This he following article,  “6 Serious and Surprising Beauty Impacts of Sleep Deprivation,” is by Author Kimberly Hayes, who is currently working on her new book on alternative addiction treatments.  Read more below.

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Do you have challenges falling or staying asleep more than a few times a week? If the answer is yes, you are not alone. Nearly one quarter —  or 70 million —  Americans deal with chronic sleep issues, says the National Institutes of Health. Not getting enough sleep can have serious —  and surprising —  consequences for how you look and feel. Are you tired of feeling tired? Here are six ways lack of sleep may be affecting you and a few tips on how to catch more zzs.

Brittle Hair and Dry Skin

Sleep is a time when our body’s cells repair and regenerate, so if you can’t fall asleep, your body doesn’t have time to work on its regular maintenance routines, like hair and skin rejuvenation.

Good Sleep Tip: Want glowing hair and brighter skin? Try out a bedtime ritual to help care for your body and relax your mind. Take a warm bath, moisturize and listen to soothing music. Make the habit stick by starting your routine the same time every night.

Poor Mood and Brain Function

When your mind is tired it can’t function at top capacity. This means your processing can be slower, memory less reliable, problem-solving skills less organized and mood unstable. How does brain function impact beauty? It impacts your self-esteem. How you feel about the way you look happens in the mind —  and a well-rested mind stands a better chance of feeling good about how you look.

Good Sleep Tip: Try painting your bedroom walls in soothing, neutral colors to help create a serene space for sleeping. Avoid bright colors and shoot for light blues, soft greens and neutral earth tones.

Weight Gain

Lack of sleep impacts the hormones that regulate hunger and appetite. So if you are losing out on sleep, the weight can start to add up.

Good Sleep Tip: Maintain a regular exercise routine —  the CDC recommends 150 hours of moderate activity a week along with two days of strength training. When you exercise regularly, your body needs more rest to repair and rebuild. However, try not to exercise too hard too close to bedtime.

Off-Balance

Lack of sleep can dampen your balance and physical reaction timing. This can be especially challenging for people who enjoy wearing high heels, trendy boots and enjoy running or working out. When your balance is off and your reaction time slow, the chances for injury and illness from accidents go through the roof.

Good sleep tip: Reduce the amount of blue light you get in the evening. This is the light emitted from our screens —  laptops, tablets and smartphones —  which we often have the bad habit of using in bed. Blue light is mentally and physically stimulating, so if it is part of your wind down routine, it’s actually probably doing the opposite.

High Blood Pressure

Chronic sleep issues are often linked to higher blood pressure, which if left unattended has been linked to heart disease, diabetes and kidney disease. Hypertension, the medical name for high blood pressure, is often the result of high stress and anxiety, which can also negatively impact sleep. We know stress has a direct impact on physical appearance —  from wrinkles to dark circles under your eyes.

Good Sleep Tip: Meditate to help let go of intrusive thoughts, regrets that you cannot change and future worries you cannot control. There are many great apps you can explore to become more familiar with the various types of meditation, from Calm to Headspace to Insight Timer.

Weakened Immune System

When you sleep, your immune system powers up. Not only is it an optimal time to recover from an illness or injury you’re already battling, but your body is also working on ways to protect against ickiness you have yet to come up against. A weakened immune system can lead to skin breakouts, easier bruising and damaged teeth and gums.

Good Sleep Tip: Eat more fruits and vegetables and less sugar and caffeine. Not only will you sleep better, but a balanced diet will also add an extra boost to your immune health.

Sleep has a strong influence on how you look and feel. If you’re not getting good quality sleep, try changing your routine or exploring proactive ways to get better rest. If that still doesn’t work, talk to your doctor or healthcare provider about next steps for getting good sleep.

The following article,  “Enhance the Connection Between Your Mind, Body and Soul,” is by Author Kimberly Hayes, who is currently working on her new book on alternative addiction treatments.  Read more below.

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You don’t have to hike the mountains of Tibet to find a peaceful place to reflect on life and its meaning. Making small changes to your day can help you connect – or reconnect – with your higher power or settle in with your spiritual side.

Hit the hay the right way

Sleep is one of the cornerstones of overall wellness, but for many people, it can be hard to come by. While we tend to blame our busy schedules and obligations for our lack of shut-eye, our bedrooms have more to do with our sleep health than a lot of us realize. If you’ve already taken basic sleep-well steps, like cutting down on caffeine consumption and going to bed earlier, use a critical eye to examine your bedroom. Do you have a lot of light or outside noise pouring in each night? Hang some light- and noise-reducing blackout curtains. Do you wake up sweating at 2 a.m.? Turn the temperature down before climbing into bed, or if you don’t have air conditioning in your room, install a small window unit. Getting adequate rest on a regular basis can make a world of difference in how you feel physically and emotionally, so make sure you’ve created a bedroom space that supports that.

From morning ‘til night

Finding happiness, peace, and contentment is a matter of living in the moment – each moment. From the minute your eyes open until your head hits the pillow, you have to make a conscious effort to experience life. Take a minute to stretch and reflect on your day before you get out of bed. This five-minute exercise will prepare you for the ups and downs you’ll face. Do the same at the end of each day, but consider how your reactions to situations directed how you felt in each moment. Once you realize that you have control over your reactions, it’s easier to achieve overall happiness.

Meditation

Meditation allows you to focus on your strengths and narrow your train of thought. When you meditate, you have an opportunity to block out negative energy and avoid being overwhelmed by thoughts and feelings you’d rather not have. There are many benefits of clearing your mind and living in the moment. This infographic is a great introduction to how meditation affects the mind, body, and spirit.

Food and mental health

Taking care of your mental health doesn’t stop at meditation and intentional positivity. A mounting body of research, as highlighted by the American Psychological Association, suggests that the way you eat can have serious effects on your mental health. In one study, adults with depression were randomly assigned an eating plan designed to eliminate junk food and add more produce, legumes, and fish to their diet. The control group was told to continue their normal eating habits. More than one-third of the test subjects showed an improvement in depression levels, compared to the less than 10 percent of those who continued with an unchecked diet.

Fitness boosts spirituality

There are obvious benefits to paying attention to your physical health, but there are many more that hide just beneath the surface. Health Fitness Revolution explains that exercise releases epinephrine and dopamine, both hormones that directly relate to your perception of life. Further, working out gives your body sustainable energy and can help you operate on a higher mental plane, which can lead you toward your desired spiritual practices.

Whole health for a happy you

When you’re trying to live your best life, it isn’t enough just to focus on one aspect of your health. You have to put time and energy into all seven dimensions of wellness. These include intellectual, emotional, physical, social, spiritual, occupational, and environmental. If one of these doesn’t work for your lifestyle, it will knock you completely off balance. As an example, if you aren’t happy in your job – your occupational wellness – you may be stressed out, which is bad for your emotional health. Stress can take a toll on your physical health by swaying you away from making good choices regarding self-care. When you don’t make positive choices for your physical health, you may begin to pull away from your social activities, which can make you feel lonely and wreak havoc on your emotions.

The way you care for yourself every day impacts your overall quality of life. One small positive change can snowball and create a cycle of wellness that helps you thrive from the inside out.




Summer is almost over and as we prepare our transition into September I’ve decided to post this article as a help to anyone out there working hard to overcome addiction.

The following article  “6 Underrated Addiction Recovery Techniques” is by Author Kimberly Hayes, who is currently working on her new book on alternative addiction treatments.  Read more below.

Photo credit: Pexels

6 Underrated Addiction Recovery Techniques’Aadd

Identifying and treating the feelings and behaviors that trigger and fuel addiction is a critical part of addiction recovery. What’s more, using alternative addiction recovery techniques in addition to your current efforts can nip triggers in the bud. Here are six alternative addiction techniques.

 

  1. Solid nutrition

 

Research has specifically shown that changing your diet can promote faster recovery, decrease withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety and depression and protect neurons. Using nutrition to improve addiction recovery requires not only changing the kinds of foods that you eat, but also altering your dietary habits and disrupting ingrained behaviors. Now, don’t feel like you need to suddenly become vegan and eat only raw broccoli. Set goals to make small improvements in your diet. Even small changes result in big health benefits.

 

  1. Aerobics

 

Put on your best 80’s neon and sweat it out. Research has shown that an important part of addiction occurs when the reward center of the brain doesn’t work correctly. Exercise works the same parts of the brain that are used by addiction. It can change the way that the reward center works and help your brain be happy from exercise.

 

Studies have shown that for people with drug addiction, aerobic exercise significantly reduces symptoms of anxiety or depression that are sometimes associated with recovery. Enjoying aerobic exercise occurs when it’s done regularly, so make efforts to work out with friends or loved ones who can keep you accountable.

 

  1. Yoga

 

Yoga can form a critical part of recovery process because of its ability to offer both physical and mental discipline. A core reason that yoga is so successful is because its purpose is to changenegative thoughts and feelings that are associated with problematic behaviors of the human condition, such as addiction.

 

Additionally, yoga can helpwith common withdrawal symptoms, such as sleep problems, stress management, depression and anxiety. Schedule time in the morning or before you go to bed, since those are times where you can most easily set up a yoga or meditation habit.

 

  1. Gardening

 

There’s no feeling quite like getting your hands in the dirt and producingsomething of value. Gardening can be done by almost anyone, and your garden can be adjusted to fit your living situation. Being able to see the literal fruits of your labor is a meaningful way to establish a system of accountability, and it can be scaled to require as much or as little work as you want to devote. There’s a reasonthat it’s being suggested by more and more therapists as a useful supplement for mental illness treatment.

 

  1. Pet therapy

 

Pets are a surprisingly common factor in aiding in addiction recovery. Regardless of whether the pet is big or small, the relationship that people form with their animals can be a powerful way to establish accountability and manage stress. If your life circumstances or health don’t allow you to have a pet, that’s okay. You still have options.

 

  1. Going outdoors

 

Ecotherapy isn’t a new concept, as it’s probably been around for as long as humans have. However, more research and articles are highlighting its ability to help people cope with stress and overcome negative feelings. You can distract yourself and have better control addictive triggers or urges. Structure your weekends or downtime so that you can be outside. It can help curb cravings, and also will give you a chance to see incredible sights or meet new people.

 

Finding what works for you is largely trial-and-error. You’ll have to figure out which techniques best manage symptoms of addiction and work to turn those into habits. There are other kinds of alternative addiction recovery techniques available, such as alternative therapy strategies including psychodynamic psychotherapy, so stay open to new ideas and recovery approaches. Using these techniques can help you avoid relapse, manage stress and find inner strength.

 

Author

Kimberly Hayes enjoys writing about health and wellness and created PublicHealthAlert.info to help keep the public informed about the latest developments in popular health issues and concerns. In addition to studying to become a crisis intervention counselor, Kimberly is hard at work on her new book, which discusses the ins and outs of alternative addiction treatments.