It’s not like you haven’t tried all the usual advice for getting a good night’s sleep. You stopped drinking caffeine after lunchtime and you wake up and go to bed at the same time each night. Heck, you even bought the most comfortable mattress and pillow you could find.
And still you find yourself tossing and turning, staring at the ceiling in the middle of the night, debating whether you should quietly get up for a while or stubbornly keep your eyes closed in the hope of finally falling asleep. Unfortunately, following standard sleeping tips is no guarantee for getting plenty of shut-eye when you have a medical condition, when your baby keeps you up all night or when your internal body clock is disrupted from working the night shift.
For people with chronic illness, insomnia is an all-too-common problem. Many health issues, such as diabetes, heart disease, depression and an overactive thyroid, can disturb your natural sleep – wake cycle. Having trouble falling asleep can also be the result of the pills you’re taking or of simply not being able to lie down comfortably due to seriously aching joints and muscles.
If the basic go-to-sleep ideas have failed to get you a good night’s rest, experiment with these 6 unconventional tips to beat insomnia naturally.
Your mother warned you there’d be days like these. The minutes are ticking away until your big meeting starts, and here you are, stuck in traffic – again. Cars are moving at a snail’s pace, but the thoughts keep racing through your mind. “Hmm, did I lock the front door..? Ooh, I shouldn’t forget to pick up the dry-cleaning on my way home tonight. And we really must find the time to visit aunt Jessie in the hospital this weekend. Maybe after we’ve finished painting the nursery..? Argh, move already, I’m running late!”
You can feel the tension build up in your body. And the day has only just begun.
Life is a continuous string of events, from everyday challenges and important milestones to defining moments and daily disruptions. Although there are certain situations that everyone finds upsetting and taxing – losing a loved one, relationship troubles, unemployment or living with chronic illness – whether or not you get stressed following a negative event also depends on how you perceive that situation.
Stress is triggered by external life events and small daily hassles. When you experience more frequent and severe stressors in life, you have an increased risk of developing serious health problems like heart disease, obesity, digestive problems or anxiety. But this relation doesn’t explain why plenty of people thrive in high-pressure jobs or demanding circumstances. Why do some individuals get sick and depressed when something stressful happens while others do not?
It’s the eternal question for many home cooks: “What shall I make for dinner tonight?”
Maybe you find yourself browsing the supermarket aisles for inspiration, only to come home with the standard ingredients for your go-to pasta. But not only does eating spaghetti bolognese three days in a row get pretty boring, falling into a food rut also puts you at risk for an unbalanced diet. As I wrote in last week’s post, consuming a lot of different types of food helps you to get all the vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients you desperately need to stay healthy.
But finding ways to ingest the entire range of necessary nutrients is probably not be the first thing on your mind when you have to come up with a meal that’s not only healthy, but also kid-friendly, quick to make after a tiring day at work and easy to digest before heading off to karate class.
For some strange reason, I actually enjoy planning a wholesome yet tasty weekly menu (but then again, I’m one of those crazy people who love making lists). Over many meal planning sessions, I found that using a personalised food template makes it a lot easier to come up with a week’s worth of delicious dinners that make up a balanced diet.
Today I’m sharing my secrets for stress-free meal planning, with two examples of varied and balanced weekly menus.
Do you mindlessly gobble down the same old boring breakfast before rushing out the door each morning? Or are you stressed out every night wondering what you should have for dinner without falling into a rut?
So many of us have virtually the same meals day after day. And even if you do make a conscious effort to mix up what you’re having for lunch, you still might not be eating a huge variety of foods. Most food products you find in the supermarket contain the same handful of ingredients – wheat, soy, corn and sugar.
But eating a lot of different foods is crucial to obtain all the nutrients you need for a healthy body and mind. A balanced diet ensures you get the entire range of vitamins and minerals, without consuming too much of one particular nutrient. Because the same rule applies to both fast food meals and uber-healthy foods: “The dose make the poison.”
Even eating big ass salads and huge amounts of steamed broccoli on a daily basis for many years could potentially lead to health problems, when small amounts of harmful compounds in dark leafy greens and cruciferous veggies build up over time. (You’d need to consume huge amounts of one vegetable over a long period of time before this would happen, but you get my point.)
Coming up with new recipes every day can be an overwhelming challenge. Luckily, there are two strategies to effortlessly eat a more balanced diet without stressing out: