healthy sleeping habits. For this, you can try to dedicate a particular time to sleep. Furthermore, stretching and putting away your cell phone before going to bed can also improve your overall sleep.


To be healthy, it’s not only essential to eat and exercise – but sleeping is quite vital too. So work on your sleep starting today for a healthier future! 

 

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